United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Oct 31, 2020

§ 743.
Valuation and conveyance of rail properties
(a)
Deposit with court
Within 10 days after delivery of a certified copy of a final system plan pursuant to section 719(c) of this title
(1)
the Corporation, in exchange for the rail properties of the railroads in reorganization in the region and of railroads leased, operated, or controlled by railroads in reorganization in the region to be transferred to the Corporation or any subsidiary thereof, shall deposit with the special court all of the stock and other securities of the Corporation and certificates of value issued by the Association designated in the final system plan to be exchanged for such rail properties;
(2)
each profitable railroad operating in the region and each state or responsible person (including a government entity) purchasing rail properties from a railroad in reorganization in the region, or from a railroad leased, operated, or controlled by a railroad in reorganization in the region, as provided in the final system plan shall deposit with the special court the compensation to be paid for such rail properties.
(b)
Conveyance of rail properties
(1)
The special court shall, within 10 days after deposit under subsection (a) of this section of the securities of the Corporation, certificates of value issued by the Association, and compensation from the profitable railroads operating in the region, States, and responsible persons, order the trustee or trustees of each railroad in reorganization in the region to convey forthwith to the Corporation or any subsidiary thereof, the respective profitable railroads operating in the region, States, and responsible persons all right, title, and interest in the rail properties of such railroad in reorganization and shall itself order the conveyance of all right, title, and interest in the rail properties of any person leased, operated, or controlled by such railroad in reorganization that are to be conveyed to them under the final system plan as certified to such court under section 719(d) of this title. In any case where the special court orders the trustee or trustees of a railroad in reorganization in the region to execute and deliver deeds or other instruments conveying rail properties to the Corporation or a subsidiary thereof or to a profitable railroad operating in the region or a State or responsible person, those deeds or other instruments may be executed, acknowledged, and delivered on behalf of the trustee or trustees by any person or persons who have been duly authorized to perform such acts on behalf of the trustee or trustees by the district court of the United States or any other court having jurisdiction over the respective railroad in reorganization in the region. Notwithstanding any provision of State or local law, in any case where deeds or other instruments have been executed, acknowledged, or delivered by a representative of the trustee or trustees of a railroad in reorganization in the region in accordance with the previous sentence, such execution, acknowledgment, and delivery, and the deeds or other instruments to which they pertain, shall have the same legal effect as they would have had if the trustee or trustees had themselves executed, acknowledged and delivered such deeds or other instruments.
(2)
All rail properties conveyed to the Corporation or any subsidiary thereof the respective profitable railroads operating in the region, States, and responsible persons under this section shall be conveyed free and clear of any liens or encumbrances, but subject to such leases and agreements as shall have previously burdened such properties or bound the owner or operator thereof in pursuance of an arrangement with any State, or local or regional transportation authority under which financial support from such State, or local or regional transportation authority was being provided on January 2, 1974, for the continuance of rail passenger service or any lien or encumbrance of no greater than 5 years’ duration which is necessary for the contractual performance by any person of duties related to public health or sanitation. Such conveyances shall not be restrained or enjoined by any court.
(3)
(A)
(i)
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if an interest in railroad rolling stock is included in the rail properties conveyed pursuant to subsection (b)(1) of this section, and if such conveyance is in accordance with the requirements of clause (ii) of this subparagraph, the conveyance of such properties shall be deemed an assignment. Any such assignment shall relieve the assignor of liability for any breach which occurs after the date of such conveyance, except that such assignor shall remain liable for any breach, event of default, or violation of covenant which occurred (and any charges or obligations which accrued) prior to the date of such conveyance, regardless of whether the assignee thereof assumes such liabilities, charges or obligations. If any such liabilities, charges, or obligations (accrued prior to the date of such conveyance) are paid by or on behalf of any person or entity other than such assignor, such person or entity shall have a claim to direct reimbursement, as a current expense of administration, from such assignor, together with interest on the amount so paid.
(ii)
A conveyance referred to in clause (i) of this subparagraph may be effected only if—
(I)
the Corporation or a subsidiary thereof, the profitable railroad operating in the region, or the State or responsible person to whom such conveyance is made assumes all of the obligations under any applicable conditional sale agreement, equipment trust agreement, or lease with respect to such rolling stock (including any obligations which accrued prior to the date on which such properties are conveyed), and
(II)
such conveyance is made subject to such obligations.
As used in this subparagraph, the term “railroad rolling stock” means assets which could be carried in Interstate Commerce Commission account numbers 52, 53, 54, and 57.
