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$4.6 million Grant Establishes New Consortium & Climate Change Research Program

San José State University’s MTI awarded  $4.6 million from the Federal Railroad Administration to protect rail networks from climate change
June 6, 2022 | San José, CA

SAN JOSÉ, CA – JUNE 6, 2022 – The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced on June 2nd over $368 million in Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program funds, including $46 million to California rail projects. From this grant, San José State University’s Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) will receive $4.6 million to help create a multi-university consortium in order to establish a Climate Change and Extreme Events Training and Research (CCEETR) program.

MTI will partner with Colorado State University-PuebloMichigan State UniversityOregon State University, and the University of Hawaii for this program. These universities are members of the Center for Surface Transportation Testing and Academic Research (C-STTAR) consortium working with ENSCO and the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, CO. Together, this consortium will lead the nation in research that identifies risk mitigation strategies and preventative measures to improve the U.S. rail network’s resiliency.

The CCEETR program, led by MTI, will develop, demonstrate and disseminate risk mitigation strategies and preventative measures aimed at improving the U.S. rail network’s resiliency against impacts of climate change and extreme events caused by the environment. The program plans to work closely with railroads throughout the industry and test various technologies at the Transportation Technology Center and on revenue service track.

Climate change and the consequential impacts of sea-level rise, coastal storms, landslides, extreme temperatures, wildfires, and inland flooding pose a significant risk to the North American freight and passenger rail network. This grant enables the collaboration of C-STTAR partner universities to combat the catastrophic impacts that threaten lives, destroy equipment, disrupt service, and cost billions. The program will work to preserve and protect the transportation sector and the communities they serve.

“I’m proud to celebrate the establishment of the CCEETR program, which will utilize SJSU’s expertise to improve rail safety and harden our rail network against the effects of climate change,” said CA Representative Zoe Lofgren.

ABOUT THE MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE

At the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) at San Jose State University (SJSU) our mission is to increase mobility for all by improving the safety, efficiency, accessibility, and convenience of our nations’ transportation system. Through research, education, workforce development and technology transfer, we help create a connected world. Founded in 1991, MTI is funded through the US Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security, the California Department of Transportation, and public and private grants, including those made available by the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB1). MTI is affiliated with SJSU’s Lucas College and Graduate School of Business.

Media Contact:

Dr. Hilary Nixon
MTI Deputy Executive Director
O: 408-924-7564

FRA Celebrates the Transportation Technology Center’s 50th Anniversary | FRA (dot.gov)

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

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.

California Energy Commission Awards Funding to GTI and Sierra Northern Railway to Demonstrate Hydrogen Locomotive for Rail Applications in California

Des Plaines, IL March 24, 2021

The California Energy Commission has awarded GTI and Sierra Northern Railway nearly $4,000,000 to fund the design, integration, and demonstration of a hydrogen fuel cell switching locomotive to support the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Demonstrations in Rail and Marine Applications at Ports (H2RAM) initiative. The locomotive will show the potential of hydrogen fuel-cell technology to reduce transportation air pollutant and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

ENSCO, Inc. Awarded $571 Million Department of Transportation Contract

Springfield, Va., March 8, 2021

ENSCO, Inc. is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $571 million USD contract to provide research and development, testing, engineering and training services at the Transportation Technology Center (TTC) in support of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) goal of establishing the TTC as a center for rail and ground transportation innovation. As the awardee, ENSCO will operate and maintain the TTC in support of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a vibrant, engaging and modern TTC that fosters innovation, encourages positive change, and creates opportunity. ENSCO will also expand the use of the facility to support other government and commercial entities to achieve the broader mission of transportation safety, security and innovation. The contract term includes a five-year base period and three, five-year option periods for a total of 20 years from award date. Transition of the DOT operations, maintenance and research programs to ENSCO will be completed by October 2022.

ENSCO will be supported by a team of leading surface transportation research, training, technology and facilities management organizations focused on next generation technology supporting transportation infrastructure. This team will be further supported by the Center for Surface Transportation Testing and Academic Research (C-STTAR) consortium of eight universities and academic research centers. C-STTAR was established by ENSCO to provide expertise in research focus areas across all modes of surface transportation, including intermodal transportation, which will support TTC growth initiatives.

“ENSCO looks forward to supporting FRA’s vision for the Transportation Technology Center,” states Boris Nejikovsky, President, ENSCO, Inc. “We have assembled an incredible team of industry and university research, safety, technology, testing and training entities to serve the needs of FRA, DOT and the surface transportation industry. We are excited to support the many site stakeholders, including the Association of American Railroads (AAR) and its members, to continue the important railroad research occurring at the center today and to expand the capabilities of the site to other modes of transportation with this robust team. ENSCO also looks forward to supporting the local Pueblo, Colo., economy by partnering with local leadership, universities and business, attracting visitors who participate in site activities and recruiting top technical talent to the area.”

ENSCO, INC.

ENSCO, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiaries represent a $140 million international technology enterprise, headquartered in the Washington, D.C., area. For more than 50 years, the ENSCO group of companies has been providing engineering, scientific and advanced technology solutions that guarantee mission success, safety and security to governments and private industries worldwide. ENSCO operates in the defense, transportation, aerospace, and intelligence sectors. Field offices and subsidiaries, representatives and partnerships are located throughout the United States and the world. Learn more

GTI Preparing to Launch First-of-a-Kind Pilot with Fuel Cell Yard Trucks

Des Plaines, IL March 2, 2021

Performance verification is nearing completion on new zero-emissions fuel cell-electric terminal tractors, and a first-of a kind pilot project is preparing to launch. For 16 months, GTI and partners have been designing and assembling the tractors in a project called Zero Emissions for California Ports (ZECAP) that will assess vehicle operation in a demanding, real-world cargo-handling application. The hydrogen fueling equipment is in final assembly and slated for installation this spring, along with the delivery of trucks.