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October 2016 | www.rtands.com





Contents October 2016




Industry Today 5 Supplier News 8 People

Designing street track Street track design and construction requires considerations not usually applied in a ballasted track environment.




Annual crosstie update Wood, concrete and composite tie manufacturers share their views of the market and future.


Crosstie treatment and life-extension methods Getting the maximum life out of a crosstie includes a quality treatment process and techniques to fix issues that may crop up.

willamette valley company



34 Departments 14 TTCI R&D 38 Arema News 43 Calendar

tom nemeth

44 Products 45 Advertisers Index


Axion’s ECOTRAX® composite ties ready for installation. Story on page 22

On Track November matters for many reasons


45 Sales Representatives 46 Classified Advertising 46 Professional Directory

NRC Chairman’s Column Conferences – Germany and Boca Raton

LIKE US on Facebook


lonza wood protection

FOLLOW US on Twitter


Railway Track & Structures

October 2016 1

On Track


Vol. 112, No. 10 Print ISSN # 0033-9016, Digital ISSN # 2160-2514 EDITORIAL OFFICES 20 South Clark Street, Suite 1910 Chicago, Ill. 60603 Telephone (312) 683-0130 Fax (312) 683-0131 Website www.rtands.com Mischa Wanek-Libman/Editor, mischa@sbpub.com Kyra Senese/Assistant Editor, ksenese@sbpub.com CORPORATE OFFICES 55 Broad St 26th Fl. New York, N.Y. 10004 Telephone (212) 620-7200 Fax (212) 633-1165 Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr./ President and Chairman Jonathan Chalon/Publisher Mary Conyers/Production Director Wendy Williams/Creative Director Maureen Cooney/Circulation Director Michelle Zolkos/Conference Director

RT&S Railway Track & Structures (Print ISSN 00339016, Digital ISSN 2160-2514), (USPS 860-560), (Canada Post Cust. #7204654), (Bluechip Int’l, Po Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2, Agreement # 41094515) is published monthly by SimmonsBoardman Publ. Corp, 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, N.Y. 10004. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and Additional mailing offices. Pricing, Qualified indi vidual in the railroad employees may request a free subscription. Non-qualified subscriptions printed and/or digital version: 1 year Railroad Employees (US/Canada/Mexico) $16.0 0; all others $46.0 0; foreign $80.00; foreign, air mail $180.00. 2 years Railroad Employees US/Canada/Mexico $30.00; all others $85.00; foreign $140.00. Single copies are $10.00 ea. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. COPYRIGHT © Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 2016. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information contact: PARS International Corp., 102 W 38th St., 6th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10018 Phone (212) 221-9595 Fax (212) 221-9195. For Subscriptions & address changes, Please call (80 0) 895-4389, (402) 346-4740, Fax (402) 346-3670, e-mail rtands@omeda.com or write to: Railway Track & Structures, SimmonsBoardman Publ. Corp, PO Box 3135, Northbrook, IL 60 062-2620. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Railway Track & Structures, PO Box 3135, Northbrook, IL 60062-2620.


November matters for many reasons


f you leave with nothing else after reading the next 500 words, leave with this: Vote. If you are already registered, thank you, if you are not, visit vote.gov for information about how to get yourself registered. Why? This year could be big for infrastructure. You wouldn’t know it from watching the first debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump, but investing in infrastructure is one area where they both agree that more is needed. At the federal level, the next president and congress will dictate our national surface transportation policy for better or worse. Additionally, the Surface Transportation Board will bear the next president’s mark as the three sitting members (Chairman Dan Elliott, Deb Miller and Ann Begeman) all have terms that have expired or will be expiring within the next four years. Clinton’s five-year, $275-billion plan for infrastructure, as detailed on her website, would allocate $250 billion to public investment and another $25 billion would go to a national infrastructure bank that could leverage those funds to support an additional $225 billion in loan activity. Clinton says the plan will be paid for through business tax reform. Directly addressing rail, Clinton says her plan would upgrade aging rail tunnels and bridges, eliminate at-grade crossings and focus on intermodal transfer points. Trump’s website does not provide details of his plan, but he has voiced his support in the past for additional infrastructure investment and told Fox Business on Aug. 2 that he would spend “at least double” of Clinton proposed (that’s $550 billion). He touched on the issue again at a speech in Detroit a few days later saying he wants to build the “next generation” of transportation systems. His plan to pay for the half a trillion dollar plan involved infrastructure bonds, but other specifics are not currently known. Moving to the local level, the American Public Transportation Associa-

tion (APTA) reports there are 31 communities, counties and states that will consider public transit ballot measures worth an estimated $200 billion. California alone has 12 of the ballot measures up for a vote, including a statewide measure. The largest of these is in Los Angeles County where voters will decide the fate of Measure M, a $120 billion initiative that would fund 11 transit rail extensions and connections, as well as system improvements over a 40-year period. Other locations where large initiatives will be taken up by voters include Seattle ($54 billion), San Diego ($7.5 billion); San Francisco ($3.5 billion), Santa Clara County, CA ($3 billion); Atlanta ($2.5 billion) and Columbus, Ohio ($620 million). Los Altos Mayor and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Vice Chairperson Jeannie Bruins said, “To date, county voters have supported six ballot measures bringing in more than $8 billion dollars for services and a $21 billion capital program. Polling seems to suggest strong support for a 30-year, half-cent sales tax on the November ballot. The measure would raise [more than] $6 billion to help fund an extension of the regional rail system, transit operations and improvements to bike and pedestrian facilities, local streets and roads, expressways and interchanges and commuter rail capacity and safety.” “If a local public transit measure is on the ballot in your community, it is vitally important that you come out to vote for it,” said APTA Acting President and CEO Richard A. White. “When people vote to improve or expand the local public transit system, they are voting for an improved quality of life and for the economic vitality of their region.” Get thee to a registrar’s office and vote Nov. 8.

Mischa Wanek-Libman, Editor Railway Track & Structures

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INDUSTRY TODAY Cincinnati’s Bell Connector begins revenue service A 3.6-mile, 18-station streetcar line in Cincinnati, Ohio, began service in early September. Named the Cincinnati Bell Connector, the new line is described as the “cornerstone” of Cincinnati’s push to enhance local transportation options, officials say. “We are proud to partner with Cincinnati on its streetcar and usher in a new era for getting around in this vibrant city,” Acting Federal Transit Administrator Carolyn Flowers said. “The streetcar will expand transportation options for residents and visitors, spur economic development and connect workers to jobs, helping to build ladders of opportunity throughout the city.” The project was funded with a $16 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant, as well as an additional $29 million in other U.S. Department of Transportation funds.

FRA awards $25 million for crossing, track and station safety enhancements The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded $25 million in grants to 14 states and the District of Columbia in an effort to enhance safety at crossings, stations and tracks. While FRA was able to award funds to 23 projects, it received 40 eligible applications requesting $67.5 million, nearly three times the $25 million that congress provided in the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act that funds the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Railroad Safety Infrastructure Improvement Grants fund safety improvements to railroad infrastructure, including the acquisition, improvement or rehabilitation of intermodal facilities; improvements to track, bridges, rail yards and tunnels; upgrades to railroad crossings and rail/road grade separations. The largest award went to the New York State Department of Transportation, which received $5.15 million. The funds include $1.34 million to add highway traffic signal preemption to seven grade crossings on Metro-North’s Harlem and Port Jervis Lines in New York to activate the traffic signals at the intersections and allow queued traffic to exit onto the highway prior to the activation of the railroad grade crossing warning systems; $1.90 million to fund installing upgrades to three grade crossings to mitigate hazardous conditions between highway and rail traffic on a Metro-North grade crossing in North White Plains and two public crossings on Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) in Deer Park and Oceanside, N.Y. The grants also included $1.91 million to install CCTV cameras to record gradecrossing movements at 43 identified grade crossings within Metro‐North territory in New York to investigate specific incidents and analyze crossing/traffic operations for targeted modifications to improve safety. Metro‐North Railroad and LIRR will work separately as subsidiaries of the Metropolitan Transit Authority on this project. Other notable awards include $3.56 million to the city of Grandview, Mo., to construct a dual-track overpass for Kansas City Southern that will increase pedestrian and motor vehicle safety measures along the interstate running underneath it, as well as improve rail safety and efficiency; $2.69 million to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District to add two platform access points at the East Chicago Train Station in East Chicago, Ind., to distribute passengers along the full length of the train to reduce congestion and improve egress operations and $2.37 million to Providence and Worcester Railroad Co. to rehabilitate 12 miles of century-old rail to improve track conditions substantially with new continuous welded rail and ties along Providence and Worcester Railroad Company’s Gardner Branch rail line in central Massachusetts. “A safe railroad network requires continuous investment and upgrades,” said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg. “These grants will improve safety at hundreds of railroad crossings and make important safety upgrades at stations across the country. This is an investment that is desperately needed – and I urge state DOTs to join the FRA in investing more in improving safety at crossings.”

SANDAG trolley project gets $1 billion in FTA funds The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) signed a full funding agreement committing $1 billion in federal funds toward the construction of the Blue Line Trolley extension. SANDAG said the 10.92-mile light-rail extension, referred to locally as the Mid-Coast Trolley, is the largest public transit project in the history of the San Diego region. The extension will include nine stops and will serve major activity centers such as Old Town, Mission Bay Park, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center,

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UC San Diego and the Westfield UTC shopping center. Officials estimate the project will serve 24,600 transit trips every weekday, with service anticipated to start in 2021. FTA is committing a total of $1.04 billion through its Capital Investment Grant Program to the $2.17 billion Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project. In addition to the $100 million that was awarded with the signing of the grant agreement on Sept. 14, the remaining federal funds will be provided over the course of 10 years on an annual payment schedule, subject to congressional approval during the annual appropriations process.


