Amtrak No. 32.75 Turnout Waiver Request
Action: Notice, Request for Comments
Web posting date: September 13, 2012
Close of Comment Period: September 28, 2012
Summary: 49 U.S.C. § 24405(a)(1) authorizes the Secretary of Transportation (“Secretary”) to obligate grant funds only if the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States. However, § 24405(a)(2) also permits the Secretary (delegated to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)) to waive the Buy America requirements if he or she finds that: (A) applying paragraph (1) would be inconsistent with the public interest; (B) the steel, iron, and goods manufactured in the United States are not produced in sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality; (C) rolling stock or power train equipment cannot be bought or delivered to the United States within a reasonable time; or (D) including domestic material will increase the cost of the overall project by more than 25 percent.
The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the FRA has received a waiver request from the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (“Amtrak”) to purchase four (4) No. 32.75 136RE Special Turnouts (“Turnouts”) manufactured by voestalpine Nortrak, Inc. (“Nortrak”) for use in the New York City to Trenton, NY, High-Speed Rail Improvements Program. The Turnouts will be manufactured by Nortrak in the United States at its facility in Birmingham, Alabama, but will contain several parts that are not manufactured in the United States. The foreign parts are: the right and left Switch Point Rails; the Vee Point Forging; and the Roller Assembly, Double Roller Assembly and Plates. Amtrak has requested the waiver pursuant to § 24405(a)(2)(B) because for the reasons set forth in its request, Amtrak asserts that the required parts are not produced in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality and that therefore a waiver from FRA’s Buy America requirement is appropriate. The entire waiver request can be viewed here.
Questions about this notice may be directed to Ms. Linda Martin, Attorney Advisor, via e-mail at Linda.Martin@dot.gov or by telephone at 202-493-6062; however, comments to this waiver request should be submitted directly on the form provided below. Commenters should be aware that offensive language, Privacy Act protected, or other inappropriate material will not be posted. The FRA will consider all comments to this waiver request received in the initial 15-day comment period. Comments received after the initial 15-day comment period will be considered to the extent practical.