USA: high-tech equipment speeds railway's tie cleanup
Union Pacific (UP) is using new high-tech work equipment to remove ties more quickly. The US class I railroad annually replaces between 3 million and 4 million railroad ties along its more than more than 51,500 route kilometres.
The new equipment has two giant excavators that ride along the top of a series of connected 36 m-long rail cars. Operators in the excavators pick up tie bundles left in stacks along the right of way – 500 to 700 ties per hour – and transport them to one of three facilities.
Here, the ties are recycled or shredded for cogeneration fuel. UP said that the new system doubles the number of railroad ties that can be disposed of per day to nearly 5,000. (ben)