The Ripple Effect of a Railroad Tie


Every once in awhile I see a stat that makes me think. I know this is out of nowhere but I have just read that the Union Pacific Railroad Company installs, on average, over 10,000 replacement railroad ties every day, not every week or month but every day. The Union Pacific is not the largest railway in the world or even the U.S., yet they are closing in on replacing four million railroad ties every year. This raises some questions. How many people are employed in the tie business? How much food do they eat? How much creosote preservative is produced then used and released into the environment? How many hardwood trees are cut down to make ties? How many sawmills produce only RR ties. Where do the old ties go after removal? Is anyone planting replacement trees for the notoriously slow-growing hardwoods they are using up? How could the railroads do away with the cabooses that used to roll over these ties?

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About safrisri

I was a school teacher until retirement. I have taught at all educational levels from pre-school to college. My college degree is general science which I arrived at after 5 years and 5 different majors. A degree as it turns out, almost as valuable and in demand as one in Neo-Bulgarian Mythology. I have been around education for around 40 years and can remember when teaching was a pleasant, happy and creative job and our schools were the same. Now I'm the guy sitting on the porch with an opinion on everything.
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