INDUSTRY TODAY Georgia Ports Authority unveils initiative focused on rail development Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Executive Director Griff Lynch detailed a new strategic rail initiative, GPA’s Mid-American Arc, and said bigger ships, deeper water and expanded rail are converging to make GPA a powerhouse across the Southeast and Midwest during the annual Savannah State of the Port address. GPA’s Mid-American Arc will focus on the growth of intermodal rail, extending the Port of Savannah’s reach to capture new markets across the Southeast and Midwestern U.S. “This enhancement of our rail capacity is a game-changer in the market to serve cities ranging in an arc from Atlanta to Memphis, St. Louis, Chicago and the Ohio Valley,” Lynch said. “Additional track will allow us to build unit trains, 10,000 feet long, completely on terminal, while reducing rail crossings and impact on the local community.” Included in the plan is a $128 million project that will link Garden City Terminal’s two rail yards, improve efficiency and grow the terminal’s rail lift capacity to


approximately 1 million containers each year. Construction of the rail expansion, forming the Port of Savannah International Multi-modal Connector, will take four years and is being funded in part by a $44 million grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies program. The Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is the Southeast’s busiest intermodal gateway handling 3.73 million twenty-foot equivalent container units in 2015. Currently, 18 percent of the containers handled at Garden City Terminal move on Class 1 railroads Norfolk Southern and CSX. GPA officials said the connector project is poised to help the Port of Savannah to capture greater market share. Not only will the rail infrastructure improvements allow for 10,000foot unit trains, but also improve efficiency to grow terminal rail lift capacity by approximately 1 million containers per year.

Supplier News AMTRAK chose hill international and CH2M to provide program management support services for its Gateway Program in the Northeast Corridor. Georgetown Rail Equipment was named a finalist for two R&D 100 awards. gross & janes co. received a United States Patent for a ‘two-step’ borate pre-treatment dipping process and related equipment geared toward wood railroad crossties.

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INDUSTRY TODAY Supplier News Herzog Technologies has launched a cloudbased positive train control solution using the technologies of red hat, inc. a leading global provider of open source solutions. Northern tree service, inc. is performing vegetation management for Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. SALIENT SYSTEMS, INC. achieved ISO 9001:2008 Certification in the

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Wisconsin awards rail funds; money still available in New York; Washington state Six Wisconsin freight rail projects were awarded $37 million in grants and loans from the state’s Freight Railroad Assistance Program. The goal of the program is to increase the use of rail transportation and support economic development and job creation. A mixture of port, shortline and industrial rail projects will advance because of the state funding. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is distributing $29.6 million in grants through the Freight Railroad Preservation Program (FRPP), which cover up to 80 percent of project costs to help preserve freight rail service or rehabilitate track on publicly-owned rail lines. In addition, WisDOT is providing loans worth $7.4 million through the state’s Freight Railroad Infrastructure Improvement Program (FRIIP). FRIIP is a revolving loan program used to improve rail infrastructure and construct new rail-served facilities. Since 1994, WisDOT has provided more than $225 million in FRPP grants

October 2016

and more than $127 million in FRIIP loans to help fund 166 infrastructure acquisition, rehabilitation and improvement projects statewide. In other state rail funding news, New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) said it would have $27.9 million in state funding to go toward initiatives to maintain and improve rail and port services in major trade and passenger travel corridors. The allocated funding is part of New York’s $21.1 billion five-year State Transportation Plan announced in April 2016 and is outlined within Gov. Cuomo’s Passenger and Freight Rail Assistance Program (PFRA), officials say. Additionally, the Washington State Department of Transportation reopened the application process for $5 million in loans marked for freight rail projects. The Freight Rail Investment Bank loans helps freight-rail systems that create family-wage jobs, as well as improve overall freight mobility.


INDUSTRY TODAY BNSF completes second track over the Pecos River in New Mexico BNSF has completed double tracking a three-mile segment that crosses the Pecos River near Fort Sumner, N.M. With the completion of this section of double track, only four miles of single track remain on the 2,200-mile Southern Transcontinental corridor that runs from Los Angeles to Chicago. “This new three miles of second track moves this important Southern Transcon corridor ever closer to being completely doubletracked...connecting the West Coast to major intermodal markets such as Chicago, Dallas/ Fort Worth and Kansas City,” BNSF wrote on its website. The Pecos River segment required a new bridge to be built. The bridge was completed earlier this year and the track was finished this summer. The remaining four miles that have yet to be double tracked will require two bridges to be constructed at the Salt Fork River on Oklahoma’s Panhandle sub and at the Missouri River on the Marceline Sub in Missouri.


“Adding the second main track over the Pecos River on this high train density section of the Southern Transcon allows us to continue to provide transportation services that consistently meet our customers’ expectations while allowing us to continue to grow our franchise,” said John Wiederholt, general director line maintenance, Engineering-South. The work to complete the double track over the Pecos River was part of BNSF’s $100-million New Mexico capital plan in 2016. The largest component of this year’s capital plan in New Mexico will be for replacing and upgrading rail, rail ties and ballast. BNSF’s maintenance program in New Mexico includes approximately 900 miles of track surfacing and/or undercutting work, the replacement of about 15 miles of rail and more than 195,000 ties, as well as signal upgrades for federally mandated positive train control. This year’s program follows more than $325 million invested by BNSF in its network in New Mexico over the past three years.

Supplier News second quarter of 2016. Stacy and Witbeck, Inc., was named the Construction Manager At-Risk for Arizona’s new 50th Street light-rail station by Valley Metro. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. Valley was awarded a contract to conduct the environmental study for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s West Santa Ana Branch Transit Corridor project.

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PEOPLE CANADIAN PACIFIC’s executive vice president and CFO, Mark Erceg, resigned from his position. Nadeem Velani is the company’s interim vice president and CFO. Guido De Ciccio, senior vice president, Operations Western Region, announced his retirement after 40 years with the company.

CHA Consulting, Inc. appointed John Hensley as its new Transportation Group executive. Danella Rental Systems named Matthew Harbison business development manager for the Western North America territory. Gross & janes Co. appointed Bill Behan as the company’s new president. Anthony Lee joined HNTB Corporation Northern California team as associate vice president and senior project manager. Joseph Rago, PE, CEM, LEED, was named senior project manager and associate vice president of the firm’s Northeast Division rail and transit practice. Sanja Zlatanic was appointed as chair, national tunnel practice.

Michael Baker International appointed Don Sepulveda as vice president and rail transit practice lead for the company’s West Region.

plasser american corporation selected Thomas Blechinger as its new president, succeeding Dr. Günther Oberlechner. Duane Kenagy, P.E., was appointed as the Port of Long Beach’s interim CEO following the departure of Jon Slangerup. The Red River Valley & Western Railroad appointed Daniel Zink to the company’s newly-created post of vice president of economic development and community affairs. The RAILWAY ENGINEERING-MAINTENANCE SUPPLIERS ASSOCIATION Board of Directors installed a new president, Bruce Wise of Whitmore Rail, and elected two directors: Nate Bachman, vice president of Marketing and Sales, Georgetown Rail Equipment Company; and Greg Spilker, vice president, Encore Rail Systems, during its annual membership meeting.

TranSystems Corp. hired Dana Shaeffer, PE, as its new senior project manager. Tim Rock rejoined the staff as regional vice president for its Southeast region. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff named Pamela Townsend senior vice president and Southeast region business manager for its transportation and infrastructure sector. Yassmin Gramian to serve as Northeast business development director for its transportation and infrastructure sector. Dale A. Brown has been named assistant vice president for transit and rail systems in WSP’s Atlanta office.

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Conferences – Germany and Boca Raton

The National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association, Inc. 500 New Jersey Ave., N. W. Suite 400 Washington D. C. 20009 Tel: 202-715-2920 Fax: 202-318-0867 www.nrcma.org info@nrcma.org

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I attended InnoTrans in Germany this year, and it was an unbelievable event, with more than 3,000 exhibitors and more than 130,000 people from around the world descending on Berlin. Railroads, suppliers, contractors, consultants and everyone else in the railroad industry showed up eager to see what new innovations are happening worldwide, all hoping to bring something home with them to better their business. It was great to see some friendly faces from the U.S. and to visit the USA pavilion. Berlin is a beautiful city with a rich history, friendly people and really good food. Being my first time in Berlin, it was great to see some famed sites such as the Brandenburg Gates and Checkpoint Charlie, the former entrance from East Berlin to West Berlin. In short, if you haven’t had the opportunity to attend InnoTrans, I’d highly recommend doing that for the next one, and be sure to save some time to tour Berlin. Back in the U.S., the NRC staff is making significant progress planning our 2017 NRC Conference and NRC-REMSA Exhibition and it’s shaping up to be another great event. As always, we have an outstanding line-up of speakers—we’re expecting senior engineering executives from Class 1 railroads including UP, BNSF, CSX, NS and CN, shortline holding companies including GWI, Watco, OmniTRAX, major rail transit agencies such as New York MTA, SEPTA, MARTA, Metra and Miami-Dade Transit along with many other experts, to add perspective and context. The conference is a great place to get updated on what is happening in the ever-changing environment in Washington, D.C., and to discuss current issues in the rail construction and maintenance industry. October 2016

The exhibition hall is shaping up to be another outstanding show with a beautiful indoor facility. We are expecting more than 130 exhibitors this year, only slightly smaller than the InnoTrans Exhibition. Book your booths now as they are selling fast. Thank you to our REMSA partner for all of its hard work putting this exhibition together. To reserve an exhibit space, please visit www. Remsa.Org/nrc-remsa2017 or contact Urszula Soucie at soucie@remsa.org or (202) 715-2921. The NRC Conference will run from Jan. 8–11 at the Boca Raton Resort in Boca Raton, Fla. It is a Waldorf Astoria Resort designed by legendary architect Addison Mizner. The resort sits on 356 acres with an award-winning spa, private beach, on-site championship golf course, tennis court and luxury marina. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to check it out while getting a huge amount of work done—you can’t beat that as a way to start the year. Visit http://www.nrcma. org/2017conference to register. We also have sponsorships available, which are about the most effective marketing dollars you can spend all year. You can also reach out to Matt Bell at the NRC office via mbell@nrcma.org or (202) 715-1264. The NRC has a discounted room block at the Boca Raton Resort with rates ranging from $220–350/night depending on the room. Make your hotel reservations online at: http://tinyurl.com/ NRC2017Hotel or call (888) 543-1224. I look forward to seeing everyone at the most prestigious conference in the industry this January! I hope ever yone has a safe and successful month. by Chris Daloisio, NRC Chairman www.rtands.com

TTCI R&D Rail fastening systems on an Eastern Mega Site open-deck bridge TTCI evaluates the long-term performance of rail fasteners on open-deck bridges under heavy-axle-load traffic.

by Rafael Jimenez, senior engineer, Transportation Technology Center, Inc.

