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The Mechanical Inspection Department

Our mission is the assurance of the safest railroad transportation possible. As the Association of American Railroads is a self regulatory entity, the Mechanical Inspection Department (MID) of the Transportation Technology Center Inc. assists in providing safe transportation through Quality Assurance, In-House Technical Inspections and Training to ensure customers meet industry specifications, Codes of Federal Regulations (CFR) and AAR Interchange Requirements. 

The MID is a highly trained group consisting of a Chief Inspector, 3 Senior Inspectors and 16 Field Inspectors. The MID was established to provide a wide variety of services to external and internal customers. Direction for services are provided by AAR Safety and Operations Division to provide timely and effective inspection services for member railroads, private car owners, contract repair facilities, and short line railroads. Our group provides current and past information on inspections, repairs and compliance to rules to follow trend lines in relative performance to the railroad industry. With fifteen inspectors strategically located in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, this group is directed towards a proactive approach in the safe transportation and safe interchange of all freight car rolling stock. The mechanical inspection discipline is a major contributor to the AAR M-1003 Quality Assurance Program with accredited auditors. Under the guidance of the AAR Technical Committees we effectively assist in casualty prevention and promoting public safety by monitoring the quality of maintenance, rules compliance and education to carriers and shippers.

We are engaged in multifaceted inspection activities to ensure compliance with AAR Interchange Rules & Specifications under the Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49 series. Our inspectors evaluate the processes/practices insomuch as freight car components are manufactured, reconditioned and/or repaired to rectify deficiencies in production procedures, quality controls and component samplings through modifications to AAR mandated industry-wide quality assurance standards. Inspectors assist in education of personnel in the field who are performing day-to-day operations and give advice for the improvement or correction of repair procedures.