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Economic and Alternative Preservative Research with an Overview of its Impact on the Dynamics of Wood Tie Markets and Railroads
2019 - IRG/WP 19-30751
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.
J C Gauntt


2018 Railway Tie Survey and the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials Rulemaking Activities
2019 - IRG/WP 19-50352
This presentation will discuss a survey AAR recently completed on the management of used crossties in the North American rail industry. Approximately 23 million new wood ties are purchased and installed in the North American rail network every year. The presentation will show the number and percentage of ties which are managed by reused in track, reuse in commercial, agricultural or residential landscaping, incinerated, recycled using combustion, recycled using gasification, and landfilled. In addition, the railroads have been working with the treated wood industry to petition EPA to remove the design to burn requirement from the Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials regulation. The design to burn requirement limits used creosote and creosote borate treated ties to boilers that are designed to burn or previously designed to burn fuel oil. This has taken away 58% of the boilers railroads used to use to manage these ties. A petition for rulemaking to remove this requirement was filed with EPA in December of 2018. The presentation will cover the most recent activity in this area.
R Fronczak, S Smith