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 Post subject: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 11:09 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 413
Location: Floyd, AR
I need an education on RR ties. What grades and size (standard gauge) are usually available, how much do they weigh? What is the typical cost? I am going to need to buy some new ties in Arkansas soon and I just don't know a lot about it yet.

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Robert Longhofer,
Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:53 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1028
Location: Youngstown, OH
My rule of thumb is that a 7" x 9" x 8'6" industrial grade tie is running about $50.00 each. I have never weighed a tie, but I can pick one up so I'm thinking 75 to 80 lbs. Some are incredibly heavy, others are rather light in weight.

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Rick Rowlands
Steel Industry Preservationist, Narrow Gauge Railroader and ALCOhaulic


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:14 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:45 pm
Posts: 104
For wood ties, there are two basic types: industrial and railroad grade. Industrial grade generally do not meet railroad spec due to size, checking, wood species, etc.

Sizes vary. Industrial or railroad secondary lines are 8" x 6" (wide x high). 8' long are generally industrial. 8'-6" can be either industrial or railroad. 9" x 7" are generally railroad spec and 9' long.

The type of tie you want is based upon its use. Just for a storage track, determine how many you need and what you can afford. For light loading, even industrial ties have a life of about 30 years in the Pine Bluff area, unless they go through many cycles of standing water and then dry.

Industrial grade ties are generally about 125 pounds, railroad mainline grade 150+ range, when new. This also varies a bit by species, and how well treated they are.

In the Pine Bluff area, you have Koppers in North Little Rock and Thompson in Dardanelle. Both generally have industrial ties available, rejects from their railroad contracts. There are also several contractors who can sell from their stores, but they'll add some profit to the sales but can handle the transportation.

The cost of a tie varies greatly across the country. With local wood and treatment in Arkansas, they tend to be on the lower end for industrial ties, generally $40-60 if you pick up and based upon how many you buy (cheaper by the bundle).


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:19 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:22 pm
Posts: 172
Please see attachment. It's letterheaded from Progress Rail, but note that it is not copyrighted - I doubt they'd mind redistribution.

CD


Attachments:
File comment: Rail and tie weight
Data-For-Rail.pdf [85.19 KiB]
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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:29 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 413
Location: Floyd, AR
pretty great info so far. how many ties is generally in a bundle?

Are the industrial ties creosote treated?

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Robert Longhofer,
Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 1:05 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 10:49 am
Posts: 632
Pegasuspinto wrote:
pretty great info so far. how many ties is generally in a bundle?

Are the industrial ties creosote treated?


The railroad I work for bought ties with 20 per bundle. Not sure if that is standard or not...


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 2:20 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 4:59 pm
Posts: 323
Location: western Maryland
Industrial grade ties are generally the same size and weight as other standard size ties: 6" X 8", 7" X 9" and 8' 6" long. What makes them IG ties is a manufacturing (cut too short, too narrow, etc) treatment (insufficient penetration of creosote) or structure anomaly (knots, split ends, longitudinal separations) which does not meet FRA Class 1 railroad specifications for a main line tie. IGs can still be used in yards or side tracks and sidings.

I purchase IGs locally by the hundred for less than 1/3 of the cost of main line ties. That varies by manufacturer. It all depends upon how much space they are consuming in the yard and how badly the manufacturer wants to get rid of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:37 pm
Posts: 21
I worked for too many short lines who used Industial Grade ties for a main track although at 10 MPH or less. I really was used to seeing quality ties, used when re-habbing track and was disappointed to see IG ties being inserted by the contractor when he convinced the owner "they would be just fine" for his operation. It didn't take long for them to disintegrate and the "preservation treatment" (creosote?) was so lite that it often washed off after the first rain storm. It was enough to make a grown man cry spending money to buy ties that didn't last.

I suppose for lite, lite duty like static displays they might work but I would go for good ties and ballast.

exprail


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:04 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 456
wm303 wrote:
What makes them IG ties is a manufacturing (cut too short, too narrow, etc) treatment (insufficient penetration of creosote) or structure anomaly (knots, split ends, longitudinal separations) which does not meet FRA Class 1 railroad specifications for a main line tie.
This publication illustrates the different types of defects:
University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service - Producing and Inspecting Railroad Crossties


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:23 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:44 pm
Posts: 21
Pegasuspinto wrote:
I need an education on RR ties. What grades and size (standard gauge) are usually available, how much do they weigh? What is the typical cost? I am going to need to buy some new ties in Arkansas soon and I just don't know a lot about it yet.


it would be more helpful if you just described what your project is, so the many knowledgable people on this board could better coach you on how to implement it. You are buying ties for something. Is it a static display, a 10MPH operation with a hand-car, a 49MPH operation with a diesel locomotive?

I've recently purchased over a thousand ties for a major project at an electric railway museum in the Northeast. We used Stella-Jones. 6"x8"x8'6" creosote-treated RR grade ties, fully end-plated, mixed hardwoods, about $45 per tie including delivery, when ordered in full truckloads of about 240-250 such ties. They weigh 150-170 lbs per tie depending on wood species.


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:00 am 

Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 10:50 pm
Posts: 359
Here are the basics about ties:

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.

The three common tie sizes are:
1. 6"x8" Grade 3 ties
2. 7" Industrial Grade - these are the Grade 4 and Grade 5 ties that do not pass inspection for use as Grad 4s and 5s on a percentage basis so when you order IGs you are getting some number of Grade 4 or 5 ties already
3. 7"x8" Grade 4 ties
4. 7"x9" Grade 5 ties

The Class I carriers generally use all Grade 5 ties on mainlines. You can also order an 80/20 mix of Grade 4 and 5 ties.

There is a 6" Industrial Grade tie but I would never recommend those unless you are really desperate and short on cash for something better.

Anti splitting devices - End plates are most common. You can order your ties selectively end plated (the mill decides which ties are most likely to split and will apply end plates to those ties based on their experience) or like the Class I or government agencies order them 100% or fully endplated.

If you are ordering 7"IGs or larger, they come 200 per truckload. If you order 6"x8" Grade 3 ties, they will come 240 per truckload.

Standard treatment of wood ties is 7lbs of creosote per Cubic Foot of wood. Ties should be incised for better penetration of the wood during the treating process.

For more information than this, I would recommend you consult the AWPA or American Wood Preservers Association guidelines and current AREMA standards (Chapter 6 as I recall).

Another handy conversion if you're ordering 7"x9" switch timbers is to remember that there are 5.25 Board Feet per Linear Foot of 7"x9" tie or timber.

Hope this helps.

Rob Gardner


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 Post subject: Re: Railroad Ties-cost and weight
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:42 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 413
Location: Floyd, AR
We purchased 50 'industrial grade' ties from Koppers in North Little Rock. Was a fairly easy purchase really. Price was about 45 per tie with tax. Oak. I am pretty happy with how they looked, you could tell the defect that knocked them down to IG ties in many of them but it was minor in most cases, end splits (they plated many of them), some had saw cuts on them, some had knots and missing wood, but I am willing to bet most of them will resist rot and last just as long as a mainline tie in our application.

They said to expect them to weigh 240-250 per tie. I think they were pretty close.

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Robert Longhofer,
Board Member, Cotton Belt Rail Historical Society, Arkansas Railroad Museum, steam engine SSW819.
Any information or opinions I express are my own, and are not the views of the CBRHS or anyone else, unless explicitly stated otherwise.


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