Figure 1a

Figure 1b

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Figures 1a–1c depict the three fastening systems in test. Figure 1a: This image displays the Pandrol 16-inch Cast Plate System in use with screw spikes, cut spikes and e-clips. Figure 1b: The Vossloh 16-inch Rolled Plate BTE-30 System is in test with screw spikes and rail clips. Figure 1c: This photo shows the Pandrol 18-inch Victor Rolled Plate with cut spikes and e-clips during the test.

Figure 1c

October 2016


ransportation Technology Center, Inc. (TTCI), is monitoring the longterm performance of rail fasteners on an opendeck bridge and its approaches on a Norfolk Southern Line at the Eastern Mega Site near Roanoke, Va. Thus far, results indicate that the fastening systems still in the test phase are performing adequately under heavyaxle-load traffic. This evaluation complements the ongoing, long-term crosstie and fastener testing on open track at the Facility for Accelerated Service Testing (FAST), located in Pueblo, Colo. The test is being conducted in Wabun, Va., on a multi-span, 525-foot-long, open-deck bridge with a newly-installed wood tie deck (15inch on center spacing). The bridge is on a 5.9-degree curve with 3.5 inches of elevation and a 0.66-percent grade. Train traffic is predominately eastbound (descending grade), and includes loaded coal and grain trains. Because of the descending grade, trains typically operate at speeds close to the Timetable speed of 35 mph. The combination of 5.9 degrees curvature and 3.5 inches elevation produces a balance speed of 29.1 mph. Trains operating at the full


35 mph exper ience an elevation underbalance of 1.5 inches. Three different rail f astening s y s t e m s we r e i n s t a l l e d b e t we e n September and November of 2010 as part of the Heavy-Axle-Load Revenue S e r v i c e Te s t P r o g r a m t h at wa s jointly funded by the Association of American Railroads and the Federal Railroad Administration. The test continues after more than 205 million gross tons (mgt) of traffic. The fastening systems differ in various ways—tie plate size, rail clip type, number and type of plate-tot i e ho l d - d ow n h ardware—all of which may affect performance. This test provides guidance regarding the anticipated ser viceability of each system under similar conditions. The three test systems are shown in Figures 1a through 1c: • Pandrol 16-inch cast plate with screw spikes, and cut spikes and e-clips • Vossloh 16-inch rolled plate with screw spikes and rail clips • Pandrol 18-inch Victor rolled plate with cut spikes and e-clips Table 1 lists the test zones as installed,

Figure 2: The Portable Lateral Track Loading Fixture applied gauge spreading of the load to the railhead to measure the gauge strength of each tie and fastener system.

and describes the differences and conditions that may affect system

Table 1. Test zones, differences and conditions

perfor mance. The number s and configurations of the plate-to-tie holddown fasteners were not specified. The bridge depar tment designed as its members deemed appropriate for this special application. Underplate rubber pads, an NS standard component on open-deck bridges, were installed throughout the bridge. Under-tie pads were not installed in the approach test zones.


A portable Lateral Track Loading Fixture (LTLF), shown in Figure 2, was used to measure the gauge strength of each tie and fastener system. The LTLF applies gauge spreading loads and measures the resulting rail displacements at the rail head and base. Gauge spreading was measured in the fastening systems zones using 2 kips and 6 kips of gauge spreading load applied to the railhead. Three measurement cycles taken during the period of performance thus far indicate no major degradation at the head or base of the rails. Figure 3 shows the median of the www.rtands.com

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October 2016 15


three gauge spreading measurements taken in all the test zones, except Zone 2. The base displacement is the sum of the lateral displacements at the rail bases of each rail. The head displacement is the sum of the lateral displacements at the railhead of each rail. Both base and head displacements shown are for the 6-kip applied load. The gauge spreading shown for Test Zone 2 was measured once after part of the zone was removed. Test Zone 3a was re-gauged 8 Mgt after the start of the test to correct inadvertent wide gauge installation. System 3 is, in effect, a second installation on the relatively new ties (43 mgt). The results indicate all of the fastening systems thus far are capable of resisting the static gauge spreading load with maximum gauge widening of less than 1/4 inch at the railhead. The gauge spreading values reported above are a measure of the total lateral displacement of the system; i.e., lateral translation of the plate on the tie, lateral translation of the rail on the plate, and rail rotation of both rails as a function of the 6-kip gauge spreading load, all relative to the tie.

Figure 4 is a graph of gauge degradation—excluding rail wear—showing gauge as of the last static measurement cycle was in the range 56.9 inches to 57.1 inches. In July 2011, NS reported that 17 Vossloh rail clip bolts broke on the high side of Test Zone 2 while replacing a rail flaw; it was noted that some broke during installation. In September 2014, NS reported that rail clip bolts broke on the low side in the process of replacing worn rail. As a result, Test Zone 2 was removed. No broken rail clip bolts have been reported at FAST. One Pandrol 16-inch cast plate broke along the rail base shoulder on the field side; a similar failure mode has occurred at FAST. TTCI will continue to monitor the long-ter m performance of these fastening systems to determine their service life.


TTCI wishes to thank Pandrol USA and Vossloh North America for their donation of the test components. Many thanks to Norfolk Southern for hosting and supporting the Eastern Mega Site research program. Figure 3. Median gauge spreading under static 6-kip load to date The graph in Figure 3 shows gauge spreading values that measure the total lateral displacement of the system; i.e., lateral translation of the plate on the tie, lateral translation of the rail on the plate and rail rotation of both rails as a function of the 6-kip gage spreading load, all relative to the tie.

Figure 4. Gauge degradation Figure 4 displays a graph of gauge degradation—excluding rail wear—that depicts gauge as of the most recent static measurement cycle taking place in the range of 56.9 inches to 57.1 inches.

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A resurgence of transit expansion has placed the proper design of street track back in the forefront. by Anthony Fazio, PE and Jonathan Schneider, PE


main Street

nce a common practice to have freight or passenger rail service traverse paved or cobble stone streets, there are many places in America that still retain such type of infrastructure for regular railroad or lightrail service. For example, consider the once famous California Zephyr service, which still runs down a bustling street in Oakland, Calif., or consider the numerous freight spurs in the streets of the nation’s small towns. Most important to point out, is the dawning (or re‐dawning) of the light-rail era in the United States that almost always requires some street track to ensure healthy ridership. Regarding its design and construction, there are some basic fundamentals to consider that do not normally apply to ballasted track in exclusive right-of -way.


The three most important things to know about track: Draining, drainage, and drainage! This adage still holds true for street running track, maybe even more so than ballasted track. The key here is the obvious, a level roadway will allow standing water that freezes which causes damage and creates safety hazards. The track design (or redesign for existing track rights) must be consistent with roadway drainage and road drains. However, fol18 Railway Track & Structures

lowing the “crown” in the road can lead to cross level on tangent track. Some designers have gotten creative and put a slight roadway crown inside of the track gauge only. Other designers have zero crown and installed elaborate trench drain systems, such as the Hudson Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) in Jersey City, N.J. In the case of HBLR, the drainage gradient is in the direction of rail traffic. Another technique is to level both the track and roadway and grade the roadway slightly away from the track’s field rail only. It’s important to point out that conforming to a roadway crown within double track street-­ running territory would introduce a cross level into the track structure, which may or may not be acceptable for the rail service’s timetable speed and will accelerate rail head wear. Also, note that roadways within a single municipality can fall under the jurisdiction of a state, county or that municipality itself, so a working relationship with the roadways’ respective authority is imperative.

Track materials

Standard running rail in the United States is tee rail, even for track in street (generally speaking). At one time girder rail was very common for street track and was readily available in the U.S., this is

October 2016

no longer the case. The girder rail is essentially a running rail with a guard rolled into it. Essentially, the girder allowed for a continuous flangeway. A common practice in today’s new construction is to use standard tee rail and form a flangeway into the concrete pour. Other common practices are to use precast concrete panels with a flangeway and occasionally even timber to form a flangeway. Both rail types, girder and tee, have advantages and disadvantages. The most noteworthy comparison is that girder rail is difficult to procure and difficult to pre-bend, yet easer to install and offers redundancy of a fully guarded running rail system. Note that it is essential to select a rail whose head is integrated with the profile of the train’s wheel (or vice versa). Other track devices unique to street bound railways are “tongue and mate” switches and flange-bearing frogs. These devices reduce roadway deviations for automobile traffic and pedestrians, they also offer smooth wheel to rail interface. Note that traditional street car tongue switches have a shorter “throw” than current Railroad tongue switches.


