Mark Robak
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The Future of Railroads And Railroad Tracks in The US

In an era dominated by automobiles, it’s easy to overlook the lasting significance of trains in the United States. Despite the rise of alternative modes of transportation, railroads remain as relevant as ever, playing a crucial role in the movement of goods and people across the country. As America continues to grow and evolve, railroads and railroad tracks have the potential for continued expansion and development.

Cost-Effectiveness and Efficiency

One of the key reasons why railroads are as relevant as ever is their unmatched efficiency in transporting large and heavy cargo over land. Compared to other modes of transportation, such as trucks or airplanes, railroads offer a more economical and environmentally sustainable solution for moving goods over long distances. With the capacity to carry massive loads of freight, including commodities like coal, grain, and automobiles, railroads play a vital role in supporting various industries and supply chains.

Infrastructure Needs for Growth

As America’s population and economy continue to grow, the demand for new infrastructure, including railroad tracks, will only increase. The expansion and maintenance of railroad tracks are essential to accommodate the growing volume of freight and passenger traffic across the country. Investments in rail infrastructure not only support economic growth and job creation but also enhance the efficiency and reliability of the transportation network as a whole.

High-Speed Rail Expansion

The Biden Administration has made significant commitments to support the expansion of high-speed rail in the United States. In December 2023, President Biden announced he would allocate $8.2 billion in funding for high-speed rail projects. This funding will support the development of new rail corridors, the modernization of existing rail infrastructure, and the implementation of high-speed rails to improve passenger travel and freight movement.

Environmental Sustainability

Railroads offer significant environmental advantages compared to other modes of transportation in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating air pollution. By shifting freight from trucks to trains, railroads help alleviate traffic congestion on highways and reduce the carbon footprint associated with long-haul transportation. Additionally, the use of hybrid locomotives and alternative fuels further enhances the environmental sustainability of rail transportation.

Technological Innovation

The future of railroads in the US is also shaped by ongoing technological innovations. From advancements in signaling systems and track maintenance technology to the development of autonomous trains and predictive maintenance algorithms, railroads are embracing innovation to enhance their capabilities in the transportation industry. These technological advancements will play a crucial role in shaping the future of rail transportation and ensuring its continued relevance in the years to come.

R&S Track: Supporting The Expansion Of Railroads In The US

Railroads remain a vital component of transportation infrastructure in the United States. As the most cost-effective way to move large and heavy cargo over land, they support economic growth, facilitate trade, and reduce impact on the environment. R&S Track is committed to serving the track maintenance and expansion needs of the Midwest. Please call (402) 563-2350 for information.

why doesn't the us have high-speed rails - RSTRACKINC
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Why Doesn’t The US Have High-Speed Rails?

Many European and Asian countries use high-speed rail systems with trains traveling over 200 mph, making long-distance travel easier and decreasing the dependence on automobiles.

So why can’t we do this in the United States?

While regional projects are in the works, the limited development of high-speed rail in the United States can be attributed to a combination of economic, political, and logistical challenges. 

Cost and Funding of High-Speed Rails

Implementing a high-speed rail network requires a massive upfront investment in infrastructure.

Building dedicated high-speed rail lines, upgrading existing tracks, and constructing stations involve significant costs.

Securing funding for a project this big can be challenging, especially with so many other competing priorities for limited government resources.

Political Challenges of High-Speed Rails

Infrastructure projects this big often face several political challenges.

The bureaucratic hurdles and ever-changing priorities of different administrations can hinder the long-term planning and sustained investment required for high-speed rail projects.

Competition with Other Transportation

The United States already has a well-established and heavily used highway system, as well as a comprehensive domestic air travel network.

These existing transportation modes are deeply ingrained in American culture, and there may be resistance from citizens and competing companies to invest in high-speed rails as an alternative.

The Population Density Problem

High-speed rails are most effective in regions with high population density, where there is a significant demand for frequent and fast transportation between major urban centers.

In the U.S., population density varies across regions, and some areas may not have the critical mass of passengers needed to make high-speed rail economically viable.

Shared Tracks and Infrastructure

High-speed rails would either need to share tracks with existing freight and commuter rail services or build their own tracks altogether.

This video illustrates the challenges and difficulties of infrastructure in the US and why it’s difficult to build high-speed rails.

Coordinating schedules, upgrading infrastructure, and addressing safety concerns associated with shared tracks can complicate the implementation of high-speed rail.

Size of the Country

The sheer size and environmental obstacles of the United States pose a unique challenge for high-speed rail.

Covering long distances quickly is more challenging in a country of this scale compared to smaller, more densely populated nations where high-speed rail has been successfully implemented.

Regional High-Speed Rail Projects in the Works

Recently, the Biden Administration announced $8.2 billion in grants to improve existing high-speed railways and create new high-speed railways across the country.

