FGLK: Sinks Steel Ties Into Geneva Yard

Steel ties have the potential to properly function for 50-plus years.

FGLK’s busy Geneva Yard expects 50-year service from its newly-installed steel ties. In addition to ~700 standard sleepers, the yard’s eight switches will rest on steel.

26.June.2021, Geneva NY – Finger Lakes Railway is upgrading most of the wood ties at Geneva Yard to steel. Installation of ~700 steel ties and eight all-steel switches is nearly complete. Steel ties have been used successfully by other railroads throughout the United States.

The decision to use steel ties was based upon long-term economics.

FGLK President Mike Smith explained the rationale for the major shift from traditional track building specs: “Steel ties are more expensive initially compared to the wood, but in an active railyard like Geneva Yard, where we classify and supply customers with railcars, the steel ties have the potential to properly function for 50-plus years, versus [an expected] 20-year lifespan for wood ties in this location.”

FGLK management settled on Steel ties after careful consideration of the location they would be installed, based on operative factors such as daily track usage, traffic density, and future maintenance costs.

“The steel tie is resistant to damage, corrosion and deterioration. It’s 100% recyclable making it the superior option for usage in a busy rail yard such as Geneva,” states Joann Armstrong-Bruch, General Manager of Finger Lakes Railway.

The project is expected to be fully completed by the end of June.

Steel tie advantages