AAR Intermodal Interchange
Publications and documents
TTCI's assets set it apart from other research and testing facilities. One-of-a-kind test machines provide TTCI engineers with the tools to test and evaluate railroad products and/or improvement concepts. Computer models, designed to predict railroad equipment performance, help TTCI provide clients with a look at proposed designs prior to prototype fabrication.
Through continuous quality improvement, strategic reinvestment, and customer-driven acquisitions, TTCI is constantly working to improve its technology assets. Engineers prefer TTCI’s one of kind test environment offering highly specialized full-scale and component laboratories. TTCI’s laboratories house highly sophisticated testing equipment to answer questions regarding fatigue, durability, ride comfort, and truck suspension.
The RDL can test vehicles, simulating stresses from a long period of train operations in a very short time and make fatigue life predictions available in weeks instead of years. This one-of-a-kind test environment includes highly specialized engineers who use full-scale component laboratories to give customers the answers they are looking for.
Train Air Brake Research Facility
TTCI’s Train Air Brake Research Facility consists of 150 complete car sets of air brake equipment. Operated independently of the air brake manufacturers, the test rack is used purely for research. Capable of simulating a diverse range of train types and lengths, these simulations are used to analyze ways to improve the current air brake system. In addition, this facility plays a vital role in the development of new and advanced braking systems. The control room contains a computerized data collection system and the locomotive brake valve.
Rolling Load Test Machines
TTCI maintains several rolling load test machines to simulate the effects of rolling loads of wheels on the rail. These computer controlled devices are capable of producing wheel surface traction allowing evaluation of wear and fatigue leading to plastic deformation. This provides better understanding of how rail defects occur over time with various contact stresses.
TTCI’s unique single-ended inertia dynamometer is used to conduct research and tests on railroad wheels, axles, and brake shoes. The dynamometer has the capability to apply a wide range of normal and excessive thermal and mechanical loads to railroad wheels. A unique feature is the large circular reaction rail through which vertical and lateral contact forces can be applied. A computer control system provides repeatable automatic control of test sequences, speed, and brake shoe force or torque control. The data acquisition system provides automatic digital data collection, storage, and reduction.
The stringent test requirements of the AAR’s Specification for High Friction Composition Brake Shoes, M-926-92 can be met with the TTCI dynamometer. Currently, the AAR dynamometer is used to conduct both commercial developmental testing and official AAR certification testing. The dynamometer is also used by the AAR in the development of improvements to the current brake shoe standards.
Roller Bearing Test Facility
The Roller Bearing Test Facility houses four full-scale bearing test devices. Each device is capable of simulating the in-service environment of roller bearings. Temperatures in the environmentally controlled rooms can be varied from +130 degrees to 50-degrees Fahrenheit. Research is conducted to better understand the behavior and deterioration process of bearings and to evaluate energy consumption based on various bearing configurations.
Track Loading Vehicle - TLV
The TLV is designed to apply forces close to the strength limits of the rails and other track structure components, such as ties, rail fasteners, and ballast, while moving or stationary. The TLV is a unique research tool that leads the industry’s efforts in reducing the risk of derailment. The AAR-100 research car is operated with the TLV and houses the electronic computer equipment that performs all the automatic control, measurement, and data acquisition functions to operate the TLV.
Instrumented wheelsets are capable of accurately measuring wheel/rail forces. The wheelset is calibrated to establish scale factors for data collection. The wheel is put in service to provide feedback on rail conditions. The wheelsets are also used to measure wheel/rail forces for new car design certifications. They can be used with the on-track loading vehicle as an accurate measurement tool for flange climb derailment studies.
Center Plate Tester
The Center Plate Tester is used to test center-bowl lubricants and liners. This machine is important tool in the study of rail rollover derailments and the development of specifications for center-bowl liners and lubricants.
An important aspect of railroad operations is the quality of its bridge infrastructure. TTCI research plays an key role in ensuring that test structures are capable of handling ever increasing axle loads. Through field testing and analytical studies, the different types of railway bridges are being characterized. In addition, TTCI has developed a computer model that can determine the remaining life of a steel railway bridge due to fatigue loading.
Metallurgical Laboratory and Components Testing
In the field of metallurgy, TTC is equipped to run laboratory tests on track and rolling stock components and materials. The testing lab contains scanning-electron, stereo-optical, and x-ray microscopes. Specimens of rail, wheels, and other components are subjected to mechanical testing, micro, Rockwell and Brinell hardness tests. Laboratory capabilities also include nondestructive evaluation to include liquid penetrant, magnetic particle, ultrasonic and visual testing. The Component Test Laboratory (CTL) provides a facility for various tests of track and equipment components. Full-scale wheel saw-cutting facilities, scaled-down drop (impact) test fixture for tank car heads, calibration fixtures for instrumented wheelsets and track components, such as ties, are also available in the CTL.
PUEBLO, Co. --The Transportation Technology Center Inc.’s (TTCI) primary function is to conduct thorough research on products that can help railroads operate more safely, reliably and efficiently... read more
PUEBLO, Co. -- A new Master of Science (MSE) degree in Engineering with emphasis areas in mechatronics and railroad engineering will be offered by Colorado State University-Pueblo beginning next fall... read more
Pueblo, Colo. Led by Principal Engineer Duane Otter.... read more..
TTCI receives UIC's Global Rail Research and Innovation Award for highest score in the category of "Rail Freight."
(Paris, 11 December 2012). The inaugural UIC Innovation and Railway Research Awards were held in Paris on 11 December, during celebrations to mark the 90th anniversary of the International Union of Railways (UIC).
Pueblo, Colo. Rep. Scott Tipton and Sen. Mark Udall are both lobbying congressional committees this month to guarantee that Pueblo's Transportation Technology Center, Inc., continues to get research funding in the 2013 federal budget...
Pueblo, Colo. TTCI was awarded the Export Achievement Certificate by the U.S. Commercial Service, Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration for being an international leader in railroad technology, security, and testing...