CONSTRUCTION is underway at MxV Rail’s new rail testing facility at the PuebloPlex campus in Colorado, which is set to open in the autumn.

MxV Rail, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Association of American Railroads (AAR) that was formerly known as TTCI, reported ground breaking for its High Speed Loop (HSL) on May 19. HSL is part of MxV Rail’s new, larger, independent facility being established at PuebloPlex in Pueblo County, just south of the existing Federal Railroad Administration-owned Transportation Technology Center (TTC).

HSL, due for completion in September, will be MxV Rail’s largest test loop at 9.3km, and will support freight and passenger rail programmes including the AAR’s M-976 freight bogie testing, performance testing for new rail technology, and approvals testing for rolling stock.

MxV Rail’s new facility is located just south of TTC, which MxV Rail has operated under contract for about 40 years. MxV Rail’s contract ends in autumn 2022, when Ensco takes over the contract for the facility.

“This new facility is the chance of a lifetime for our team of railroad experts and specialists,” says MxV Rail assistant vice-president of operations, Mr Shawn Vecellio. “We took the best aspects of our old test loops and designed track not only capable of supporting today’s rail industry, but also an ideal test bed for proving tomorrow’s transport innovations.”

Despite supply chain disruption, MxV Rail reported that it has been able to meet its construction schedule. Among the project’s contractors and vendors are Rocla Concrete Tie, Martin Marietta Parkdale Quarry, Special Trackwork, H.E. Whitlock, EVRAZ Steel, A&K Railroad Materials, RJ Corman Railroad Group, Progress Rail, and David Evans & Associates.

The company added that it is in the process of moving an estimated $US 75-100m in assets to support all facets of operations at the PuebloPlex facilities and at office and laboratory space in the Pueblo Industrial Park.

“Few places in the world provide real-world conditions for rail technology testing,” says MxV Rail president and CEO, Ms Kari Gonzales. “The combination of the team at MxV Rail and our newly-designed infrastructure puts any rail research or testing project in the best of hands. We are on schedule, and the credit for this milestone goes to the team of talent at MxV Rail and the support of our partners at PuebloPlex.”

In related developments, TTC operation and maintenance began transitioning to Ensco last month, with completion scheduled for October. Mr Jeff Stevens has been appointed as Ensco’s new CEO, replacing Mr Boris Nejikovsky, who is retiring, on July 1.

MxV president and CEO, Kari Gonzales, will reflect on the company’s plans in an interview in the July issue of IRJ.