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TTCI ramps up emergency response, domestic preparedness training efforts


With additional federal funding on the way, the Association of American Railroads’ Transportation Technology Center Inc. (TTCI)  plans to expand its emergency response and domestic preparedness training efforts in Pueblo, Colo.

President Bush recently signed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Appropriations Act for fiscal-year 2009, which provides $5 million to TTCI — a member of DHS’ National Domestic Preparedness Consortium — to increase training capabilities at its Emergency Response Training Center.

The recently enacted rail safety law (H.R. 2095) also authorizes federal funding for TTCI to begin designing and building an above-ground rail tunnel and underground station facility for hands-on passenger-rail safety and security training exercises. The Facility for Underground Rail Station & Tunnel (FURST) will feature a complex of 1.5 miles of above-ground tunnels constructed over adjacent tracks and connected to TTCI’s 48-mile network of test tracks. To be constructed in four phases, FURST will be designed to simulate urban and interurban train operations, and feature one or two underground stations for bio-hazard and other exercises.

In addition, the Federal Railroad Administration and TTCI plan to obtain more passenger cars for training and testing purposes at the Passenger Railcar Security and Integrity Training Facility, which TTCI is developing to test various inspection, response and remediation techniques for mitigating passenger-car incidents. Amtrak has donated three double-deck coaches, MTA Metro North Railroad has donated six cars and Metra has donated two cars that will be added to four MTA Long Island Rail Road-donated cars already on site.

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More News from 11/10/2008