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  • Writer's picturePaul Gaines

Guide to Railroad Ties

Trains and railroad ties are not a thing of the past - America continues to rely on the railroad tie benefits. It is the pillar and foundation to transportation by upholding the rails of the tracks; this provides a solid and sound base for the tons of weight bolting over it.

Madison County Wood Products is a leading supplier of untreated railroad ties in the Midwest. Our company sends green ties out to treat them based on tie needs. We use top-notch, industrial-grade untreated lumber to ensure the proper facilitation of your desired product. Our 40-year expertise allows us to provide the railroad with high-quality ties.

Advantages of Wood Railroad Ties

There are various options for railroad ties; however, wood remains the top choice for suppliers and customers. For over a century, wood product manufacturers have continued to enhance the advantages of wood railroad ties. Naturally, wood railroad ties have a long-life expectancy and the benefit of renewability. Compared to concrete and plastic, wood has lower costs. Wood is a guaranteed long-standing construction product. Make wood your choice of ties; they can flex more than concrete.

Different Types of Railroad Ties

All of our railroad ties conform to AREMA size specifications so that customers can adhere to their guidelines. AREMA stands for "American Railway Engineering and Maintenance‑of‑Way."

Cross Ties

A cross tie is a dense hardwood that supports the rails just as any other railroad tie. However, a crosstie is perpendicular to the rails. The weight of this particular tie is anywhere from 100 to 300 pounds. The length is slightly shorter than switch ties - Madison County Wood Products manufactures 8' to 9' industrial cross ties grades. Cross ties come from hardwood trees.

Switch Ties

The main purpose of a switch tie is to cover the entire stretch from the switch point to the end of the track turnout! This is the top grade within railroad ties providing a sleek and solid look. Madison County Wood Products produces 12', 14', and 16' lengths.

Madison County Wood Products guarantees that our railroad ties are free of damage and defects - providing you with quality and durability. We proudly supplied over 26,000 wooden ties to local tie yards in Missouri over the past year!

We process and grade our ties to ensure our customers can meet the AREMA standards and guidelines.


About the Author:

Paul Gaines is Vice President of Operations and a 2nd generation co-owner at Madison County Wood Products. Following his Father and Grandfather, Gaines leverages 22 years of wood product manufacturing experience to improve operational processes amid everchanging technological advances, keeping Madison County Wood Products the most efficient and sustainable wood products supplier in the industry. A genuine people-person, Gaines enjoys leading employees and customers to success.


Madison County Wood Products Inc. is a vertically integrated company specializing in land and timber management, logging, sawmilling, and pallet manufacturing. With a focus on environmental impact, we take a zero-waste approach while providing customers with quality products, competitive prices, and on-time deliveries.

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