Best handling practices for wood crossties (sleepers)
N Irby, J Lloyd, A Taylor, J Watt
Wooden crossties (sleepers) dominate the rail industry in the USA. Most ties are hardwood treated with oil-borne preservatives using pressure treatment. Incipient decay (called ‘stack burn’) commonly develops during the pre-treatment drying process and reduces tie performance and longevity. Practices to minimize stack burn and enhance wooden tie performance are discussed as an aid to non-wood scientists working with wood crossties. The document may also be of interest to wood scientist unfamiliar with commercial practices within the rail industry.