(B)
Subject to the provisions of this paragraph, the provisions of this chapter shall not affect the title and interests of any lessor, equipment trust trustee, or conditional sale vendor under any conditional sale agreement, equipment trust agreement, or lease under section 77(j) of the Bankruptcy Act. A profitable railroad operating in the region, the Corporation or a subsidiary thereof, or a State or responsible person, to whom such a conveyance is made as assignee or as lessee, shall assume all liability under such conditional sale agreement, equipment trust agreement, or lease. Such an assignment or conveyance to, and such an assumption of liability by, such a profitable railroad, Corporation, subsidiary, State, or responsible person shall not be deemed a breach, an event of default, or a violation of any covenant of any such conditional sale agreement, equipment trust agreement, or lease so assigned or conveyed, notwithstanding any provisions of any such agreement or lease.
(4)
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter, if a railroad in reorganization has leased rail properties from a lessor that is neither a railroad nor controlled by or affiliated with a railroad, and such lease has been approved by the lessee railroad’s reorganization court prior to January 2, 1974, conveyance of such lease may only be effected if the Corporation, profitable railroad, State, or responsible person to whom the conveyance is made assumes all future liability under such lease and all of the terms and conditions specified in the lease, including the obligation to pay the specified rent to the non-railroad lessor.
(5)
Notwithstanding any covenant, undertaking, condition, or provision of any sort in any lease, agreement, or contract, the conveyance, transfer, assignment, or other disposition of such lease, agreement, or contract or of any interest therein to, or the assumption by, the Corporation or any subsidiary thereof, or a profitable railroad of obligations thereunder, shall not be deemed a breach, an event of default, or a violation of any covenant of such lease, agreement, or contract.
(6)
(A)
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this chapter or any other other 1
1
 So in original.
provision of law, the special court shall include in its order such further directions as may be necessary to assure (i) that the operation and administration of the employee pension benefit plans described in section 775(a) 2
2
 See References in Text note below.
of this title shall be continued, without termination or interruption, by the Corporation until such time as the Corporation elects to amend or terminate any such plan, in whole or in part; and (ii) that appropriate transfers and assignments with respect to all rights and obligations relating to such plans shall be made to the Corporation for such purposes, without prejudice to payment of consideration for whatever rights any railroad in reorganization may have in any residual assets under any such employee pension benefit plan. No court shall enter any judgment against the Corporation with respect to any such rights, except that the special court may enter such a judgment in an order issued by it pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, after taking into consideration the rights and obligations transferred pursuant to this paragraph. All liabilities as an employer shall be imposed solely upon the railroad in reorganization in the event such plan is terminated, in whole or in part, by the Corporation within 1 year after the date of such transfer or assignment (except liabilities as an employer under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 [29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.] for benefits accruing during such period), except that in any case in which the Corporation, on or after the date of transfer or assignment as provided by this paragraph, terminates in whole or in part any such plan, the benefits under which are not guaranteed under title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 [29 U.S.C. 1301 et seq.], the Corporation shall guarantee the payment when due of the accrued pension benefits provided for thereunder at the time of termination. The Corporation shall be entitled to a loan pursuant to section 721(h) of this title in an amount required for the adequate funding of accrued pension benefits under all plans transferred or assigned to the Corporation in accordance with this paragraph (whether or not terminated by the Corporation). For purposes of such section 721(h) and notwithstanding any other provision of Federal or State law, amounts required for such adequate funding shall be deemed to be expenses of administration of the respective estates of the railroads in reorganization, due and payable as of the date of transfer or assignment of the plans to the Corporation.
(B)
The Corporation shall, through the purchase of insurance or otherwise, maintain in effect any medical insurance coverage or so much of any life insurance coverage that does not exceed in death benefits an amount equal to twice the employee’s annual salary at the time of retirement or $60,000, whichever is lower, which coverage was maintained by a railroad in reorganization in the region immediately prior to April 1, 1976, and which provides insurance benefits to employees who retired, prior to April 1, 1976, from service with such a railroad. With respect to any such employee whose medical or life insurance coverage lapsed after April 1, 1976, due to nonpayment of premiums, the Corporation shall—
(i)
through the purchase of insurance or otherwise, provide medical insurance benefits or life insurance benefits at the same level as were provided by the employer railroad in reorganization and in effect with respect to such employees immediately prior to April 1, 1976, except that the life insurance benefits so provided shall not exceed in death benefits an amount equal to twice the employee’s annual salary at the time of retirement or $60,000, whichever is lower; and
(ii)
assume and pay any claim for such employee (or his personal representative) for any such insurance benefits, if—
(I)
such claim arose during the period beginning April 1, 1976, and ending on the date insurance coverage is provided pursuant to clause (i) of this subparagraph;
(II)
such benefits were not paid by an insurer solely because of the lapse of the insurance coverage during such period,
except that such death benefits shall not be paid for any such employee in excess of an amount equal to twice the employee’s annual salary at the time of retirement or $60,000, whichever is lower.
