The Transportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI) will host the GAP 2019 technical tour on 7 November 2019. This optional event is not part of the full conference registration. The tour costs $75 and includes lunch and bus transportation to and from the hotel to TTCI near Pueblo. Participants will leave at 8:00 am from the Antlers Hotel and return by 3:00 pm.

TECHNICAL TOUR FOCUS

TTCI is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads. The Pueblo facility’s world-class transportation research and testing organization provides emerging technology solutions for the railway industry throughout North America and the world.

These solutions, such as the high-level instrumentation and monitoring equipment, provide insights and research approaches that other transportation disciplines can learn from (and in many respects already deploy).

Federal Railroad Administration's DOTX218 Research Car

The Federal Railroad Administration is bringing its enhanced DOTX218 research vehicle to TTCI for the November 7 technical tour. TTCI’s large facility supports outdoor and indoor tours, so weather will not be a factor.

TTCI will give attendees unique access and insight to its extensive track facilities, state-of-the-art laboratories, and highly talented engineering and support staff. A major point on the tour will be an introduction to the DOTX-218 research car, which is outfitted with some of the most cutting-edge geostructural and performance monitoring instruments.

FRA has, in fact, been upgrading DOTX-2018 again over the past year. These enhancements include:

  • A Vertical Track Deflection Measurement System (VTDMS) that provides an indication of vertical displacement of the rail, which can then be translated into a measure of stiffness of the track bed
  • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), which has been demonstrated as a viable system on the DOTX-218 and which is used to measure the amount of fouling, the presence of moisture, and layering of the track ballast section
  • A state-of-the-art LIDAR system that is used to profile and map the track bed as well as grade crossings

These new enhancements along with GRMS and the existing track geometry system, make the DOTX-218 one of the most fully comprehensive research test vehicles in North America. It is also a vehicle and research approach that airfield and roadway engineers and agencies will draw inspiration and techniques from.