One of the biggest objectives is to create a brand-new high-speed rail system from Nevada to Southern California, which could serve an estimated 11 million passengers annually.

Other states receiving major upgrades include Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maine, Montana, and Alaska.

R&S Track Construction in the Midwest

While there have been many proposals for high-speed rail projects in the U.S., overcoming these challenges requires a concerted and sustained effort from the government, private sector entities, and the public.

It seems like things are progressing under the current administration, but only time will tell if these projects will be completed. 

R&S Track Maintenance has been serving the railroad maintenance and construction needs of the Midwest for over 30 years.

Contact us at 402-563-2350 for more information.

how are railroad ties replaced? Railroad contractors working on railroad tracks concept image.
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How Are Railroad Ties Replaced?

Railroad ties are the primary support beams for the rails themselves. They are laid perpendicular to the rails and hold them upright. Railroad ties are typically made of wood or concrete and must be replaced periodically due to wear and tear. The frequency of replacing them can depend on the type of ties used, the level of traffic on the rail line, and the local climate. Overall, wood can be obtained in such high quantities for a low cost, which is why you see them used on the majority of railways.

However, wooden ties generally have a shorter lifespan than concrete or composite ties and may need to be replaced every 7-10 years. Concrete ties are more durable and can last up to 30 years. Here is a step-by-step process of how railroad ties are replaced. 

Inspecting the Railroad Ties

Not all ties get replaced at once. Before replacement, the maintenance crew at R&S Track will perform manual railway inspections to identify ties that have deteriorated or have been damaged. Ties may be assessed for signs of rot, splitting, or other structural issues, especially for wood. Once faulty ties are identified, their location is marked for replacement. 

Planning and Preparation  

After the faulty railroad ties are identified and marked, planning and preparation for the replacements can begin. The maintenance team will gather specialized equipment to remove the old ties, procure the replacement ties, and schedule maintenance work for the track. The section of track where ties are being replaced must be cleared of any trains, which means there will be temporary track closures to allow maintenance crews access to the area.

Removal and Installation of New Railroad Ties

The old ties are removed using specialized equipment known as a spike puller, which removes the nails from the rail. New ties are then put in place and are aligned properly to maintain the track’s gauge (the distance between the rails) and secured in place.

The ballast, which is the layer of gravel or crushed stone under the ties, may also need to be adjusted and replaced. Properly maintaining the ballast is crucial for giving the track a stable and level foundation. 

Quality Control and Inspection

Once the repairs are complete, the track is thoroughly inspected again to ensure it meets safety and operational standards. This includes checking for proper alignment, gauge, and fastening of the rails. Once the quality control and inspection are complete, the track can be reopened for trains. 

Use R&S Track for Railroad Tie Replacements 

R&S Track has been a leader in railroad maintenance throughout the Midwest since 1987. Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Consulting
  • Surveying
  • Project Design
  • Track Maintenance
  • Railroad Tie Installation
  • New Track Construction

Please contact us at (402)-564-1801 for any questions or if you want a price estimate.

railway track maintenance.
Blog

Understanding the Different Types of Railway Track Maintenance

Railway track maintenance is a complex and important process that must be done in order to ensure the safety and reliability of trains. It involves both proactive and reactive maintenance activities, as well as regular inspections and repairs. 

With the help of a good railroad track repair contractor, your railroad tracks will always remain in the best working conditions. 

But what are the different types of railway track maintenance? Let’s explore them in greater detail.

1. Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance is the most common type of railway track maintenance. This includes activities such as visual inspections, replacing worn-out parts, greasing points, cleaning, repacking ballast, and other general upkeep activities. 

Routine maintenance should be done regularly in order to keep tracks in peak condition and prevent any major issues from occurring.

2. Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is a proactive approach to railway track maintenance that involves anticipating potential problems before they happen and taking steps to address them before they become major issues. 

Examples of preventive maintenance include inspecting running rails for wear or cracks, using special tools to detect weak spots in rail joints, regularly checking under bridges for damage, and performing routine tests on equipment such as switches, signals, crossings, etc. 

Choose a reliable railroad track repair contractor, such as R&S Track to give you the best maintenance services. 

3. Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance is used when something has gone wrong with the railway tracks or their components. 

This type of railway track maintenance involves identifying the issue at hand and then taking corrective action to fix it as quickly as possible. 

Examples of corrective maintenance include repairing broken rails or ties, replacing damaged parts, realigning tracks, fixing drainage issues, removing vegetation from around tracks, repairing switches or other faulty components, etc.

4. Emergency Maintenance

Emergency maintenance is used when there’s an urgent need for repair due to an unforeseen event such as a natural disaster or accident that could put passengers at risk if not addressed immediately. 

