The U.S. Department of Transportation is celebrating 50 years of safety research and innovation at the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Transportation Technology Center (TTC) in Pueblo, Colorado.
TTC is a proving ground for safety standards development and the latest rail technologies, providing researchers, regulators and industry an unrivaled, full-scale laboratory to carry out advanced field testing. Recently, Amtrak’s newest Acela train set was tested on the center’s electrified tracks, ensuring safety and performance standards.
“TTC is a vital resource for FRA and the railroad industry,” FRA Deputy Administrator Amit Bose said. “For decades, this facility’s work has contributed immensely to dramatic transportation safety improvements. We’re grateful for the men and women who dedicate themselves to applying the latest and best science and engineering available to rail. We look forward to another half century of safety and innovation.”
The 52-square-mile facility in rural Colorado provides a safe environment for railroad research, testing and training. After the High-Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965 authorized its development, U.S. Secretary of Transportation John Volpe inaugurated the site on May 19, 1971.
Congress created the center to research and develop high-speed ground transportation. TTC’s scientific expertise has expanded greatly. Its 50 miles of track are engineered to test numerous rail scenarios. TTC boasts laboratories, maintenance shops and full-scale training facilities. These capabilities have enabled FRA to develop realistic training situations and improve safety standards related to passenger rail crashworthiness and tank car standards, among many others.
In addition to government entities, TTC continues to attract commercial rail industry organizations that rely on the center’s testing prowess to determine the strengths and wear capacities of their own products.