Economic and Alternative Preservative Research with an Overview of its Impact on the Dynamics of Wood Tie Markets and Railroads

IRG/WP 19-30751

J C Gauntt

This presentation will discuss the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) efforts in economic research for the North American wood tie industry, along with decades-long research into improving wood preservation processes and its resulting economic impact for railroads. Ongoing research is continuing to expand the knowledge-base by comparing existing standard creosote (C) and borate-creosote (B-C) dual-treatments with each other and with other potential alternatives. This is particularly important research for tie species which are refractory with hard to treat heartwood. The economic value of commercializing dual-treatment processes, and the continuing advancement of other wood preservation technologies such as copper naphthenate (CuN) and borate-copper naphthenate (B-CuN) suggest both a shift in marketplace dynamics as well as massive long-term savings. Some of these benefits may be now manifesting as a secular change in the marketplace. Other economic considerations which play a role in current and future marketplace dynamics and robust tie demand are also explored.

Keywords: economics, crosstie, creosote, borate, copper naphthenate, alternative wood preservative research, dual-treatments, railroad, market dynamics

Conference: 19-05-12/16 Quebec City, Canada

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