The Corporation shall be entitled to a loan pursuant to section 721(h) of this title in an amount required for the payment of insurance premiums and benefits described in this subparagraph. For purposes of section 721(h)(4)(A)(iii) of this title, amounts required for the payment of such premiums and benefits shall be deemed to be valid administrative claims against the respective estates of the railroads in reorganization, due and payable as of April 1, 1976, or, in the case of a railroad in reorganization which is not subject to a bankruptcy proceeding, such amounts shall be deemed to be obligations of such railroad, due and payable as of such date, and shall be reimbursable in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraphs (4) and (5) of such section 721(h) of this title. As used in this subparagraph, the term “railroad in reorganization” includes any railroad which is controlled by a railroad in reorganization but is not itself subject to a bankruptcy proceeding, if such railroad conveyed substantially all of its rail properties to the Corporation pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection and conducted operations over such rail properties prior to the date of such conveyance.
(c)
Findings and distribution
(1)
After the rail properties have been conveyed to the Corporation or any subsidiary thereof, profitable railroads operating in the region, States, and responsible persons under subsection (b) of this section, the special court, giving due consideration to the findings contained in the final system plan, shall decide—
(A)
whether the transfers or conveyances—
(i)
of rail properties of each railroad in reorganization, or of each railroad leased, operated, or controlled by a railroad in reorganization, to the Corporation or any subsidiary thereof in exchange for the certificates of value and the other benefits accruing to such railroad as a result of such exchange (taking into consideration compensable unconstitutional erosion, if any, which the special court finds to have occurred in the estate of each such railroad, during the bankruptcy proceeding with respect to such railroad) as provided in the final system plan and this chapter, and
(ii)
of rail properties of each railroad in reorganization, or of each railroad leased, operated, or controlled by a railroad in reorganization, to a profitable railroad operating in the region in exchange for compensation and other benefits accruing to such transferor as a result of such exchange (taking into consideration compensable unconstitutional erosion, if any, which the special court finds to have occurred in the estate of each such railroad, during the bankruptcy proceeding with respect to such railroad) State, or responsible person in accordance with the final system plan,
are in the public interest and are fair and equitable to the estate of each railroad in reorganization in accordance with the standard of fairness and equity applicable to the approval of a plan of reorganization or a step in such a plan under section 77 of the Bankruptcy Act, or fair and equitable to a railroad that is not itself in reorganization but which is leased, operated, or controlled by a railroad in reorganization;
(B)
whether the transfers or conveyances are more fair and equitable than is required as a constitutional minimum; and
(C)
what portion of the proceeds received by a railroad in reorganization from an entity other than the Corporation or any subsidiary thereof for the sale, lease, or transfer of property subject to an agreement under section 723 or section 725(a)(1) or (2) of this title reflects value attributable to the maintenance or improvement provided pursuant to the agreement.
(2)
If the special court finds that the terms of one or more exchanges for certificates of value and other benefits are not fair and equitable to an estate of a railroad in reorganization, or to a railroad leased, operated, or controlled by a railroad in reorganization (taking into consideration compensable unconstitutional erosion, if any, which the special court finds to have occurred in the estate of each such railroad, during the bankruptcy proceeding with respect to such railroad), which has transferred rail properties pursuant to the final system plan, it may—
(A)
enter a judgment reallocating the certificates of value in a fair and equitable manner if they have not been fairly allocated among the railroads transferring rail properties to the Corporation or any subsidiary thereof, except that one certificate of value shall be allocated to each such railroad; and
(B)
if the lack of fairness and equity cannot be completely cured by a reallocation of the certificates of value, order the Corporation to provide for the transfer to the railroad of certificates of value issued by the Association as designated in the final system plan in such nature and amount as would make the exchange or exchanges fair and equitable; and
(C)
enter a judgment against the Corporation if the judgment would not endanger the viability or solvency of the Corporation.
(3)
If the special court finds that the terms of one or more conveyances of rail properties to a profitable railroad operating in the region, State, or responsible person in accordance with the final system plan are not fair and equitable, it shall enter a judgment against such profitable railroad, State, or responsible person. If the special court finds that the terms of one or more conveyances or exchanges for certificates of value or other benefits are fairer and more equitable than is required as a constitutional minimum, then it shall order the return of any excess certificates of value, or compensation to the Corporation or a profitable railroad, State, or responsible person so as not to exceed the constitutional minimum standard of fairness and equity. The special court shall also find the amount of the payments, if any, which each profitable railroad has made on behalf of a transferor railroad in reorganization in accordance with section 721(h) of this title, for which payment the profitable railroad has not been reimbursed, as provided in section 721(h) of this title. Notwithstanding any other provision of this paragraph or of paragraph (4), the special court shall order the return to any such profitable railroad from compensation deposited by such profitable railroad pursuant to subsection (a)(2) of this section, of any such amount so found together with interest at the rate provided in section 721(h) of this title. In making any finding under this paragraph, the special court shall take into consideration compensable unconstitutional erosion, if any, which it finds to have occurred in the estate of a railroad in reorganization in the region, or of a railroad leased, operated, or controlled by such a railroad, during the bankruptcy proceeding with respect to such railroad.