Not only must trains, cars, and pedestrians share the road, but so must public utilities. Utilities present their www.rtands.com

tom nemeth

Designing track for

designing street track opposite page, figure 1: Part of Amtrak’s California Zephyr route still traverses street track. figure 2, top: The track design was not consistent with the drainage plan and caused ponding at this location. The solution at this location was to have trench drains installed. figure 3, middle: “Tongue and mate” switch with flange-bearing frog in the middle of a busway in Upper Darby, Penn. figure 4: The existing utilities affected the location of this switch panel. Note the girder rail.

own unique challenges. Sewer, water, telephone, gas, and commercial electric must be considered in initial design, and reconstruction of street running track. Also important is their accessibility. For example, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in many locations, has manholes located generally in the gauge of its street running track. At times, slight horizontal curves are introduced for the sole purpose to avoid costly relocation of utilities – some utilities that have been in place for more than 100 years. The tradeoff for this example is higher railway maintenance costs in the future with a less than perfect alignment for lower construction costs.

Undergrade bridges

Traditional railroaders prefer ballasted deck bridges. The ballasted deck allows for seamless interface between the track structure and the bridge structure and their respective departments. Other methods used to integrate the two subject “systems” include low restraint rail clips on bridges to allow the bridge to move under the rail for open deck bridges and expansion rails, dependent on design characteristics. Street running embedded track, however, can enjoy neither of those methodologies to relieve stress. A system used when an undergrade bridge must support both the rail and the automobile traffic are expansion miter rails. They allow for proper interaction of rail, roadway, and bridge. The concept here is that they are placed in the rail system above the bridge’s expansion bearing. The bridge is free to move and the rail moves with the bridge deck and superstructure, as opwww.rtands.com

posed to the rail fighting the bridge (the rail is locked into embedded concrete on both the bridge deck and on the bridge approach). These devices are relatively simple and maintenance ­free (when compared to a moveable bridge’s miter rails) and ensure longevity of the infrastructure by relieving residual stresses.

Track buckle mitigation

Track buckle countermeasures are a serious topic for railroads and lightrail systems alike with continuous weld rail in ballasted track. Embedded track, however, has low risk to buckle. It must be pointed out that street running embedded track can still buckle. Embedded Railway Track & Structures

October 2016 19

designing street track

figure 4a, 4b: An undergrade bridge with mitered expansion rails (4a, top left). Undergrade bridge without mitered expansion rails (4b, bottom, left). Note the cracking of the roadway without expansion rails. Figure 5, Top right: Buckled or heaved rail in embedded track.

street track is most prone to buckling in areas where wood tie construction is paved over with asphalt. This buckle is not in a typical “S.� Rather, this type of buckle can be identified as a heave

20 Railway Track & Structures

in the rail. Rail temperature should be considered when building this type of track and a track inspector should be made aware of the signs of stressed rail in embedded track.

October 2016

Street running embedded track is once again a common subject for railway designers, constructors and maintainers. There are many different topics pertaining to street running track that can easily be overlooked. Designers and constructors must consider integration with other modes of transportation and other railway disciplines. So too must they consider maintenance, cost effectiveness and, most importantly safety, when implementing track in street running territory.


Lonza Wood Protection reported an increased interest in treated wood products among customers in 2016.


CROSSTIE UPDATE Crosstie manufacturers remain optimistic about the market’s growth as inventories continue to build and weather calms. by Kyra Senese, assistant editor


ast year, suppliers of wood ties were still facing low inventories as a result of difficult weather conditions throughout the past few years. However, suppliers across the tie market expressed renewed optimism in the future of the crosstie industry, citing growing inventories and improved preservation techniques. Jim Gauntt, executive director of the Railway Tie Association (RTA) noted that 2013 through 2015 were “some of the wettest years on record” for North American tie producing regions. This, along with higher demand for other hardwood products, led to supply constraints that drew down wood tie inventories nationwide. In August of 2015 that landscape changed, though, and tie suppliers were able to begin rebuilding air-dry tie inventories. Gauntt says production has been strong throughout the past 12 months because production must remain somewhat higher than demand in order to regain equilibrium in the inventory-to-sales ratio. 22 Railway Track & Structures

October 2016

“It looks like we are approaching that equilibrium with inventories at their highest level since the most recent peak in January of 2013,” he said. “We would expect to see untreated tie production moderate as the supply-demand cycle unwinds and air-dry yards approach capacity.” Gauntt says the industry also saw stronger tie demand than expected in the first half of 2016. “We believe that’s attributable to a couple of factors. Class 1 roads’ ongoing efforts to optimize maintenance practices and remain as ‘steady-state’ as possible helps keep demand for ties at relatively consistent levels,” he said. “Add to that, we suspect that commercial and shortline markets had unmet needs for ties during the supply downturn in 2013-2015. We also believe the 45G tax credit, in effect for all of 2016 and not just retroactively as in 2015, helped shortlines plan more installation projects, which led to more tie purchases in the early half of 2016.” Gauntt cautioned, “However, if traffic doesn’t improve www.rtands.com

2016 CROSSTIE UPDATE significantly within the next few months, 2017 could be as much as 2 percent softer for tie suppliers than 2016.” On the other hand, if the economy continues to rebound, Gauntt says he would expect 2017 to mirror 2016 demand. To help users track these trends, RTA recently unveiled a real time micro-website (www.rtastats. org) to help keep track of procurement trends for not only ties, but also for other products in various regions. RTA maintains production, inventory and purchases data in the Industry Statistics section of its website (www.rta. org), as well. RTA made headlines last year with presentations at the Railroad Sustainability Symposium sponsored by BNSF. Gauntt says RTA developed a significant story on the industry’s ability to be the most environmentally sound solution for tie production (see RTA’s peer reviewed Environmental Life Cycle Analysis at www.rta.org) and the association also continues to emphasize the powerful carbon sequestration story for wood. “Did you know that wood products account for 47 percent of all the raw materials manufactured in the U.S., but use only 4 percent of the total energy consumed by U.S. manufacturers?” he says. “Add in the fact that when we treat wood or produce any wood product that lasts for decades or more, you have effectively taken huge

24 Railway Track & Structures

October 2016

amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and sequestered it for generations.” Gauntt is optimistic regarding the future of the crosstie industry in North America, where he notes that forests are in fine shape and there is no shortage of wood fiber for ties. He cites a 2010 study by the United Nations which indicated that the U.S. may be underutilizing its resources due to poor public lands use policy. As far as sawmill capacity is concerned, Gauntt says the industry may have rebounded somewhat from one of the worst recessions in U.S. history, so he is confident in the industry’s ability to meet the needs of all hardwood demand going forward.

Wood Wood tie supplier Appalachian Timber Services, LLC (ATS), reported that as of this fall, there has been “plenty of inventory” and necessary materials have been available, however, the company said demand is low. Business has grown in all sectors of Lonza Wood Protection (LWP), says Tim Carey, product manager, Industrial Business. The company’s growth this year has correlated with that of the overall economy and the resurgence of the use of treated wood in some applications.



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2016 CROSSTIE UPDATE Mike Pourney, CEO of Gross & Janes Co., says the company has seen steady growth in the procurement of green crossties this year, citing drier weather in the nation’s mid-south region as a factor in the trend. Business has also remained steady for Koppers, Inc. this year. John R. Giallonardo, vice president of Class 1 sales, says the untreated tie market has made a “substantial” recovery that has enabled Koppers to replenish a large portion of the company’s inventory. George Caric, vice president of marketing, Stella-Jones Inc., says the company has worked “diligently” to get the company’s air-dried inventories back to reasonable levels, adding that he believes tie production is strong in most of the country, aside from the Southwest regions affected by consistently wet weather. “We think crossties production will stay at the current levels,” Caric

26 Railway Track & Structures

said on behalf of Stella-Jones. “We are looking for about the same demand from the Class 1s as this year. Flat is good in terms of crosstie demand.” Caric says Stella Jones saw some reduction in the demand for treated railroad ties in 2016, however, he said the demand from the Class 1 railroads has not been as severe as what has been experienced in the past. “This is [because] track windows for maintenance are good and the work is being done efficiently,” he said. “The Class 1s have spent tremendous amounts of capital to harden their networks and they don’t want to see all the improvements lost.” On the commercial side, StellaJones has seen projects put on hold or canceled altogether as a result of the crude by rail slowdown and that of any projects related to the energy sector, Caric added. A major factor presenting obsta-

October 2016

cles in the mid-south is getting rid of mixed hardwood lumber—Pourney says there is very little or no market for it, so the mills are cutting “very few” mixed hardwood ties. This is keeping the price of oak timber high as tie prices are dipping, presenting added challenges for sawmills. For Giallonardo, there is “no question” that the softening of coal, oil and gas markets has affected the railroad industry in its entirety. “The coal industry may never fully recover to its original level, so it will be imperative for other markets to emerge accordingly,” he added. “Intermodal traffic will continue to be an area of primary emphasis for the railroad industry.” However, Carey says LWP is safe from such concerns regarding the downturn of coal. “Our Chemonite® and Wolmanac® industrial preservative systems are


water-based, which means we are not dependent upon fossil fuels for a carrier,” he said. “These products are easy to use and low in odor at the time of tie installation.” LWP also collects the preservative for reuse following completed treatments to minimize exposure and cost. Carey says LWP strongly believes wood is the most desirable building material and that the company focuses its research, development, technical and engineering resources on developing new technologies to enhance the performance and longevity of the wood used in their crossties. “We continue to look for ways to improve the preservative systems, treatment processes, performance features, efficiency and quality of our customers’ operations,” Carey said of LWP’s work. Carey also says he does not think reduced capital expenditure has affected the market as severely as some expected it to. “Railroads have to maintain their systems and ties are an integral, but low-cost, part of the system,” he said. Throughout the past two years, the industry has lost several key outlets for scrap tie disposal, Caric says. He explained that this is an issue that needs to be worked out because the current alternatives are not cost-effective. The loss of many cogen locations is due to the low cost of natural gas and other economic factors, Caric said. Reduced capital spending has led crosstie prices to begin seeing a decline, Pourney added. Giallonardo says reduced capital spending has forced railroads to be more selective about where to allocate funds and what projects to pursue. Annual maintenance programs remain a necessity, however, he noted it is easier to defer new projects and save added expenditures for later. Rick Gibson, vice president Sales/ Marketing, ATS, described 2016 so far as a typical year, but said he thinks demand could see a slight increase in late spring 2017 and early summer as freight increases for the railroads. “Currently, the driving force of our business is the manufactured products: bridge timbers, crossings and specialty work,” Gibson said. Carey added that he believes demand will remain steady stating, “Ties www.rtands.com

