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FG 374 (United States Railway Association)

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These Presidential historical materials are in the custody of the National Archives and Records Administration under the provisions of Title I of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), and implementing regulations. In accordance with the act and regulations, archivists reviewed the file group to identify private or personal as well as non-historical items. Such items, if found, have been withdrawn for return to the individual with primary proprietary or commemorative interest in them.

Materials covered by this act have been archivally processed and are described in this finding aid. Items that are security classified or otherwise restricted under the act and regulations have been removed and placed in a closed file. A Document Withdrawal Record (NA Form 14021) has been placed in the front of each folder describing each withdrawn item. Employees of the National Archives will review periodically the unclassified portions of closed materials for the purpose of opening those which no longer require restrictions. Classified documents may be reviewed for declassification under authority of Executive Order 13526 in response to Mandatory Review Request (NA Form 14020) submitted by the researcher.

  • Linear measurement of materials:   < 1 in.
  • Number of pages:   55

Organization Information

The United States Railway Association (USRA) is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., and governed by a Board of Directors, was established January 2, 1974, by P. L. 93-236, the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973, as amended. The USRA was terminated April 1, 1987, as mandated by P.L. 99-509 dated October 12, 1986. Its functions were transferred to the Federal Railroad Administration, Department of Transportation.

The United States Railway Association (USRA) was created to develop a plan for reorganizing seven bankrupt railroads in the northeast and midwest regions of the United States into one system. The system, the Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail), began operation in 1976. The USRA administered the investment of public funds in Conrail, monitored Conrail’s performance and determined whether conditions and requirements of the Northeast Rail Service Act were being met, including determinations of Conrail’s profitability; represented the Federal Government against claims brought by the trustees for the bankrupt railroads whose properties were transferred to Conrail; and administered the loan program established under Section 211 of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973. This act called for the establishment of a nonprofit, Federally charted corporation called the United States Railway Association whose directors, would consist of government representatives, creditor banks, solvent railroads and shippers.

The Board of Directors was comprised of five members: the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Comptroller General of the United States, the Chairperson of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Conrail. Its job was to plan a radically slimmed down northeastern rail system out of the carcasses of the bankrupt lines and arrange for government financing. This buffer agency was created because it could issue government loans and loan guarantees without being subject to the national debt ceiling and was thus beyond the veto power of the Office of Management and Budget. An advisory board comprised of five public members who represented state and municipal government, labor, large and small shippers, the financial community, and the railroad industry assisted the Board.

Scope and Content Note

The records consist of correspondence, memorandums, executive nominations, executive orders and press releases. Primary correspondents include the President and White House staff, Bryce N. Harlow, Jerry H. Jones, Stanley S. Scott and William E. Timmons.

The terms "Executive" [Ex] and "General" [Gen] are used before the code FG 374 to identify the source of the materials within a specific file. The files designated [Ex] are communications between national, foreign, state and local governments and their agencies, members of Congress and other prominent people. Files designated [Gen] are communications between government officials and private citizens, institutions and other private interests.

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