Today’s standard for construction of new or replacement
railroad track is the concrete tie. The finest prestressed
concrete ties are manufactured by CXT Inc. CXT Concrete Ties
have many advantages over wood or steel ties and are the
preferred choice of railroads and railroad contractors. Our
ties provide superior load capacity and stability. The
concrete ties are spaced up to 30 inches apart offering
reduced material, installation and maintenance costs resulting
from an average of 500 fewer ties per mile of track.
CXT Concrete Ties are manufactured with the fastening system integrated into the concrete creating a preset gauge that prevents time consuming measurements and adjustments during installation. A track using CXT Concrete Ties has greater vertical and lateral stiffness. In concert with the consistent, non-shifting gauge, this drastically reduces maintenance for loose rails and fasteners and track related derailments are virtually eliminated.
Unlike wood and steel, concrete ties do not deteriorate or corrode from exposure to weather. Since they are not coated with creosote like wood ties or have sharp edges like steel ties, they are safer for your employees and the environment. They are also noncombustible and lessen the chance of track fire.
CXT Inc. is the only North American concrete tie producer that is both PCI and ISO 9001:2000 certified.
Sophisticated machines for handling concrete ties and laying track are available or manual installation of the ties can remain cost effective. Construction of a track using CXT Concrete Ties, begins with the road bed, which is formed the same as for wood or steel ties and compacted per the specifications of that particular job.
Once the roadbed is ready, the concrete ties are set into place. There are several methods for setting and spacing the ties. Most contractors will use either the CXT hydraulic clamp or a spreader bar with chains. When using the hydraulic clamp, ties are unloaded, positioned and spaced six at a time by a single operator. Up to 1200 ties can be placed per day using the hydraulic clamp.
Minor adjustments in position and spacing are accomplished by a single person with an aligning bar. Using a spreader bar, they can quickly position and attach up to eight ties. After the ties are positioned, a rubber pad is placed on the tie where the rail will sit. This pad absorbs impact and provides an electrical insulation between the rail and the concrete.
Next, the rail is set on the ties. Installing the rails is simplified when using CXT Concrete Ties because the gauge is pre-set. The rail is placed on the pad in between the two pieces of the shoulder and there is no need to measure the gauge. If using jointed rails, the joint bars are then staggered and attached. If continuous welded rail is installed, the rail should be de-stressed as soon as possible.
With the rails in position, the insulators and spring clips are installed. There are specialized hand and mechanized tools available for installing the clips and insulator, but an aligning bar and sledge hammer can also make quick work of the task.
The next step is to flood the track with ballast as you would for wood ties while taking care to ensure that the ties are not center bound. This can occur if you are using a ballast car or driving loaders over the skeleton track. Tamp each layer of ballast to the owner’s specifications with either a tamping machine or an approved manual method. Finally, the ballast should be dressed to conform with project drawings or the owner’s recommendations.
When finished, you will have created the finest track possible. A track that is not only cost effective, simple and safe for you to install, but is also highly prized by the railroad because of its superior quality. A track that not only requires less maintenance but provides a ride so smooth it actually reduces fuel consumption.