What kind of wood is used for railroad ties?
Though oak is the most common lumber choice for wooden crosstie production, the American Railway Engineering Association states that 27 other varieties of wood are also used. such as chestnut, elm, and walnut.
How long do railroad ties last in the ground?
What are treated railroad ties? Treated railroad ties, crossties or wooden sleepers are made primarily from wood and then treated with a preservative so they can last 30 years or more.
How heavy are concrete railroad ties?
CXT fully pre-stressed concrete ties have a minimum length of 8’3”, weigh 600 pounds or less and can be spaced up to 28” centers provided there is a minimum ballast section of 8” below the tie.
What does the railroad do with old ties?
Many of the used ties, which on average are 30 years old, are burned to produce heat and electricity, and the remainder are recycled as landscaping timbers or disposed of in landfills, according to Nicole Labbé, Pyoungchung Kim, and their colleagues at the University of Tennessee’s Center for Renewable Carbon.
Is it OK to cut railroad ties with a chainsaw?
Using a Chainsaw. Prop your railroad tie up on two pieces of scrap wood. You’ll want to elevate your railroad tie so your chainsaw doesn’t hit dirt or grass underneath it. You can use two pieces of scrap wood set about 3 feet (0.91 m) apart from each other as a stand.
How far apart are railroad ties?
The crosstie spacing of mainline railroad is approximately 19 to 19.5 inches (48 to 50 cm) for wood ties or 24 inches (61 cm) for concrete ties. The number of ties is 3,250 wooden crossties per mile (2019 ties/km, or 40 ties per 65 feet) for wood ties or 2640 ties per mile for concrete ties.
Are railroad ties pressure treated?
Railroad ties are treated with an oil-based preservative (creosote). As opposed to water, which evaporates, oil doesn’t dry. This can result in the creosote migrating out of the wood timber, especially if it’s a large, vertical piece.
Do plants take up creosote?
Creosote, or byproducts from creosote breakdown, are generally not taken up by plants. They can damage the outside of plants but are not taken inside the plants and passed on to humans or other animals. Plants growing too close can get damaged so it is recommended to keep them a few inches from the wood.
How much does a 15 foot railroad tie weigh?
They can range anywhere from 100 to 300 pounds. The majority of railroad ties weigh close to 200 pounds.
How heavy is a 9 foot railroad tie?
A: 160 to 200 pounds each, depending on species, preservative retention and moisture content.
How long do concrete railroad ties last?
These numbers seem reasonable given estimates by representatives of two U.S. precast concrete tie manufacturers. According to Al Smith, a manager with Rocla Concrete Tie Inc., “Average concrete tie life is 55 to 60 years. Average life of hardwood ties is 20 to 25 years.”
Why do they burn railroad tracks?
Heating the tracks with fire expands the metal until the two rails can be put back together again. Railroad switch points can also become clogged with ice and snow in subzero conditions, so the heating system is used to unclog them.
Are railroad ties good for retaining walls?
Railroad tie retaining walls can really bring an outdoor space together. Good landscaping in general can spruce up any yard. This includes some nice shade trees, water supplies, and personal touches with outdoor decor.
How do you remove rebar from railroad ties?
Lift the 12-inch sections of railroad tie up over the rebar; you should be able to move one section by yourself instead of needing helpers to move whole railroad ties. Wedge a pry bar under the railroad tie, if needed, to help lift it off the rebar.
Why do railroad tracks have wood?
Wood has the natural flexibility that is perfectly suited for the loads running on railroad tracks every day. Wood ties are engineered to perform under heavy load conditions. The durability of the wood tie means lower costs for railroads.
Why are railroad ties called sleepers?
The common explanation of the origin of the word is to connect it with ” sleep,” the timbers supposed to be lying at rest. The real source of the word is the Norwegian sleep, a piece of timber used for dragging things over, a roller, especially used of timbers laid in a row in making a road.
What do they treat railroad ties with?
Creosote is derived from the distillation of tar from wood or coal and is used as a wood preservative. Pesticide products containing creosote as the active ingredient are used to protect wood used outdoors (such as railroad ties and utility poles) against termites, fungi, mites and other pests.
Do railroad ties contaminate soil?
If the railroad ties are old, creosote may ooze out, leeching the soil and killing plants, insects and small animals. Creosote also pollutes the local watershed and can be dangerous to health with prolonged or frequent contact. Wood oozing creosote should be disposed of immediately as municipal solid waste.
Are railroad ties good for ground contact?
Even topical contact with creosote can be dangerous. For this reason, it is unwise to use railroad ties in vegetable gardens where contact is inevitable. Additionally, as the wood slowly breaks down, it will release this toxic brew into your soil, contaminating it and your food.
Can you use railroad ties in your home?
Ties are being used indoors, as well – from reclaimed wood flooring to artsy fireplace mantels. Genuine railroad ties have had their share of PR problems, however, and you may wish to consider purchasing an alternative timber product instead of a used tie.
Is burning creosote toxic?
These reports indicate that brief exposure to large amounts of coal tar creosote may result in a rash or severe irritation of the skin, chemical burns of the surfaces of the eye, convulsions and mental confusion, kidney or liver problems, unconsciousness, or even death.
How long does it take creosote to leach out of railroad ties?
Complete decomposition is assumed to occur over approximately 40 to over 100 years. In areas where access is practical, some ties may be reclaimed by residents for landscape or fence uses, but the ties would still decay in about the same time.
Is creosote toxic in soil?
However, creosote is quite volatile and very toxic to plants. Where it is used as a preservative for flats, cold-frames, sash-houses, plastic greenhouse frames, etc., it often injures or kills the plants grown there. Weathering of wood treated with creosote may reduce intensity of the injury.
What is a Grade 3 railroad tie?
3 grade railroad ties are the lowest grade of railroad tie sold. They have one or two good sides and are usually even more warped or cracked and have heavy splitting on the ends.
How many railroad ties are in a bundle?
Railroad ties are generally made from oak and mixed hardwoods. They can range in weight from 150 lbs to 200 lbs. You can order them from your vendor generally bundled to your requirements. Generally 16, 20 or 25 ties per bundle are most common.