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Wednesday, June 26, 2013    

NTSB's Hart tours TTCI to learn more about PTC, rail technology

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vice Chairman Christopher Hart toured the Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI) on June 21 to learn more about current issues facing the rail industry, including positive train control (PTC) and emerging railroad technologies.

Hart and Steve Klejst, who directs the NTSB's Office of Railroad, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Investigations, received a broad overview of PTC and observed a demonstration provided by Alan Polivka, TTCI's assistant vice president of communication and train control, and resident PTC expert. Polivka explained the complexity of what the rail industry is trying to accomplish by meeting the federal PTC implementation mandate by 2015's end.

"This visit has given me a broader perspective about PTC technology," said Hart in a press release. "Implementation of PTC is complicated, but I now have a good understanding of what's working and what's not working."

Hart and Klejst also toured TTCI's Facility for Accelerated Service Testing and viewed demonstrations on vehicle health monitoring detectors, premium rail steel tests, newly designed joint bars and fabricated ties.

They also learned about studies being carried out to extend the life of railroad bridges while viewing multi-spanned test bridges. The bridge research is being conducted under the Association of American Railroads' Strategic Research Initiatives Program to further improve rail safety, reliability and efficiency.

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