Volpe Center Highlights
Recently, Mr. Ross Gill, of the Advanced Vehicle Technologies Division, traveled to several sites in Russia in support of a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) program to assess the condition of Russian railroad lines and rail cars used to transport solid-propellant missiles from storage sites to dismantling and elimination sites within Russia. The program is run by DOD's Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program Office. Mr. Gill, a national and international expert in rail transportation, inspected rail facilities in Archangel, Zlatoust and Biysk, and provided DTRA with recommendations for maintenance and repair of tracks and rail cars at these sites for safe missile and propellant transport by rail. Through the CTR program, which follows the Nunn-Lugar program initiated by Congress in November 1991, Congress has budgeted $2.7 billion through fiscal year 1999. DOD provides equipment, services, and technical advice to eligible states of the former Soviet Union to assist them in eliminating (or in the case of Russia, reducing) the weapons of mass destruction remaining from the Soviet era, preventing proliferation, and dismantling the associated infrastructure. This current effort is intended to assist in the transportation of missiles as well as missile components from storage sites to dismantling and elimination sites, which are approximately two to three thousand kilometers apart. Mr. Gill's expertise was specifically requested by DTRA through an interagency agreement by which the Volpe Center supports DTRA. He has been involved with numerous railway projects in both Russia and Ukraine for the CTR program dating back to October of 1993.