Railroad sues over millions of rail ties it calls defective

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#5
I would place the blame on the Railway Co. and its tonnage on that stretch of track, not the manufacturer of the railway ties unless the ties were from an older stock pile that the railway tie treatment plant/ manufacturer... only then I can see a suit forthcoming!

BCK RR
 
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Selector

Well-Known Member
#6
I would hope NS can easily establish which ties are problematic as opposed to others provided earlier that are still in good condition and that demonstrably were treated with creosote. What I mean is, Boatright can argue that NS can't properly adduce which ties laid where were provided by which two or three suppliers, and when. If NS has air-tight records that can stand up, and the records show where the ties were laid, and that they are in clearly worse condition than others laid substantially earlier, then a simple assay of the dye or material used to blacken those supplied by Boatright can wrap it all up to show that it ain't creosote. Of course, the real determinations and deliberations will be far more creative and interesting.
 

new guy

Active Member
#8
As WE all know "as above, so below" works both ways. Bad, bad, very bad, I hope they sue their pants off, "dirty pool, old man" indeed!
 

Railrunner130

Well-Known Member
#11
I don't understand why they haven't completely switched to concrete or composite ties.

Perhaps cost may be an issue, but if you get 10 times the life out of concrete, wouldn't they pay for themselves? I guess it would depend on how much a concrete tie costs...
 
#12
Not for nothing, Generally, a railroad buys ties from a single supplier, has them shipped to a location where a tie gang is scheduled to work, distributes them over the ROW, then the tie gang inserts them, in place of the old ties. Railroads are built to standards based on tonnage, use, speed and traffic density. The NS would know exactly where the ties in question are installed. Main line railroad lines are inspected on a regular basis. The Inspector is a Foreman, who would know if there is premature wear, and document it.A wooden crosstie, properly treated is good for roughly forty years. Clearly, these ties weren't that old, but aged prematurely ergo, the manufacturer sold them an inferior product.

Not a new occurrence, however. Several sections of the NEC had to be retied prematurely, because of defective concrete crossties, rated for 50 years, worn out in ten years. Union Pacific, another big user of concrete ties had similar issues. PRR/PC used to buy their ties from Koppers at Newport, DE, until the plant closed due to environmental considerations in the mid 1970s. Creosote, an excellent preservative, is considered hazardous, and can burn the skin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creosote

The NS, is quite precise in it's record keeping, and operations. They demand a lot from their employees, and are not an easy place to work. However, they are generally the safest railroad around, and have a collection of Harriman Awards, (for safety), to Prove It. They also employ a group of very talented attorneys. My bet is on the NS.
 
#13
If the N&W claims are true, I could see a company going bankrupt over this.
Like Takata with the air bags? Such a huge issue.

Retirement is for when the weekends just aren't long enough anymore.
oplholik,

You need to add a bit more to your siggy about retirement - like "and you have enough money to afford to retire.". Easier said than done!
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#14
I don't understand why they haven't completely switched to concrete or composite ties.

Perhaps cost may be an issue, but if you get 10 times the life out of concrete, wouldn't they pay for themselves? I guess it would depend on how much a concrete tie costs...
No cost is not the issue. Concrete always advertises a life of 50 years but one never gets that whether in driveways, parking lots, roads, and or railway ties. Concrete is stiff and ridged such that the constant and concentrated on-off stress of the wheels passing over them cause them to form micro-fractures, the water gets in and does the rest. Wood has just the right amount of strength and flexibility to better withstand this pounding condition. Concrete is perfect for light rail, but the compounds are getting better. I believe it will get there in the next 20 years or so for heavy freight. Then I believe we will see a complete switch over.
 

flyboy2610

Loveably weird
#15
I posted this over at the other place regarding this, but I'll put it here, too:

"When you want to do a quality sample, don't rely on samples provided by the manufacturer. Take samples right off the production line, or samples from product that has been delivered. Relying on manufacturer provided samples was the first mistake."
 
#16
No cost is not the issue. Concrete always advertises a life of 50 years but one never gets that whether in driveways, parking lots, roads, and or railway ties. Concrete is stiff and ridged such that the constant and concentrated on-off stress of the wheels passing over them cause them to form micro-fractures, the water gets in and does the rest. Wood has just the right amount of strength and flexibility to better withstand this pounding condition. Concrete is perfect for light rail, but the compounds are getting better. I believe it will get there in the next 20 years or so for heavy freight. Then I believe we will see a complete switch over.
Doesn't UP use concrete ties on some of their high density main lines? My experience is with Amtrak, on the densely used Northeast Corridor. In addition to high volume passenger traffic, some portions host some extensive freight service in addition to all the passenger trains. most wood is gone there. When I retired, they were installing concrete switch panels on industrial sidings along the Harrisburg Line (Keystone Service), as well as concrete crossovers, which are mostly used by local freight and work trains. Now, I understand that most of the interlockings are concrete also, although I cannot verify that personally.

Nothing is perfect, and wood has served well for many years.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
#17
Doesn't UP use concrete ties on some of their high density main lines?
Absolutely, more are used every year, but not with the expectation they are going to last 50 years like the advertising. I can probably find someone around here who know the percentage of usage. They are great because of the quick lock of the rail rather than spikes which like to work out over time.
 

NP2626

Well-Known Member
#19
I realize this might be a fun topic to think about and certainly is very serious to the RR Company that this effects. However, I have a hard time understanding why this topic would be important to Model Railroaders? Yes, it is news relating to railroads. Certainly my asking about it's relationship to model railroading (it doesn't) will not effect the rest of you from pontificating on it's importance. Have fun, and that is what these forums are for!

At the top of this page in the dark blue line of topics under the lighter blue line of topics relating to Model Railroads, is another forum I would guess is aligned with the Model Railroad Forums, entitled Railroad Forums. Wouldn't this topic be better addressed there?
 
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Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#20
In 1977 I built a retaining wall out of used railroad ties. The ties had small "nails" in the ends with a date of 1920. I can only remark that the date stamp must be the date the ties were original treated. The wall is in place today and the ties in good shape.

Greg
 





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