MxV Rail Announces Opening of New Loop Track for FAST®

Written by MxV Rail, Corporate Communications
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MxV Rail

PUEBLO, Colo. – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has headquartered rail industry research and test activities in Pueblo, Colo. for more than 40 years. Building on this legacy, AAR’s wholly owned subsidiary MxV Rail has transformed the organization and opened a new multi-campus operation to support the railways’ engineering, controlled on-track testing, and laboratory testing needs.

MxV Rail recently completed construction on a new loop track to support the world-famous Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST®) operation. MxV Rail’s research and operations teams are actively accumulating tonnage and data on the FAST track. 

“This could be the most impactful 2.8 miles of track in the industry in terms of advancing science and technology in railroading,” said Kari Gonzales, MxV Rail President and CEO. “Being able to design and build out the new FAST loop, based on more than 40 years of institutional knowledge and expertise, was a unique opportunity. We’re grateful to our Class I advisors and industry suppliers who helped us work through the design and construction process to make these world-class engineering capabilities available to the global rail industry.” 

FAST operations are distinct in their ability to test components and technologies in an environment near that of revenue service, and MxV Rail is already underway accumulating tonnage to support more than 30 experiments in 2024. By accumulating 140 million gross tons or more of heavy axle load traffic per year, the FAST operation is a staple of AAR’s Strategic Research Initiatives program and is considered the proving ground for new technologies tested in a real-world freight rail environment. 

Many of the 30+ experiments surrounding the FAST loop reflect an industry that is modernizing and optimizing railway safety. For example, some of the innovative, industry-driven research being conducted now includes: 

• New technologies to detect defective wheels and broken rails 

• Testing the safety and longevity of new metallurgical formulations and processing techniques for wheels and rails from the world-wide supply community 

• Monitoring the performance and stability of new track structure through frequent assessment of strength, movement, and loading 

• Comparative performance of different crossties and rail fastening systems on the ability to resist rail rollover and mitigate the risks of track buckling 

• Testing the safety and longevity of new design bridge deck components 

Read the entire MxV Rail Press Release.

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