About Railroad Ties
Wooden railroad ties have a long and important history in the United States. From the beginning, they were the foundation of track in the US, which allowed the country to grow economically and geographically. Over the years, the railroad tie industry has improved and perfected the production and use of wooden railroad ties.
Creosote and its solutions are currently the most commonly used wood preservative for railroad ties, although recent advances have made a variety of treatment choices available (including Penta in heavy oil, so-called “dual-treatment” railroad ties with borates and an overlay of an oilborne preservative (typically creosote or copper naphthenate). The dual treatment option has been found to be favored in severe deterioration zones, as the borate penetrates the tie throughout the mid-section, and the outer layers of oilborne protection keep the preservative system intact. Alternative products such as concrete and plastic have not gained much traction, as the wooden tie provides the elastic modulus (its bendability and “give”) that other products have a hard time matching. Wood’s lack of conductivity is also a big advantage, along with a track record and history of performance that is unmatched. Wooden railroad crossties and switchties are typically much lighter weight than alternative products, helping to make the treated wood railroad ties the most economical railroad tie product in the business.
PWP railroad crossties and switchties are offered in five treatment options, all produced in accordance to American Wood Protection (“AWPA”) standards, American Railroad Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (“AREMA”) specifications or customer specifications. Below are some of PWP’s key advantages when producing railroad and cross ties:
Railroad Ties Industry Links
American Wood Protection Association (www.awpa.com)
Railway Tie Association (www.rta.org)
The American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (www.arema.org)
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (www.asirra.org)
Specifying Your Treatment
A very simple specification permitting the use of all appropriate species/preservative combinations might be written, “All railroad ties shall be treated with creosote, pentachlorophenol or copper naphthenate preservative to the requirements of for Use Category 4B (UC4B) in accordance with AWPA Standard U1.” However, if the specifier has a particular species and preservative in mind, the specification could be slightly more detailed: “All railroad ties shall be mixed hardwood treated with copper naphthenate to the requirements for Use Category 4B (UC4B) in accordance with AWPA Standard U1.” The specifier may go on to include additional information, such as requirements for third-party inspection by and American Lumber Standard Committee (ALSC) accredited agency, etc.
More detailed information about our railroad ties and other related crosstie products and can be found in our PWP Tie Brochure in the literature section of the website.
Toll Free: 866-905-6585
24-Hour Emergency Response