Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI)



TTCI offers a wide range of unique capabilities for research, development, testing, consulting, and training for railway-related technologies. All types of freight and passenger rolling stock, vehicle and track components, and safety devices can be tested on site. Forty eight miles of test track are devoted to testing rolling stock, track components, signal, and safety devices. These specialized tracks are used for track structure and vehicle performance testing, life-cycle prediction and component reliability, lading damage prevention tests, and freight ride quality and passenger comfort. Several one-of-kind laboratory test facilities are available for evaluating vehicle and truck life-cycle predictions.

JPEGTTCI engineers use a number of computer simulations developed under the AAR research program to predict vehicle and train performance. These simulations may be used to support or supplement on-track testing. Rigorous validation assures the user of the quality and usefulness of the model.
Another integral part of TTCI is its Security and Emergency Response Training Center (SERTC). SERTC is recognized world-wide as the premier hands-on hazmat emergency response training center. It provides training to emergency responders from the railway industry, chemical manufacturers, refining operators, shippers of hazardous materials, and public agencies, especially firefighters.


Test facilities

Transportation Technology Center, Inc.(TTCI), a subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), serves member railroads through the AAR’s technology research program and is focused on enhancing railroad safety, reliability, and productivity. TTCI also plays a major role in the development and application of new technology for railways, suppliers, governments, and others involved in rail transportation. TTCI serves railways around the world in the implementation of new technology and solves technical problems with full-scale testing and/or modeling services.

  • TTCI’s Unique Capabilities

The Transportation Technology Center (TTC) is a world class facility offering a wide range of unique capabilities for research, development, testing, consulting, and training for railway-related technologies. The site, 21 miles northeast of Pueblo, Colorado, is owned by the US Department of Transportation and is operated and maintained by the Transportation Technology Center, Inc., under a care, custody, and control contract with the Federal Railroad Administration. A 52-square-mile facility, TTC is isolated and secure with a vast array of specialized testing facilities and tracks. The site also enables testing of all types of freight and passenger rolling stock, vehicle and track components, and safety devices.

  • Test Tracks

TTC has more than 48 miles of specialized railroad test tracks. Testing at TTC reduces the interferences, delays, and safety concerns of revenue service testing. Extensive track facilities are available for passenger, transit, commuter, and freight equipment testing.

  • Specialized Laboratory Testing

TTC’s one-of-a-kind test environment offers specialized full-scale and component
laboratories. These laboratories house sophisticated test equipment to answer questions regarding fatigue, durability, safety, ride comfort, and truck suspension, to name a few.

  • Auxiliary Support Capabilities

TTC is fully equipped to support the full range of research, product development, testing, consulting, and training services. For example:

  • Locomotive and railcar repair shops
  • Hegenscheidt fully-adjustable under-floor wheel truing lathe
  • Transit and passenger car repair shop
  • Instrumentation, maintenance, and calibration
  • Test support locomotives
  • Instrumentation coaches
  • Electrical power capacity up to 50 kV
  • Office space, equipment, and conference facilities
  • 24-hour security


Present and future research priorities

AAR/TTCI’s Strategic Research Initiatives Program is focused on current and future industry issues and risks associated with safety, efficiency, and service reliability. The research priorities are expected to contribute significantly to these industry objectives in the areas of operating heavier axle loads, and, in particular, the development, testing and evaluation of improved components and maintenance procedures to mitigate the effects of heavy axle loads on equipment and track and infrastructure.

JPEG-# Wheel/Rail Asset Life Extension

    • Wheel/Rail Interface Management
    • Root Causes and Remedies of Wheel/Rail Rolling Contact fatigue
  • Improved Car and Truck Performance
    • Integrated Freight Truck Designs
    • Dynamic Load Environment of Train Equipment
  • Vehicle/Track Performance
    • Effects of Track Superelevation on Vehicle/Track Interaction
  • Heavy Axle Load Implementation
    • Heavy Axle Load Monitoring at the Facility for Accelerated ServiceTesting
    • Heavy Axle Load Revenue Service Monitoring at test mega sites
    • Improved Track Substructure for Hal Coal Lines
  • Improved Braking Systems
    • Improved Brake System Performance
  • Train Condition Monitoring
    • Cracked Wheel Detection System
    • Technology Driven Train Inspection
  • Track Integrity
    • Improved Rail Flaw Inspection
    • Machine-vision Inspection of Track
  • Improved Car Components and Materials
    • High Performance Car Couplings and Cast Components
    • Root Causes of In-service Bearing Failures
    • Strategies to Prevent Wheel failures
  • Special Trackwork
    • Improve Special Track Work Designs and materials
    • HAL Effects on Rail Joints
  • Bridge Research
    • Bridge Life Extension
    • Advanced Bridge Designs and Materials
  • Improved Track Components
    • Improved Rail Steels
    • Improved Rail Welding
  • Improved Performance Track
    • Improved Tie/Fastener System Performance
  • New Technology Implementation
    • Equipment and Track Technology Implementation
    • Equipment Health Management
  • Improved Track Maintenance and Renewal
  • Improved Signal Reliability
    • Lighter Train Effects on Loss of Shunt
  • Shared Track Implementation


Jeff Moller
Assistant Vice President Transportation Systems & Practices
Association of American Railroads
425 Third Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 639-2375