Union Pacific Railroad has begun using new tie removal technology to accelerate used-tie cleanup.
The Class I is testing the use of two excavators that ride along the top of a series of connected 70-foot-long rail cars. Excavator operators load tie bundles left in stacks along the right of way and transport them to one of three facilities where ties are recycled or shredded for cogeneration fuel, UP officials said in a post on the railroad's website.
Traditionally, contractors used trucks and front-end loaders to pick up about 2,500 ties per day. The new system doubles the number of ties that can be disposed of per day, UP officials said.