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Public Law 91-518, as amended, 84 Stat. 1327; 54 Stat. 905, 45

U.S.C. 501 et seq. (1970)

Summary and Description

The Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970 establishes a program to provide Federal assistance to certain railroads to permit the orderly transfer of railroad passenger service to a railroad passenger corporation.

Section 565 (b) provides that no contract between a railroad and the corporation may be made unless the Secretary of Labor has certified that fair and equitable arrangements have been made to protect the interest of employees of such railroads.

The protective arrangements specified in section 565 of the Act are identical to those prescribed under the Urban Mass Transportation Act (see p. 685).

Text of Act

(Sections refer to P.L. 91-518)



Sec. 101. Congressional Findings and Declaration of Purpose.

The Congress finds that modern, efficient, intercity railroad passenger service is a necessary part of a balanced transportation system; that the public convenience and necessity require the continuance and improvement of such service to provide fast and comfortable transportation between crowded urban areas and in other areas of the country; that rail passenger service can help to end the congestion on our highways and the overcrowding of airways and airports; that the traveler in America should to the maximum extent feasible have freedom to choose the mode of travel most convenient to his needs; that to achieve these goals requires the designation of a basic national rail passenger system and the establishment of a rail passenger corporation for the purpose of providing modern, efficient, intercity rail passenger service; that Federal financial assistance as well as investment capital from the private sector of the economy is needed for this purpose; and and that interim emergency Federal financial assistance to certain railroads may be necessary to permit the orderly transfer of railroad passenger service to a railroad passenger corporation. Sec. 102. Definitions.

For the purposes of this Act

(1) “Railroad” means a common carrier by railroad, as defined in section 1(3) of part I of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended


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(49 U.S.C. 1(3)) other than the corporation created by title III of this Act.

(2) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Transportation or his delegate unless the context indicates otherwise.

(3) "Commission" means the Interstate Commerce Commission.

(4) "Basic system” means the system of intercity rail passenger service designated by the Secretary under title II and section 403(a) of this Act.

(5) "Intercity rail passenger service” means all rail passenger service other than (A) commuter and other short-haul service in metropolitan and suburban areas, usually characterized by reduced fare, multiple-ride and commutation tickets, and by morning and evening peak period operations, and (B) auto-ferry service characterized by transportation of automobiles and their occupants where contracts for such service have been consummated prior to enactment of this Act.

(6) “Avoidable loss” means the avoidable costs of providing passenger service, less revenues attributable thereto, as determined by the Interstate Commerce Commission pursuant to the provisions of section 553 of title 5, United States Code.

(7) "Corporation" means the National Railroad Passenger Corporation created under title III of this Act.

(8) "Regional transportation agency” means an authority, corporation, or other entity established for the purpose of providing passenger service within a region. Sec. 405. Protective Arrangements for Employees.

(a) A railroad shall provide fair and equitable arrangements to protect the interests of employees affected by discontinuances of intercity rail passenger service whether occurring before, on, or after January i, 1975. A "discontinuance of intercity rail passenger service” shall include any discontinuance of service performed by railroad under any facility or service agreement under sections and of this Act pursuant to any modification or termination thereof or an assumption of operations by the Corporation.

(b) Such protective arrangements shall include, without being limited to, such provisions as may be necessary for (1) the preservation of rights, privileges, and benefits (including continuation of pension rights and benefits) to such employees under existing collective bargaining agreements or otherwise; (2) the continuation of collectivebargaining rights; (3) the protection of such individual employees against a worsening of their positions with respect to their employment; (4) assurances of priority of reemployment of employees terminated or said off'; and (5) paid training or retraining programs. Such arrangements shall include provisions protecting individual employees against a worsening of their positions with respect to their employ, ment which shall in no event provide benefits less than those established pursuant to section 5(2) (f) of the Interstate Commerce Act. Any contract entered into pursuant to the provisions of this title shall specify the terms and conditions of such protective arrangements. No contract under section 401(a) (1) of this Act between a railrail and the Corporation may be made unless the Secretary of Labor has certified to the Corporation that the labor protective provisions of such contract afford affected employees fair and equitable protection by the railroad.

(c) Upon commencement of operations in the basic system, the substantive requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall apply to the Corporation and its employees in order to insure the maintenance of the protective arrangements specified in such subsections, except that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to impose upon the Corporation any obligation of a railroad with respect to any right, privilege, or benefit earned by any employee as a result of prior service performed for such railroad. The Secretary of Labor shall certify that affected employees of the Corporation have been provided fair and equitable protection as required by this section within one hundred and eighty days after assumption of operations by the Corporation.

(d) The Corporation shall take such actions as may be necessary to insure that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors in the performance of construction work financed with the assistance of funds received under any contract or agreement entered into under this title shall be paid wages at rates not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act. The Corporation shall not enter into any such contract or agreement without first obtaining adequate assurance that required labor standards will be maintained on the construction work. Health and safety standards promulgated by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to section 107 of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 U.S.C. 333) shall be applicable to all construction work performed under such contracts or agreements, except any construction work performed by a railroad employee. Wage rates provided for in collective bargaining agreements negotiated under and pursuant to the Railway Labor Act shall be considered as being in compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act.

(e) The Corporation shall not contract out any work normally performed by employees in any bargaining unit covered by a contract between the Corporation or any railroad providing intercity rail passenger service upon the date of enactment of this Act and any labor organization, if such contracting out shall result in the layoff of any employee or employees in such bargaining unit.

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