Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, November 19, 2023

As he walked along the spongy, damp Louisiana marshland, scrutinizing tracks owned by one of the nation's largest freight railroad companies, Robert Faaborg was not happy. The strips of wood that held the rails in place, called ties, were rotten. The screws that held them together were rusted. It was the sort of decay that could cause 18,000-ton trains to derail.



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To realize just how spongy the ground is around the swampland of Louisiana, you really have to be down there. Semis going by on the highway, you can feel the ground move up and down. I had to turn down the sensitivity of my car alarm on vibrations, because of ground flex from passing semis. The highways themselves need patching far more often, because the ground isn't a solid as you would think. It surprises me none at all, that the ties are rotting. Even though they are chemically treated to prevent it, over time that breaks down.

#1 | Posted by BBQ at 2023-11-19 03:10 PM | Reply

I did track inspections for years... it's amazing how much tolerance there is. Only one in four ties have to be good to pass.

#2 | Posted by REDIAL at 2023-11-19 03:50 PM | Reply

#2 sounds like good redundancy.

How often did you see this? I am sure that wasn't the only metric.

#3 | Posted by oneironaut at 2023-11-19 03:57 PM | Reply

#1 LA used cement in their highways. Similar to I-5 in CA.

Idk why, it's brittle. That's why you feel it.

#4 | Posted by oneironaut at 2023-11-19 03:59 PM | Reply

I am sure that wasn't the only metric.

No, there are many. Most important being gauge, the spacing between the rails. Nominal is 56.5", with tolerance being 0.75" under or 1.25" over. The purpose of the ties is to maintain gauge.

#5 | Posted by REDIAL at 2023-11-19 05:57 PM | Reply

Capitalism always trumps safety.

Stop acting brand new.

#6 | Posted by fresno500 at 2023-11-19 07:10 PM | Reply

Why do we still allow wood ties in the US?

Most of the world has gone to concrete.

#7 | Posted by DarkVader at 2023-11-20 02:53 PM | Reply

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