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RAILnet-21: American Intercity Railroad Network for the 21st Century (RAILnet-21) is a legislative vehicle under which the Federal government continues to own Amtrak’s owned infrastructure, while the private sector would invest around $100 billion.

AOI: Amtrak-owned infrastructure (AOI) is primarily composed of 600 route miles of track in the Northeast and Midwest. AOI accounts for the majority of Amtrak's financial losses, year after year.

ARC: Amtrak Reform Council (ARC) was an independent Federal commission established under the Amtrak Reform and Accountability Act of 1997 (ARAA), which gave the Council a statutory mandate: (i) to recommend to Amtrak actions that the Corporation can take to improve its operational and financial performance; (ii) to monitor Amtrak's financial performance in the light of both Amtrak's own goals for financial performance, as established in its strategic business plan, and the statutory requirement that Amtrak be free of the need for operating grants after the fifth anniversary of the enactment of the ARAA; and (iii) should the Council find that Amtrak has not achieved or will not achieve either of its financial targets, then it is to forward to the Congress recommendations for a restructured and rationalized national intercity rail passenger system.

CBO: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) produces independent and strictly nonpartisan cost estimates for proposed legislation.

FAST Act: Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 is a five-year authorization to improve the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure, including roads, bridges, transit systems, and rail transportation network. 

FRA: The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is an agency within Department of Transportation concerned primarily with rail safety.

ICC: The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 is a United States federal law that was designed to regulate the railroad industry, particularly its monopolistic practices. The Act required that railroad rates be "reasonable and just," but it did not empower the government to fix specific rates.

IMO: Under RAILnet-21, the Infrastructure Management Organization (IMO) is the market maker created to enable the implementation of a smoothly functioning and transparent marketplace with strong incentives to improve train frequency and safety.

NEC: The Amtrak Northeast Corridor (NEC) is the busiest railroad in North America, with approximately 2,200 Amtrak, commuter and freight trains operating over some portion of the Washington-Boston route each day.

Non-appropriated fund: A non-appropriated fund is controlled by statute or other law rather than by the Legislature through the general or special appropriation process. A non-appropriated fund is controlled by the amount of cash that is in the fund and has continuous spending authority in that it does not require further legislative action. However, any disbursements from this fund must be for a valid public purpose and are subject to audit. Therefore, non-appropriated funds must be accounted for in the State Accounting System (AFIS). Non-appropriated funds include, but are not limited to, Federal Grants and Land Endowment Funds.

Northeast Corridor Commission: Established by Congress through the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, the Commission is working to ensure the long-term viability of the Corridor through coordinated regional leadership to stabilize the NEC, improve performance, and establish a foundation for future growth.


PRIIA: Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) authorized nearly $10 billion for Fiscal Years (FY) 2009—2013 for Amtrak’s operating costs and capital investments, including actions to help Amtrak improve its financial management, operate more efficiently, and improve services on existing routes.

Staggers Rail Act: The Staggers Rail Act of 1980 is a United States federal law that deregulated the American railroad industry to a significant extent, and it replaced the regulatory structure that had existed since the 1887 Interstate Commerce Act.

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