are necessary to support the rail system and are a low-cost investment as compared to the other components involved in a railroad.” Throughout the past year, one of the obstacles ATS faced included major flooding in West Virginia. “We were very fortunate with only production loss caused by a weeklong power outage,” Gibson said. Like many others in the wood tie market, Carey said weather conditions have the ability to impact inventories, but that recently drier conditions have been positive and allowed for inventories to increase. “Some railroads have also seen some decline in the volume of products to transport such as coal and fracking or shale type oil sources,” Carey said. “This has reduced some demand on ties while the weather has allowed for increased production.” The desire for cleaner ties throughout the industry has boosted business for wood tie treaters, he said, adding that he’s identified a growing interest in exporting ties outside of the U.S. “There’s a big environmental advantage to using wood ties as opposed to alternative materials in that wood is one of the most sustainable resources on the planet, as well as [being] very economical,” he said. “Companies have become very good at sourcing and replenishing the trees that produce wood products.” Pourney added that Gross & Janes’ demand is dictated by that of the Class 1 railroads, which he acknowledged are working through some challenges. “We are hoping those challenges are successfully managed,” he said. “Hardwood crossties continue to be the dominant type of crosstie in the rail industry. We think they will be for the foreseeable future.” Giallonardo also says he expects the market to see long-term raw material supply to remain steady moving forward. “The key will be to properly maintain the balance between supply and demand, while helping to maintain a healthy and productive sawmill base,” he said. However, he added that the decline in the coal and natural gas markets has undoubtedly had negative Railway Track & Structures

October 2016 27

2016 CROSSTIE UPDATE effects on Koppers’ customer base. “We anticipate some softening of crosstie demand in the immediate future,” Giallonardo said. “The decline in competing products has opened the door for a strong raw material recovery over the past year.” While extreme weather conditions are a constant concern regarding wood ties, Giallonardo says supply appears as if it will remain healthy for the foreseeable future. “Koppers will continue to focus on our core strength of wood preservation,” Giallonardo said. “We want to continue to operate in a safe and reliable manner within the communities where we operate and be a leader to our customers in the treated crosstie industry.” Caric says Stella-Jones is working with customers to offer Borate-treated switch ties and bridge ties to extend the life of the company’s pricier products. “The railroads have accepted the dual-treated ties as a way to extend the life of a tie and are looking for the same benefits for their other treated wood products,” he said. Stella Jones is also pre-plating bridge ties, which Caric says has proven to be a safe and time-saving benefit to the railroads. Going forward, Caric says he believes the industry needs to work together to find a reliable method of scrap tie disposal. “With low natural gas prices the biomass plants in this

28 Railway Track & Structures

October 2016

country are becoming less competitive and are closing the doors,” Caric said. Pourney says, overall, Gross & Janes intends to remain a “critical supplier” to customers and to continue adjusting to their needs. LWP expects to see steady growth potential based on agricultural factors, exports and growth in the general economy to drive the building of homes and jobs for 2017. Gibson said ATS believes the crosstie market will function similarly next year as it did in 2016. “Ties will be available with demand remaining stable [or with a] slight increase,” Gibson said. As for next year, Caric expressed measured optimism. “I would like to think we are headed for better times in our industry, but I think that is all based on what happens in November,” he said.

Concrete Steve Burgess, president of CXT, Inc., and vice president Concrete Products, L.B. Foster Co., describes 2016 as a mixed year for concrete tie sales to end-use markets. “Activity [remains] uneven across the segments in which we compete,” Burgess said. “Spending by North American Class 1 railroads for new construction has been down.”


2016 CROSSTIE UPDATE With the uncertainty brought on by declining rail traffic, paired with the completion of several major track expansion projects, capital spending for 2016 will probably end down 15 to 20 percent, he says. That uncertainty has adversely affected L.B. Foster’s sales as most concrete tie consumption by the freight railroads goes toward new construction. Sales to the various industrial segments are also off, especially given the lower prices for crude oil, as track expansion projects to take advantage of growth in domestic energy production have declined, Burgess explained. Selective port project work continues, though, and L.B. Foster continues to see the design-build projects moving ahead in the transit segment, he added. “I am confident with the passage at the end of 2015 of the FAST Act, that we’ll see significant business opportunities in the North American transit industry in the years ahead,” he said. “But, overall, I see 2016 on balance as a down year.”

30 Railway Track & Structures

Throughout the past year, GIC has adapted to current market conditions by targeting emerging markets and working with strategic partners, says Mauricio Gutierrez, general manager of GIC USA. He noted the current economy has created obstacles for all concrete crosstie suppliers, but explained GIC is succeeding by adjusting its business model to fit the current demand while positioning the company for future growth. Rocla Concrete Tie, Inc., has experienced steady business throughout 2016 as Class 1 railroads begin to build inventory for future concrete tie programs, says Brett Urquhart, vice president – business development. Rocla Concrete Tie faced a significant downturn in 2015, but Urquhart says the company is beginning to see production and inventory steady and trend upwards toward late 2016. The company expects business to come back stronger in the future. “The Class 1 railroads are always a significant portion of our busi-

October 2016

ness, thus, the budget cutbacks last year were concerning,” Urquhart explained. “As always, the spending habits are cyclical, and we expect to see volumes continue to improve.” Burgess says L.B. Foster recently made a sizeable investment in new capacity at its Waverly, W.V., plant. “We purchased Carr Concrete, which operated the facility in Waverly, in mid-2014, and, as a concrete precaster, has offered a variety of concrete foundations and structures over its history,” he said. “We plan to use this expanded facility to manufacture products for the many transit lines, shortlines and Class 1 railroads in the eastern U.S. and Canada.” L.B. Foster is also working to identify the next generation of new concrete ties, according to Burgess, who says the company’s engineers are collaborating with Class 1 railroads to determine a path forward. “We continue to study changes in mix design to improve sustainability and optimize product properties,” Burgess said of L.B. Foster’s future plans. The demand for and interest in concrete ties remains perceptible, RAIL.ONE says, adding that the same applies to composite ties. The demand for ties in long-distance transportation makes Class 1s a driver of the company’s business, the company says. “However, the FAST Act has or will certainly have an impact on the relevance of transit projects for us,” the company explained. “We have longterm experience with light-rail concrete ties and ballast-less track systems for urban transportation, with customeroriented solutions and systems that cater to the needs of passengers, operators and neighboring residents.” RAIL.ONE says it is currently collaborating with its partners to develop specialty ties for alternative rail fastening systems and special fixtures on ties, such as derailment devices. Under-tie pads have also received a “lively” interest, RAIL.ONE says. Gutierrez believes concrete crossties are becoming increasingly competitive with other crosstie types on a first-cost basis. “When total costs of ownership are compared, concrete crossties demonstrate excellent value, more so than any other type of crosstie,” he said. www.rtands.com

2016 CROSSTIE UPDATE As a newer concrete crosstie supplier, Class 1 railroads, transit authorities and industry track projects are driving GIC to expand its production and delivery abilities, Gutierrez says. Gutierrez added that GIC will soon announce the availability of several concrete products for transit and passenger railway applications, which will be manufactured in the U.S. and Buy America compliant. Burgess remains hopeful regarding opportunities for the use of concrete ties in the coming years. “Investment in our transportation infrastructure, whether by freight railroads, transit agencies or other industrial/port activities, has been gaining notice as being critically important to ensure long-term economic progress,� he said. “We feel positive about already identified and new transit projects that will come to fruition and our product development activities with the Class 1 railroads, along with other regional freight rail projects, look promising. Given that, as well as the growing rec-


RAIL.ONE says the company is currently working to develop specialty ties for alternative rail fastening systems.

ognition of the life-cycle cost advantage of concrete ties, we believe our

products and services will continue to offer significant advantages for our

Railway Track & Structures

October 2016 31

2016 CROSSTIE UPDATE L.B. Foster says the company is working to identify the next generation of concrete ties.

customers in the future.” Urquhart said while transit authorities make up a smaller percentage of Rocla Concrete Tie’s business, the company has many such projects underway nationwide, and they are moving forward as planned. Rocla Concrete Tie has always had a large offering of products with standard ties, grade crossings, turnout ties and LVT blocks, Urquhart says, adding that additional strategies have recently been implemented to promote the company’s growth. “Over the past two years, we have acquired a facility in Portsmouth, Ohio, acquired a facility in Tucson, Ariz., and built a new plant in Ft. Pierce, Fla.,” Urquhart said. “The new facilities will allow us to expand these product lines to more parts of the country.” RAIL.ONE says the company is not expecting any significant changes in regards to tie demands for Class 1 railroads within the next year or so. “More short-term urban transit projects pose an interesting alternative to keep production outputs at reasonable levels,” the company added. Gutierrez says GIC gained significant momentum in 2016 with several notable revenue service installations. The company’s outlook for 2017 is bright regarding manufacturing capabilities in the U.S. and GIC expects to see growth in 2017 by increasing the availability of its concrete railroad products in key North American regions.

