49 U.S.C. § 24301 - Status and applicable laws

Cite as49 U.S.C. § 24301

(a) STATUS.-Amtrak-

(1) is a railroad carrier under section 20102(2) 1 and chapters 261 and 281 of this title;

(2) shall be operated and managed as a for-profit corporation; and

(3) is not a department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government, and shall not be subject to title 31.

(b) PRINCIPAL OFFICE AND PLACE OF BUSINESS.-The principal office and place of business of Amtrak are in the District of Columbia. Amtrak is qualified to do business in each State in which Amtrak carries out an activity authorized under this part. Amtrak shall accept service of process by certified mail addressed to the secretary of Amtrak at its principal office and place of business. Amtrak is a citizen only of the District of Columbia when deciding original jurisdiction of the district courts of the United States in a civil action.

(c) APPLICATION OF SUBTITLE IV.-Subtitle IV of this title shall not apply to Amtrak, except for sections 11123, 11301, 11322(a), 11502, and 11706. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, Amtrak shall continue to be considered an employer under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974, the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, and the Railroad Retirement Tax Act.

(d) APPLICATION OF SAFETY AND EMPLOYEE RELATIONS LAWS AND REGULATIONS.-Laws and regulations governing safety, employee representation for collective bargaining purposes, the handling of disputes between carriers and employees, employee retirement, annuity, and unemployment systems, and other dealings with employees that apply to a rail carrier subject to part A of subtitle IV of this title apply to Amtrak.

(e) APPLICATION OF CERTAIN ADDITIONAL LAWS.-Section 552 of title 5, this part, and, to the extent consistent with this part, the District of Columbia Business Corporation Act (D.C. Code §29-301 et seq.) apply to Amtrak. Section 552 of title 5, United States Code, applies to Amtrak for any fiscal year in which Amtrak receives a Federal subsidy.

(f) TAX EXEMPTION FOR CERTAIN COMMUTER AUTHORITIES.-A commuter authority that was eligible to make a contract with Amtrak Commuter to provide commuter rail passenger transportation but which decided to provide its own rail passenger transportation beginning January 1, 1983, is exempt, effective October 1, 1981, from paying a tax or fee to the same extent Amtrak is exempt.

(g) NONAPPLICATION OF RATE, ROUTE, AND SERVICE LAWS.-A State or other law related to rates, routes, or service does not apply to Amtrak in connection with rail passenger transportation.

(h) NONAPPLICATION OF PAY PERIOD LAWS.-A State or local law related to pay periods or days for payment of employees does not apply to Amtrak. Except when otherwise provided under a collective bargaining agreement, an employee of Amtrak shall be paid at least as frequently as the employee was paid on October 1, 1979.

(i) PREEMPTION RELATED TO EMPLOYEE WORK REQUIREMENTS.-A State may not adopt or continue in force a law, rule, regulation, order, or standard requiring Amtrak to employ a specified number of individuals to perform a particular task, function, or operation.

(j) NONAPPLICATION OF LAWS ON JOINT USE OR OPERATION OF FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT.-Prohibitions of law applicable to an agreement for the joint use or operation of facilities and equipment necessary to provide quick and efficient rail passenger transportation do not apply to a person making an agreement with Amtrak to the extent necessary to allow the person to make and carry out obligations under the agreement.


(1) In this subsection-

(A) "additional tax" means a tax or fee-

(i) on the acquisition, improvement, ownership, or operation of personal property by Amtrak; and

(ii) on real property, except a tax or fee on the acquisition of real property or on the value of real property not attributable to improvements made, or the operation of those improvements, by Amtrak.

(B) "Amtrak" includes a rail carrier subsidiary of Amtrak and a lessor or lessee of Amtrak or one of its rail carrier subsidiaries.

(2) Amtrak is not required to pay an additional tax because of an expenditure to acquire or improve real property, equipment, a facility, or right-of-way material or structures used in providing rail passenger transportation, even if that use is indirect.


(1) IN GENERAL.-Amtrak, a rail carrier subsidiary of Amtrak, and any passenger or other customer of Amtrak or such subsidiary, are exempt from a tax, fee, head charge, or other charge, imposed or levied by a State, political subdivision, or local taxing authority on Amtrak, a rail carrier subsidiary of Amtrak, or on persons traveling in intercity rail passenger transportation or on mail or express transportation provided by Amtrak or such a subsidiary, or on the carriage of such persons, mail, or express, or on the sale of any such transportation, or on the gross receipts derived therefrom after September 30, 1981. In the case of a tax or fee that Amtrak was required to pay as of September 10, 1982, Amtrak is not exempt from such tax or fee if it was assessed before April 1, 1997.

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