(4)
Upon making the findings referred to in this subsection, the special court shall order distribution of the certificates of value and compensation deposited with it under subsection (a) of this section to the trustee or trustees of each railroad in reorganization in the region and to persons leased, operated, or controlled by such railroads who so transferred or conveyed rail properties who conveyed right, title, and interest in rail properties to the Corporation and the respective profitable railroads, States, and responsible persons under such subsection.
(5)
Whenever the special court, pursuant to subsection (b)(1) of this section, orders the transfer or conveyance of rail properties—
(A)
(B)
to the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, a profitable railroad operating in the region, a State, or any other responsible person (including a governmental entity), the United States shall indemnify such Corporation, railroad, State, or person against any costs or liabilities imposed thereon as the result of any judgment entered against such Corporation, railroad, State, or person under paragraph (3) of this subsection;
plus interest on the amount of such judgment at such rate as is constitutionally required. The United States may, in its discretion, represent the Corporation or the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, such profitable railroad, State or responsible person, in any proceedings before the special court that could result in such a judgment against the Corporation under paragraph (2) of this subsection or against the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, such profitable railroad, State or responsible person, under paragraph (3) of this subsection. The Corporation, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, any profitable railroad, State, or responsible person, which is represented by the United States of America shall cooperate diligently in whatever manner the United States shall reasonably request of it in connection with such proceedings. Neither the Corporation, or its subsidiaries, nor the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, any profitable railroad, State or responsible person, shall be obligated to reimburse the United States for any moneys paid by the United States pursuant to this section.
(6)
Whenever the Corporation exercises an option to acquire, or acquires, interests in rail marine freight floating equipment pursuant to the recommendations of the final system plan, and the Corporation thereafter makes such floating equipment available to a profitable railroad operating in the region, a State, or a responsible person including 3
3
 So in original. Probably should be “(including”.
a government entity), the United States shall indemnify—
(A)
the Corporation against any costs or liabilities imposed on the Corporation as the result of any judgment entered against it, with respect to such equipment, under paragraph (2) of this subsection; and
(B)
such profitable railroad, State, or responsible person against any costs or liabilities imposed thereon as the result of any judgment entered against such profitable railroads, State, or responsible person under paragraph (3) of this subsection,
plus interest on the amount of such judgment at such rate as is constitutionally required.
(d)
Appeal

An order or judgment entered by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia pursuant to subsection (c) of this section or section 746 of this title shall be reviewable in accordance with sections 1291, 1292, and 1294 of title 28.

(e)
Transfer and other taxes and recording fees

All transfers or conveyances of rail properties (whether real, personal, or mixed) which are made under this chapter (including transfers and conveyances which are made in accordance with a supplemental transaction pursuant to section 745 of this title or which are made at any time to carry out the purposes of section 791(d) of this title) shall be exempt from any taxes, imposts, or levies now or hereafter imposed, by the United States or by any State or any political subdivision of a State, on or in connection with such transfers or conveyances or on the recording of deeds, bills of sale, liens, encumbrances, or other instruments evidencing, effectuating, or incident to any such transfers or conveyances, whether imposed on the transferor or on the transferee. Such transferors and transferees shall be entitled to record any such deeds, bills of sale, liens, encumbrances, or other instruments and, consistent with the designations and applicable principles in the final system plan, to record the release or removal of any pre-existing liens or encumbrances of record with respect to properties so transferred or conveyed, upon payment of any appropriate and generally applicable charges to compensate for the cost of the service performed.

(Pub. L. 93–236, title III, § 303, Jan. 2, 1974, 87 Stat. 1005; Pub. L. 94–5, § 8, Feb. 28, 1975, 89 Stat. 9; Pub. L. 94–210, title VI §§ 601(d), 612(a), (c)–(i), (k), (l), (n)–(q), Feb. 5, 1976, 90 Stat. 84, 107–111; Pub. L. 94–436, §§ 3, 5, Sept. 30, 1976, 90 Stat. 1398, 1399; Pub. L. 94–555, title II, §§ 202(b), 204, 220(b), Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2616, 2620, 2629; Pub. L. 95–199, § 4, Nov. 23, 1977, 91 Stat. 1424; Pub. L. 95–597, § 1, Nov. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 2547; Pub. L. 96–73, title II, § 204(a), Sept. 29, 1979, 93 Stat. 556; Pub. L. 97–35, title XI, § 1167(a), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 686; Pub. L. 100–352, § 6(e), June 27, 1988, 102 Stat. 664; Pub. L. 103–272, § 7(b), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1379; Pub. L. 104–317, title VI, § 605(b)(2), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3858.)
cite as: 45 USC 743