How Long Will Railroad Ties Last?

Will railroad ties rot?

The railroad ties will continuously leach creosote over the lifespan it takes to rot.

If you are on well water, you may be drinking the leached creosote..

How dangerous are railroad ties?

Using railroad ties for garden beds can pose a threat to your soil, pets and children, as well as the food you grow. … The wood is preserved by soaking it in creosote, which is composed of over 300 chemicals, many of them toxic and persistent in soil. Exposure to creosote has been shown to cause cancer.

Does CSX sell used railroad ties?

Railroad Ties CSX generally does not sell scrap materials directly to the general public. We have contracts with several companies that handle our scrap-removal services. If you wish to purchase scrap ties, contact National Salvage & Service Corporation at 1-800-769-8437.

How much does an 8 foot railroad tie weigh?

The majority of railroad ties weigh close to 200 pounds. Wood railroad ties are typically made from hardwoods like Oak. Because they are thick and are treated with Creosote or some other preservative, woodrailroad ties last for years.

Why do railroad ties last so long?

Railroad ties last a long time for the railroad because they’re sitting on gravel, and on elevated beds of earth where water normally won’t stand for very long. Also, don’t just stack the ties. You HAVE to use some dead-men sticking back perpindicular to the wall.

Can I pick up old railroad ties?

If they are attached to the railroad track then taking them is not only stealing but it’s also damaging the track. But if the ties are not under the track, then the railroad company has plans for them. … To “take”, or rather steal new ones is plainly theft in any code of law. To steal worn sleepers can’t also be legal.

Why are railroad ties soaked in creosote?

Creosote is an oily by-product of the distillation of coal tar. Creosote treatment of railroad ties allows long term preservation of the wood which must obviously stand up to heavy pressure and harsh weather conditions.

Are railroad ties still treated with creosote?

Are they safe to eat now? A: The reason the EPA has made illegal the use of treated railroad ties in vegetable gardens is the fact that they are treated with coal tar creosote, a pesticide registered both with the EPA and the state of Oregon.

What is the cheapest retaining wall to build?

What is the cheapest retaining wall material?Treated pine and is the least expensive material. … Hardwood is more expensive than treated pine. … Railway sleepers are another – slightly more expensive – option and are built to withstand ground and water contact.Concrete sleepers are more expensive.More items…•

How long does creosote last in railroad ties?

Kohler and Kunniger (2003) determined creosote levels in ties following 2, 5, 10, and 32 years in service. Although the loss rate early in life was higher, the long term straight line average at 32 years was approximately 32 percent loss.

Is it illegal to use railroad ties for landscaping?

Every EPA site said the same thing about the main preservative in old railroad ties: “Creosote is a possible human carcinogen and has no registered residential use.” So it’s actually illegal to use old railroad ties in a home landscape. … There are no approved residential uses of creosote treated wood.

How much does it cost to replace railroad ties?

Replacement of railroad tie walls typically costs about $15-25/SF of wall.

How dangerous is creosote?

Health Effects of Creosote Exposure Skin exposure can lead to a rash, and chemical burns can result if it makes contact with the surface of the eye. In severe cases, it can cause light sensitivity, kidney and liver damage, mental confusion, seizures, fainting and even death.

How do you repair a rotted railroad tie?

Repair the damage. If there is surface splintering on the tie, sand or grind it off. If there is rot, sand it away or saw it off. If there are holes in the tie, fill them with spike-hole filler compound, which is specifically meant to fill up holes in railroad ties.

Are new railroad ties toxic?

However, because creosote is toxic, new ties can cause growth problems for plants that are sensitive to it. … If the wood is oozing black creosote or has an odor, it shouldn’t be used. Gases released from creosote are also harmful in a closed space, so railroad ties should not be used in a greenhouse or indoors.

What can I use in place of railroad ties?

Landscape timbers are naturally rot and insect resistant – which comes in handy for outdoor projects exposed to the elements. They are a great non-toxic alternative to railroad ties, so you don’t have to worry about chemicals seeping into your vegetable garden or your kids’ playground.