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Western Railroad Discussion > Railroad Tie Separation


Date: 06/21/08 20:08
Railroad Tie Separation
Author: mmisin2

BNSF recently installed a lot of new ties on the Topeka-Lawrence-Holiday section of track in Kansas. I had a couple of questions. The new ties seem about six inches longer than the existing ties. Have tie sizes increased? Also, what is the maximum distance between ties? There are two places near De Soto, KS where the ties are more than 24 inches apart from each other. Just curious as to what is considered the norm....



Date: 06/21/08 20:49
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: SierraRailfan

Wood ties, or concrete?



Date: 06/21/08 21:11
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: 567Chant

FWIW, about 12 years ago I noticed that new ties being installed on the Palmdale (California) Cutoff were nine feet long.
...Lorenzo



Date: 06/21/08 21:29
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: bnsftrucker

Wood ties are 8'6" long, I don't remember what the lengths are with the concrete ties, and the spacing for the ties are 19.5 " on center for main line, and 22"-24" for yard tracks.



Date: 06/21/08 21:31
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: bnsftrucker

We use 10' ties for crossings and insulated joints



Date: 06/21/08 21:52
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: imrl

The Topeka Sub was probably laid with 8' ties originally and over the years, 8-6 ties have become the norm. They replaced the ties that were bad, or the worst of the bad, and many ties put in 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years ago+ are still good. If they are holding, why replace them. You will see this alot also on the UP's Hiawatha Sub.

I remember that when I worked for a local grain cooperative in Scranton, KS, that there were still date nails on the mainline. I can't remember the dates, but date nails have not been used in 40-50 years. So, there are 40-50 year old ties that were still holding 8 years ago.



Date: 06/21/08 22:18
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: bnsftrucker

Nowadays we have ties graded for their hardness and sizes, grade5 being the hardest and slightly larger than the grade4 used in yard tracks, the grade5 ties are some hard wood and heavier which will last longer.



Date: 06/22/08 08:29
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: fbe

Yes, wood ties are getting longer. Trains and loaded cars are getting heavier and will continue to do so. Heavier loads require firmer support structures and longer ties are one way to make that happen.



Date: 06/22/08 08:50
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: trkinsptr

UP seems to have closer tie spacing for wood ties than other railroads. CJ



Date: 06/22/08 09:26
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: EMDSW-1

Both UP and BNSF have a concrete crossing standard that spaces the 10ft 7x9 ties at 19.5 inches on center making the crossing panels 97 1/2 inches long and have lag bolt holes cast in them for that spacing; however, they are not always used. Tie spacing on open track has been typically nine-foot 7x9 ties at 22-inches; sidings and industry track can have wider spacing.

Concrete ties, because of their greater mass and cross section are spaced further apart. Because they are considerably deeper (thicker) production tampers are now being built with a "wood tie" "concrete tie" selector switch which allows the workheads to go further down before they squeeze, eliminating the need to reset the switches manually when changing tie type.



Date: 06/22/08 10:55
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: JLY

SP tie standards in 1988:
9 ft. timber ties (adopted by Engineer of Maintenance W. J. Jones in 1968) were spaced at 19.5 in. centers on main track. Secondary lines, yard and sidings were 22 in. Graduated standards for industry track were 25.5 in. centers.
The few concrete ties in service before 1988 were on 24 in. centers.



Date: 06/22/08 12:30
Re: Railroad Tie Separation
Author: Agt-Highland

Many years ago, wooden ties were 'spaced' with
22 ties to the 39 foot rail length on average..



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