Composite/alternative Axion International has been growing steadily, according to William Jordan, vice president, Commercial Development. He says the company has seen this growth as the general acceptance of composite ties has been increasing. Other factors Jordan says have boosted the company’s growth include the increased use of composite ties in highmaintenance zones and special trackwork—primarily road crossings, turnouts and tunnels. 32 Railway Track & Structures

October 2016

Jordan says Axion reorganized its publicly-owned company this year, continuing operations during the reorganization. At the end of May 2016, the company emerged as a privately-owned company and Jordan says it is now more flexible in how it enters markets and grows the business. Unlike the effects seen in some other markets, Jordan says reduced capital expenditure has not affected the demand for composite ties domestically. Across the industry, Jordan says he has seen the interest in and acceptance of composite ties flourish. He notes that a specific trend of increased requests for pre-plating has risen, as well. Quality and availability of raw material are the key factors affecting the production of composites, he said. The main drivers of Axion’s business are Class 1 railroads and the “accumulated success” of installations throughout North America, he says. As for the next year, he said, “We expect steady, sustained growth domestically and internationally. We foresee a steady increase in demand for composite ties, and we expect more manufacturers to be producing composite ties as the demand for our tie type increases.” Linda Thomas, president of LT Resources, Inc., says business has been healthy during 2016. “Composite ties, and in particular American TieTek composite ties, are becoming more accepted in the industry due to our excellent performance history and product consistency,” she said. Thomas says quality control and product consistency have been major obstacles to the acceptance of composite ties in the past. However, new quality assurance procedures have been implemented by American TieTek to ensure consistency and reliability in the company’s products, she says. Customers continue to look for longer-lasting products to minimize material and labor costs associated with tie replacement, Thomas says of current industry trends. Considering downtime and disposal costs, she believes composite ties provide the best life-cycle cost. “American TieTek leads the industry in quality control and product consistency,” Thomas said. “Specific in-house processes have been developed to assure traceability and long-term product performance.” Thomas says business for this year has been good considering budget cuts with most freight railroads and production has been redirected to ports and transits with positive results. “We’re looking forward to substantial growth next year as we supply material for projects delayed until 2017,” she added. Thomas also noted there has been substantial interest in custom sizes and American TieTek plans to continue pursuing that market. “Maintenance and replacement costs associated with other tie products have caused potential customers to seek products that offer the best bottom line cost savings,” Thomas says of American TieTek’s products. “The durability and positive environmental aspects of composite ties help drive our business.” www.rtands.com

maxing out life

by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor

expectancy Various approaches to tie treatments and life-extension practices make sure wood and concrete crossties last to their full usefulness.


or railroads, buying and installing a wood or concrete crosstie is not a do it once and forget about it job. They require maintenance and inspection to ensure a given tie meets its expected useful life. There are many options for green tie treatment including the creosote family of formulas, borates, Ammoniacal Copper Zinc Arsenate (ACZA) and copper naphthenate aimed at keeping decay, rot and insects at bay. Once a tie is installed, plate cutting and rail seat abrasion can cause issues, which can be successfully repaired with a variety of methods.


The Railway Tie Association (RTA), since 1919, has focused on meeting its mission to “provide the forum and direction for the continual improvement in the life-cycle of the engineered wood crosstie system.” Part of that continual improvement is the aim to make the treatment of crossties better by either improving the methods for processing materials or the materials themselves. Jim Gauntt, executive director of the RTA, explains, “There are numerous potential wood preservative systems that may not yet have been evaluated for crossties. Some of these systems have little chance of covering all the bases of the existing AWPA standardized preservatives in use. However, I do believe that more studies will follow, and on systems that may not be in test today or even in existence. There will likely be many 34 Railway Track & Structures

combinations of preservatives and/or process changes that could lead to further innovation. And, whenever process or other changes ensue, our industry has a long history of rigorously evaluating new ideas and products prior to bringing them to the railroads for use.” RTA and Mississippi State University (MSU) are in the midst of a 20year study evaluating alternative crosstie preservative treatments. The acronym is RTA-AWPRP and stands for RTAAlternative Wood Preservative Research Project. The study has hundreds of full size ties laying in ground contact at two locations. Site 1 is a more moist/wet location due to increased shade and leaf litter. Site 2 still has huge rainfall annually, but receives more direct sunlight which results in subtle but often harsh, dry conditions that also affect ties. However, the main problem for ties in the duplicate site is that the test ties reside in a location home to colonies of the Formosan Subterranean Termite (FST), a particularly aggressive non-native termite species imported to the US following WWII. This is a unique risk for wood exposed to the elements and is another exacting test of how wood preservative systems perform. The ties are evaluated using an American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) rating system. The researchers will be presenting their thoughts on the four and eight year evaluations at the 98th Annual RTA Symposium and Technical Conference in Bonita Springs, Fla., on Oct. 28, 2016.

October 2016

WVCO’s SpikeFast polyurethane tie plugging compound being applied.

Gross & Janes

Gross & Janes Co. recently received a patent for its dual-step method applied to a green crosstie, which the company calls a TuffTie®. “Gross & Janes was an early railroad industry proponent of using borate to enhance the life of crossties,” said Mike Pourney, CEO of Gross & Janes. “After years of monitoring borate in railroad crossties, we have succeeded in making the two-step application process more uniform and consistent. Receiving this patent validates decades of effort to incorporate borate as an additional component in treating a railroad tie.” Pourney explains that using borate on a green tie protects it from decay and insects during seasoning. “G & J strives to duplicate our processing method on every tie and realizes the customer is also checking our quality which keeps us focused,” said Pourney.

Lonza Wood Protection

Lonza Wood Protection says its crossties treated with ACZA have been used from Alaska to Hawaii and everywhere in between, but perform particularly well in high-decay areas. In part, because the treatment has a fixation process that makes it very difficult for the preservative to leave the wood and was designed to protect difficult to treat species, such as white oak and Douglas fir. Additionally, it has been used in marine and tropical environments for more than 30 years proving its robust nature and www.rtands.com

Crosstie treatment Nisus Corporation

Nisus trains railroad inspectors and specialists. These cross cut results were taken by Dr. Nate Irby of the UP on ties supplied by Gross & Janes and creosote treated by Amerities.

making it a good treatment choice for those areas where environmental concerns are part of the evaluation process. Tim Carey, product manager, Industrial Business, explains that in addition to the factors above, the ACZA treatment is water based, which allows borates to easily be added to the system for a onestep treating process that drives the preservatives deeply and fully into the wood, economically. Carey explains this waterbased system also helps ACZA to avoid the unstable pricing that has plagued alternative oil-based systems. “We work with producers to design treating plants, as well as offering our in-house developed treating process control software. The preservative can also be readily analyzed versus the traditional tie preservative gauge reten-


tions, giving a better indication of the amount of preservative in the ties. We also offer QC lab service to confirm the in-plant analysis of the preservative treatment of ties; thus helping plants track and when necessary make changes to improve the treating conformance of their ties,” said Carey.

Dr. Jeff Lloyd, vice president research and development, Nisus Corporation, recommends a crosstie treatment with Cellutret DOT Borate to penetrate and protect the heartwood, an area creosote treatment is unable to reach. Lloyd says leaving the heartwood untreated allows the tie to rot from the center and allows spike kill, as well as compression under the plate, all of which results in loss of gauge and tie failure. “Testing shows the borate is best applied in a two-step process to green ties, but also can be applied in a 1.5-step process to air-dried ties. Ties are then over treated with creosote or preferably with QNAP copper naphthenate. QNAP copper naphthenate is more effective than creosote in USDA Forest Products Laboratory testing and has a great environmental profile and safer handling characteristics for workers. Treatments typically make ties last twice as long with no significant cost increase, saving railroads millions of dollars per year. Net Present Value estimates suggest a $35 per tie cost savings,” said Lloyd.

Railway Track & Structures

October 2016 35

Crosstie treatment He points out that both Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific use QNAP in their bridge programs for its safety and environmental benefits. “QNAP helps to reduce environmental impact and liability as the wet bridge ties are less slippery for workers and QNAP reduces bleeding over the waterways. Mellott, Cahaba, Wheeler and Stella Jones all have capabilities of treating with QNAP,” said Lloyd. He explains that the benefits are seen in any location in the USA, but are even more significant in wet or warm climates such as AWPA hazards zones 3, 4 and 5. “For example, traditionally bridge timbers typically last for 16 to 20 years in the southeast, but 26 to 30 years in the north. Our proprietary BTX Borate program applied to green bridge timbers, is expected to increase tie life by potentially a factor of two and in estimates given by Dr. Richard Bennett, bridge engineer at [the University of Tennessee], could give savings in excess of $5 per timber per year of additional service life, and that is calculated from material cost alone, not installation cost which could triple savings. That could be $80,000 - $240,000 savings over the life of a bridge,” explained Lloyd. He asserts Nisus has the best quality control program in the railroad treated tie industry, which begins with testing raw materials before preservative production followed by strict quality control standards on finished products. “In the field we analyze tank samples, treated wood samples and will crosscut and longitudinally (rip saw) entire ties,

36 Railway Track & Structures

October 2016

even bridge ties, to assay penetration and retention of the preservatives. Nisus works with treaters and railroads to provide whatever level of quality control they desire,” said Lloyd. “Ultimately, we believe wood is the best and most sustainable material for use by the railroads and we at Nisus, persevere to ensure wood remains the best choice.”


Encore Rail Systems full product offerings of wood tie plugging compounds and concrete rail seat epoxy are designed solely for the purpose of extending the useful life of railroad ties. “These products, coupled with a complete line of Encore’s compound application equipment – whether it be hand applicators, walk behind machines or production ride on machines – make it easy for the railroads to extend the life of one of their most valuable assets, the railroad tie. Encore’s team of field service representatives ensure maximization and uptime of the equipment,” explains the company. Encore says a top concern of its customers is the availability of quality equipment and compound. “Being that Encore owns, repairs and services its own fleet of equipment, and has multiple stocking locations, most requests can be fulfilled same or next day. We are continuously evaluating the current demands and we are flexible to adapt to any customer requests quickly,” said the company.

