You may have enough blue tarps for that summer project, but do you have enough railroad ties?
According to a press release from the Alaska Railroad Corp., for the first time in several years, used railroad ties will be sold in Anchorage. Public sales will occur on the next two Saturdays, Aug. 6 and 13, from 8 a.m. to Noon and then 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., downtown at the corner of East Ship Creek Avenue and Cordova Street. Limited weekday sales appointments will be available Aug. 8-12, but buyers are encouraged to go on a Saturday. The used ties cost $5 each -- cash or check only -- and while forklifts will be available to assist at pick-up, ARRC says purchasers should be prepared to load the ties (which can weigh 200 pounds each) themselves.
The rest of the announcement follows below.
Used tie sale events are typically organized at the railroad’s operating area in Birchwood. The Anchorage location was chosen in part because of recent tie replacement activity from Anchorage to Portage, as well as to accommodate interested residents in Anchorage and areas south. People purchasing ties on August 6 or 13 should enter the sale area from North C Street, heading east on Ship Creek Avenue to Cordova.
Non-profit organizations that are eligible for 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 status may request a donation of ties emailing a request to: Corporate Affairs Vice President Wendy Lindskoog at lindskoogW(at)akrr.com or mailing a request to ARRC Corporate Affairs, P.O. Box 107500, Anchorage, AK 99510-7500. Donation requests must include organization name, mailing information, non-profit tax ID number, number of ties requested and the purpose for the ties. Requests for donated ties must be submitted prior to the tie sale events.
A used tie inventory is generated each summer as railroad maintenance-of-way (MOW) track crews pursue an important track rehabilitation program. The 2011 goal is to replace 50,000 wooden ties primarily between Pittman (north Wasilla) and Portage, from May through September. MOW tie gangs can replace 800 to 1,000 wooden ties per day, operating at all hours to avoid heavy train traffic.
The Alaska Railroad’s track infrastructure includes nearly two million (2,000,000) ties. Since the mid-1990s, ARRC has replaced about 40 percent of these ties, many of which date back to the 1950s. The useful life of a wooden tie is between 40 and 60 years. Although creosote is used to preserve wooden ties, rotting does eventually occur at a rate depending upon exposure to the elements. Creosote is a hazardous substance and requires knowledgeable handling and responsible use. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is available via the Internet.