Rail: Guideway Ties

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Primary Guidance

  • Concrete ties are preferred over timber ties.
  • Prepare cost benefit analysis when evaluating timber ties versus concrete ties.

Discussion

  • Concrete ties are preferred. The selection of timber ties vs. concrete ties should be determined by a cost-benefit analysis using current price data considering long-term replacement, and operations and maintenance cost to determine the most cost effective design. Timber ties will generally have a lower initial capital cost, but will require higher maintenance and replacement costs than concrete ties. Environmental requirements including handling and special measures for eventual disposal of creosoted timber ties need to be considered as part of analysis.