Willamette Valley Company

The Willamette Valley Company (WVCO) introduced SpikeFast®, a non-foam polyurethane tie plugging compound that puts new density in the rail seats of wood ties, 16 years ago. Following that, WVCO then formulated a polymer repair compound for concrete ties in order to restore the effects of rail seat abrasion (RSA), CTR-100. “Both of these technologies were created because the railroad industry was seeking greater improvements to gauge holding, lateral stability of the rail seats and, in doing so, extend the life of both wood and concrete ties. Our customers today, still maintain their vigilance of requiring superior performance of WVCO’s chemistry in order to achieve their goals,” said John Murray, vice president. Murray notes that a number of factors can contribute and accumulate to gauge being more than 56.6 inches wide in curves and tangent track, including gauge face wear of the rail; worn tie plates allowing either translation or rotation of the rail in the plate; tie plate cant; and lateral movement of the tie plate on the tie. Murray explains that to maintain acceptable gauge in curves and tangent track it becomes especially important to minimize each of the factors. He notes WVCO customers acknowledge that using WVCO polyurethane compounds provides more value-added attributes than just the intended use of spike hole filling and RSA repair. “WVCO’s exposure over the past 16 years has led to the introduction of our FastPatch® concrete repair compounds that are being used to extend the life of infrastructure within the railroad industry. FastPatch is being used in bearing pad renewal on bridge columns, concrete issues on bridge decks and hump yards and imbedded rail grouts,” said Murray. “Most all of WVCO chemistry is applied with WVCO’s metering and dispensing equipment. The railroad industry demands reliable functioning systems in order to be able to apply of technology. WVCO provides in-field technical service people that provide continuous improvement training and maintenance and repair solutions.” www.rtands.com

AREMA NEWS Professional Development The AREMA seminar program will extend our ability to serve the educational needs of our railway engineering community with PDH accredited web briefings and web-based courses, as well as offering classroom settings.

2016 Seminars

Message from the President

What's in a name: Examining AREMA'S mission

David A. Becker, PE AREMA President 2016–2017


2016 Webinar Public Private Partnerships in rail transportation — funding for the future December 8 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

To see a complete list of all upcoming seminars, webinars and to register, please visit www. arema.org or contact Desireé Knight at dknight@arema.org.

38 Railway Track & Structures

October 2016

Since the 2016 AREMA Annual Conference & Exposition, I’ve been thinking about the significance of our organization’s name, the American Railway Engineering AND Maintenance-of-Way-Association, and the students I interacted with at the conference. It is well-known that the majority of career opportunities in our industry are in field supervisory roles related to the maintenance of track and signals. To a large degree, students are seeking what I refer to as “engineering” roles as opposed to “maintenance” roles. There is nothing wrong with a young engineer wanting to use the practical engineering skills gained in an academic environment on design or research. However, students may not understand the real connection between the modern-day field supervisor and the application of those practical engineering skills demanded by “maintenance” roles. Today’s railroad field supervisor must wear many hats, and to be effective, must possess a greater level of practical engineering knowledge and technical savvy than ever before. Imagine a railway field supervisor from the 1960s time traveling to the present to fill the boots of a track or signal field supervisor in 2016. That supervisor might recognize the basics of rail, ties, ballast and signals, but the techniques, strategies and responsibilities for deploying and managing those resources would be incomprehensible. The 1960s largely marked the end of an organizational division between the “engineering” and “maintenance” roles at many roads. The ranks of “engineering” staff declined, but by necessity “maintenance” staff remained. Often, the “maintenance” professionals were forced to take on responsibility for engineering matters and become the technical decision makers and innovators rather than implementing standards or recommended practices developed by others. For all that has remained the same with railroading in the past 50 years, far more has changed. The present track and signal maintenance landscape requires a field supervisor with a broader grasp of the technical concepts that drive maintenance practices in order to properly handle their daily responsibilities. The technical presentations I heard at the conference and the information I gathered on a vast range of innovative technical solutions from industry vendors further underscores this connection. It is apparent that higher-speed passenger and higheraxle-load freight operations and higher-tractive effort locomotives will continue to push our understanding of rail-wheel dynamics and drive future decisions on how to best maintain the modern “high-stress” railway safely and efficiently. Maintenance driven topics such as the best practices for using old and new materials together, the complexity of rail cant and the use of friction management to protect rail integrity, all require an advanced level of technical understanding and engineering knowledge for solutions to be properly implemented. The genesis of solutions to modern engineering problems will often come from the technical input of field supervisors. At the end of the


Upcoming Committee Meetings Oct. 18-19

Committee 4 - Rail

Danbury, CT

Oct. 23-24

Committee 34 - Scales

St. Louis, MO

Oct. 25-26

Committee 30 - Ties

Bonita Springs, FL

Oct. 25-26 Committee 36 - Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Warning Systems

Jacksonville, FL

Oct. 26-27

Jacksonville, FL

Committee 37 - Signal Systems

2017 Meetings Jan. 24-25 Committee 15 - Steel Structures

Fort Myers, FL

Feb. 1

Committee 9 - Seismic Design for Railway Structures

San Jose, CA

May 23-24

Committee 15 - Steel Structures

June 7-8

Committee 9 - Seismic Design for Railway Structures

Calgary, ON Canada Denver, CO

For a complete list of all committee meetings, please visit www.arema.org/events. Negotiated airline discount information for AREMA Committee meetings can be found online at: http://www.arema.org/meetings/airlines.aspx.

day, isn’t that problem solving and creativity exactly what engineering is ultimately about and the reason many set out to become engineers? A role in railway track, signal or bridge maintenance can be as technically challenging and professionally rewarding as any other engineering career path. I think AREMA as an organization has a role to play in elevating and championing the cachet of these positions within the world of engineering professionals. It is my opinion that in the past, AREMA has not done enough to promote the connection and commonality between the two areas that are clearly part of our name and mission. One avenue for making the connection between “engineering” and “maintenance” more seamless and to add value for our largest membership group—maintenance field supervisors—was mentioned in last month’s column. AREMA’s maintenance teams have been converted to maintenance committees. These groups have an opportunity to help bridge the expanding technology gap by developing recommended best practices for managing and maintaining the complex technology of 21st century railroading. Such recommendations will be valuable for the field supervisor on the ground, who is increasingly called upon to implement complex track and signal maintenance practices that require complex technical knowledge and practical boots-on-the-ground experience and engineering skill. The connection is there and the opportunities for current and future field supervisors to be involved with real engineering work and use of the real engineering skills they were academically trained in is not imaginary – it is happening on a daily basis. This month, I encourage each of you to take a few minutes to speak with a member of the next generation in your organization and reinforce these connections and also reinforce the value they are bringing to your organization as an engineering professional.

AREMA website advertising

Want to be listed on the AREMA website to gain exposure from the more than 6,500 AREMA members? Contact Lindsay Hamilton at 301.459.3200 ext. 705 or lhamilton@arema.org now to get advertising rates.

Call for Mentors

As the years pass, it becomes more vital to introduce and education the next generation to the railroad industry. To aid in this cause, AREMA has developed a Mentoring Program to benefit the AREMA Student Members. We would like to extend an invitation for you to influence the next generation as part of this Mentoring Program. As part of the Mentoring Program, you will be paired with a Mentee that is an AREMA Student Member. The pairing will try to match Student Members with someone with experience in the areas of the railroad industry they are interested in. Please visit the AREMA website listed under Education & Training to become a mentor today. www.rtands.com


Order now: 2017 Communications & Signals Manual of Recommended Practices. Please visit www.arema.org or contact Morgan Bruins by phone at 301.459.3200, ext. 711 or via email at mbruins@arema.org to place an order. Call for papers: Papers are now being accepted for the AREMA 2017 Annual Conference in conjunction with Railway Interchange to be held in Indianapolis, IN from Sept.17-20, 2017. The submission deadline is Dec. 16, 2016. Please visit www.arema.org for more information and to submit a paper online. Post your career opportunity now on AREMA’s Railway Careers Network! Target your recruiting and reach qualified candidates quickly and easily. Use code OCTOBER2016 for 10 percent off any job posting throughout October. Start posting jobs today. AREMA on social media... Stay up-to-date on the most recent AREMA information through all official social media outlets. Become a fan of the AREMA Facebook page and join the AREMA LinkedIn Group now!

Not an AREMA Member? Join today at www.arema.org Railway Track & Structures

October 2016 39


Getting to know Cassie Gouger Each month, AREMA features one of our committee chairs or members. We are pleased to announce that the October featured member is Cassie Gouger, chair of Committee 24 - Education & Training. AREMA: Why did you choose a career in railway engineering? CASSIE: In college, I was lucky to co-op with a design firm that initially exposed me to the railroad industry as a career. It has been a love affair ever since. After spending 20 years as a design consultant in the industry, I went to Union Pacific Railroad in 2011, where I am currently the program manager for terminal design. AREMA: How did you first get involved in AREMA and your committee? CASSIE: My co-op was in downtown Chicago, which is where all AREA (prior to AREMA) conferences were held at the time. I was able to attend these events for free as a student. As a young female student, attending these events in the late 80s or early 90s, I was definitely in the minority. As I decided to get involved with a committee, I chose Committee 24 - Education & Training, because I wanted to help spread the word about a career in the railroad industry, especially to other young females. AREMA: What are your hobbies outside of your work? CASSIE: Since I have 6.5-year-old twins, any time outside of working for Union Pacific Railroad and working with the great people of Committee 24 is spent keeping up with my kids, their schooling and activities. If I end up having any extra time, I love to read, stay active and cook for my family and friends. AREMA: Tell us more about your family.

