NP&G Innovations, Inc. has developed an environmentally friendly rail cross tie trade named Tire-Tie™. Patents are issued and pending.
This innovative cross tie concept uses reclaimed treads from discarded car and truck tires as a key structural embodiment of the new product. This avoids the need for preservative treatments like creosote used with traditional wood cross ties. Creosote has been designated as a restricted use material by the EPA. This limits the use of old cross ties adding to handling and disposal costs. The Tire-Tie™ is environmentally inert and fully recyclable.
The Tire-Tie™ provides a second and important use for the nearly 300 million tires discarded annually in the US and larger quantities worldwide.
The Railway Tie Association statistics show that over 16,000,000 new cross ties are installed annually in the US and comparable quantities worldwide. Most of these are replacement ties. This costs the rail industry 100's of millions of dollars yearly. The alternative Tire-Tie™ cross tie will benefit the industry significantly through enhanced life cycles, particularly in track bed environments that are unusually severe for wood ties.
The Tire-Tie™ is also uniquely suited for custom tie applications beyond the standard 8.5 foot configuration. The Tire-Tie™ cost per foot of length decreases with overall size, whereas, the wood tie cost per foot significantly increases with size. This makes the Tire-Tie™ very economically competitive for turnout, switch and bridge applications.
Laboratory and field testing of engineering samples have shown that the concept meets or exceeds the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA) guidelines for alternative cross ties and the European EN standards.
NP&G was awarded a grant in early 2005 from the State of New York Department of Economic Development for the continued development of the TireTire™.