The Gouger family poses together. 40 Railway Track & Structures

October 2016

cassie gouger Program Manager - Terminal Design, Union Pacific Railroad

CASSIE: I have twins, Lily and Alex, who are involved in gymnastics, flag football and the swim team. I have a wonderful husband, Adam, who is finishing up a full-time accelerated nursing program, who pulls the extra weight at home while I travel for my job and attend to the needs of the committee. AREMA: If you could share one interesting fact about yourself with the readers of RT&S, what would it be? CASSIE: My husband and I are active and enjoy the outdoors. On our first wedding anniversary, we competed in a triathlon together. I am holding onto the only sport I am better at than my husband, which is swimming. AREMA: What is your biggest achievement? CASSIE: Hands down, my biggest accomplishment is my family. Being able to have a wonderful family, as well as having a fulfilling railroad career and participating in AREMA is a constant and rewarding challenge. AREMA: What advice would you give to someone else who is pursuing a career in the railway industry? CASSIE: The railroad industry is vast and provides various opportunities. From design consultants, contractors, material vendors, to Class 1 and shortline railroads, the industry is a large machine that needs people to keep it moving forward. The industry relies on increased productivity, which in turn requires new ideas and processes in order for the industry to achieve continued success. AREMA makes the industry a family that allows for the sharing of ideas and setting industry standards that is unparalleled in any other industry. www.rtands.com

Happy 10-year anniversary to Michigan Technical University Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC)!

AREMA’s first Student Chapter, Michigan Technological University - Railroad Engineering and Activities Club (REAC), is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Founded in 2006, REAC has since been a leader in providing students with invaluable information and experience about potential careers in the railroad industry and inspiring the next generation of railroaders. Please join AREMA in congratulating REAC on the group's achievements.


Railway Track & Structures

October 2016 41

Attention Students:

2017 Scholarship Program Students, the AREMA Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for the 2017 academic year! The AREMA Educational Foundation provides scholarships to engineering students who are specializing in the railway industry and supports other educational and training endeavors that help ensure the future of the profession.

Application Deadline:

December 9, 2016

For more information on if you qualify, the complete scholarship listing and the application process, please visit www.aremafoundation. org.


42 Railway Track & Structures

AREMA's student scholarships 41 years of supporting the next generation It all began in 1975, when Committee 6 – Buildings sponsored a contest for the design of a control tower and a service building for a railroad classification yard. The competition was a success with more than 100 entries. Committee 24 (through its Subcommittee 4 – Student Affiliates) challenged other American Railway Engineering Association (AREA) technical committees to sponsor a design competition. It took several years of working with the committees to hold three more competitions. In 1982, Committee 24 voted to eliminate the design competition and sponsor a student paper competition. The first competition was held in 1983, garnering 32 applications. The submitted paper had to be railroad-related and the winner received $1,000 plus a paid trip to the AREA conference in the spring of 1982. U n f o r t u n at e l y, f u n d i n g f o r t h e contest was not approved between 1983 and 1985, but was reinstated in 1986. A program for student awards has been in place continuously since. The student interest paper competition continued for three years until it was replaced with an Undergraduate Fellowship Program Award in 1989. Students in the program were asked to submit an application outlining a railroad-related research program, perform the research during the school year and write a conclusion paper on the results of the research. The prog ram was unsuccessful and the number of applications dropped compared to participation in the student paper competition. The Fellowship Program was dropped in 1991 and replaced by the present scholarship program. The new program star ted off slow mainly because the railroads were hiring few young engineers and “railroad eng ineer ing” was not a major topic in transportation classes in universities. With the establishment of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) Educational Foundation, the interest by students in the scholarships October 2016

grew, but more amazing was the growth in the number of scholarships available. The AREMA Educational Foundation is a tax-exempt, charitable organization established by AREMA to promote education in railway engineering. The foundation provides scholarships to engineering students specializing in the railway industry and supports other educational and training endeavor s that help to ensure the future of our great profession. From 1998 to 2002, there were four$1,000 awards given out, with only an average of 10 applicants per year. After an intense advertising campaign in 2003, the number of applications jumped to 101. The awards were changed to three$1,000 and three-$300 awards. In 2004, there was a record number of applications (119) with the same $4,000 being awarded to seven winners. In 2006, the AREMA Educational Foundation really began to grow. That year saw 64 applicants vying for 11 awards totaling - $18,500. In 2009, the amount of the awards grew to 32 totaling $44,000 (118 applicants). From 2009 to present, the amount of the awards has nearly doubled to $82,000 and the number of awards has increased to 39. During the past seven years, the number of applications has averaged 90 per year. Currently, a student who submits an application has strong odds of receiving an award. The application process is not difficult. Applicants simply e-mail a single PDF of all of their application materials. Therefore, AREMA highly encourages students to apply. AREMA would like to continue growing the number of student applicants. The 2017 AREMA Educational Foundation Scholarship application and infor mation can be found on the AREMA website at www. aremafoundation.org. AREMA thanks all contributors, past and present, for their invaluable support of the Educational Foundation support over the years. An investment in future railroaders is also an investment in the success of the railroad industry! www.rtands.com

CALENDAR OCTOBER 10-12. Fundamentals of Railroad Bridge Inspection. University of Winsconsin - Madison. Madison Concourse Hotel. Madison, Wis. Contact: Dave Peterson. E-mail: dmpeter5@wisc.edu. Website: https:// epd.wisc.edu/course/fundamentals-of-railroad-bridge-inspection/. 11. Railroad and Rail Transit Physical Characteristics Training and Testing. 547 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, Ill. Contacts: Michael Weinman and Tim Fuhrer. E-mail: atmrw@ptsitransportation.com; atfuhrer@iowapacific.com. 25-26. SmartTransit by the Global Transport Forum. New York City. Website: www.smarttransitusa.com. 25-27. 2016 ASLRRA Southern Region Meeting. Louisville Marriott Downtown, Louisville, Ky. Contact: Jenny Bourque. Phone: 202-585-3449. E-mail: jbourque@aslrra.org. 26-28. 98th Annual Railway Tie Association Symposium and Technical Conference. Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs, Fla. Phone: 770-460-5553. E-mail: ties@rta.org. Website: http://www.rta.org/2016-conference. 27-28. Energy by Rail. Key Bridge Marriott. Arlington, Va. Phone: 212-620-7208. E-mail: conferences@sbpub.com. Website: www. railwayage.com/energy.


27-28. Track Safety Standards Part 213 Classes 1-5 Workshop. Council Bluffs, Iowa. Phone: 800-228-9670. E-mail: studentservices@sb-reb.com. Website: http://www. railwayeducationalbureau.com/TrkInspWrkShp.html. NOVEMBER 1. Third Annual National Railway Day Conference. Fairmont Chateau Laurier, Ottawa, Canada. Contact: Lynn Raby. Phone: 613237-3888. E-mail: lynn_raby@railwaysuppliers.ca. 1-2. 18th Railroad Environmental Conference. University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign. Urbana, Ill. Phone: 217-300-1340. E-mail: rrec-conf@illinois.edu. Website: http://railtec.illinois.edu/ RREC/overview.php. 1-3. SmartMetro 2016 by Global Transport Forum. Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers, Copenhagen, Denmark. Website: www. smartmetro.eu 2-3. Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety. Hilton Garden Inn-Chicago O’Hare Airport, Chicago, Ill. Website: https://epd.wisc.edu/RA00344 DECEMBER 7. Rolling Stock Fleet Maintenance Cost Reduction Congress 2016. Grange St. Paul’s Hotel. 10 Godliman St., London. Website: http:// www.rolling-stock-maintenance.com/

Railway Track & Structures

October 2016 43

PRODUCTS Precision power wrench

ROBEL introduced its new Precision Power Wrench ROBEL 30.73 PSM at InnoTrans 2016. With high spindle speed and high loosening torque, the fully hydraulic power wrench is meant to speed up wrenching while lowering total project costs. “Next to the intuitive calibration and handling, it is especially the work result of the 30.73 PSM that impresses our clients,” ROBEL CEO Wolfgang R. Fally said of the new product at InnoTrans 2016. The company says the 30.73 PSM has been in use in its German home market for the past few months and has seen success. The company also says the machine’s patented integrated torque measuring apparatus scales the torque at the wrenching motor and automatically delivers a coded protocol of the complete wrenching process at the end of the make-up. ROBEL also touts the machine’s features as enhancing work safety and operator comfort. Phone: 317899-1395.

44 Railway Track & Structures

October 2016

Rapid bridge replacement

Engineered Rigging has released its Rapid Bridge Replacement System. The system intends to enable railroads and maintenance crews to change out a railroad bridge span in one day. Manufactured in the U.S., the company says the system is a safer method for bridge replacement than hydraulic cylinder tactics. The system’s other features include two mechanically engaged lift columns at each end, a horizontal lift girder to connect the columns, drivable trolleys that guide the bridge span along the lift girder and that can also transport carts to remove spans and distribute replacements. The system installs on top of the rails instead of under them, and the lift girder also creates a safe passage for crew members crossing the bridge after the span is removed. The modular system is constructed by crews on a nearby spur to avoid interrupting rail service and the system can be assembled in three or four shifts, the company says. It can ship on four or five legal flatbed trailers and does not require any special permits. Phone: 844-474-4448


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Koppers, Inc.





L.B. Foster Co.




Cover 2

Landoll Corporation




Lonza Wood Protection


LT Resources, Inc.








Moley Magnetics, Inc.

844-M-MAGNET (844-662-4638) 716-434-5893



North American Rail Products Inc.





Neel Company, The










Pandrol USA, L.P.


Plasser American Corporation


Progress Rail Corporation


Racine Railroad Products, Inc.













217-522-6588 grif1020@yahoo.com


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36, 43, 44

Railway Educational Bureau, The Stella-Jones Corp

Willamette Valley Company













Reader Referral Service This section has been created solely for the convenience of our readers to facilitate immediate contact with the RAILWAY TRACK & STRUCTURES advertisers in this issue. The Advertisers Index is an editorial feature maintained for the convenience of readers. It is not part of the advertiser contract and RT&S assumes no responsibility for the correctness.

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RT&S October 2016 issue  

The October 2016 issue of RT&S includes our annual crosstie report, a feature on crosstie treatment, coverage of the design and construction...

RT&S October 2016 issue  

The October 2016 issue of RT&S includes our annual crosstie report, a feature on crosstie treatment, coverage of the design and construction...

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