Emergency repairs may involve anything from replacing damaged rails or ties to clearing debris off the tracks after a storm has passed through an area. When emergency issues such as derailments occur, call a reliable railroad track repair service. 

R&S Track Inc. – Certified and Compliant Railroad Track Contractors

Railway track maintenance is an important part of any railroad system, whether private industrial railroad tracks or long-distance tracks. 

The good news is that with a professional and experienced railroad track repair service contractor on your side, you can be assured that your railroad is being taken care of at all times. 

R&S Track Inc. is a certified and compliant railroad track contractor with OSHA safety compliance, ISNET certification, and DOT compliance. As a leading railroad contractor, we take pride in our 100% customer satisfaction rate.

R&S Track provides a wide range of railroad track maintenance services including rehabilitation. Your tracks will age over time, especially if you move bigger carloads or service bigger locomotives. 

Shorter load times will also take a toll on your tracks. R&S Track can handle all the railroad track rehabilitation maintenance requirements you need. 

We also provide railroad track maintenance construction for new lines. Over the years we have built many new tracks for a wide range of industries including wind turbine trans-loading sites and ethanol production industries. 
Feel free to contact us today for all your railroad track maintenance needs.

railroad ties - understanding how to replace railroad ties.
Blog

How Often Are Railroad Ties Replaced?

What is needed when replacing railroad ties? A typical railroad system has several parts including the actual rails, spikes, and the train. One more important but often overlooked part of the railroad system is the tie. Railroad ties, also known as sleepers or crossties, are basically strips of wood or concrete parts that are located under the rails. 

The ties help by holding the entire truck intact using spikes. They also make sure that the rails are an equal distance apart and level with each other. They are important because without them the rails can move or sway and throw the train off balance. 

One question most people ask is just how long do railroad ties last and how often should they be replaced. When it comes to replacing railroad ties, this should typically be done on a regular schedule depending on the railway’s maintenance plan and the condition of the ties. 

In general, wooden ties may need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years, while concrete ties can last for up to 30 years. Factors such as weather, usage, and the type of train using the tracks can also affect how often you should go about replacing railroad ties.

Tips for Replacing Railroad Ties

There are several things you need to do when replacing railroad ties. Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Regularly Inspect the Ties: Regular inspections can help identify worn or damaged ties that need to be replaced.
  • Use the Right Tools: The right tools, such as tie tongs, spike pullers, and tie tampers, can make the process of replacing railroad ties more efficient.
  • Use the Right Type of Tie: Different types of ties, such as wood, concrete, or plastic, have different lifespans and are suitable for different types of rail traffic.
  • Properly Prepare the Track Bed: Properly preparing the track bed before installing new ties can ensure a more secure and stable foundation.
  • Use of Automation: The use of automation in replacing railroad ties can be more efficient and cost-effective.

Proper maintenance of the tracks and ties is essential to prolong the life of the ties and ensure the safety of the trains. It’s important to work with experienced professionals and follow industry standards when replacing railroad ties.

Railroad Ties Maintenance

With proper maintenance and regular inspection, railroad ties or sleepers can serve you for many years without the need for replacement. Always observe the best practices when it comes to maintaining and replacing railroad ties. 

Regular inspections can help identify worn or damaged ties that need to be replaced or repaired. It is also important to use proper maintenance techniques. The right maintenance techniques, such as tamping and aligning the ties, can help prolong the life of the ties and ensure the safety of the trains.

Properly maintaining the ballast, the material that supports the ties, can help ensure a stable foundation for the tracks. Remember, extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain, can cause damage to the ties and the track bed, so it’s important to monitor weather conditions and take appropriate action to protect the tracks.

It can be hard to monitor long stretches of the railroad but you can always use automation techniques. The use of automation in monitoring the ties can be more efficient and cost-effective.

When You Need Railroad Maintenance, Hire The Midwest’s Professional Railroad Track Contractor- R&S Track, INC.

It’s important to work with experienced professionals and follow industry standards when maintaining and replacing railroad ties. 

At R&S Track, INC. we understand that proper maintenance can help extend the life of the ties, ensure the safety of the trains and reduce costs associated with frequent replacement. 

Visit our website to learn more about our railroad monitoring and maintenance services. 

You can also contact us right away to get a price estimation for railroad tie replacement. 

railroad worker reviewing railroad safety standards on a laptop
Blog

Why the Federal Railroad Administration’s Track Safety Standards Are So Important

The Federal Railroad Administration, or FRA, sets railroad safety standards that railroads and other track owners must follow in order to keep their lines as safe as possible, reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. 

In fact, according to the FRA, all rail lines in the United States must be inspected regularly by engineers or other professionals who are certified to check tracks and report on their safety status. 

It’s important to learn more about these safety standards if you regularly travel on trains or if you live near tracks that are used by trains such as freight cars and passenger coaches.

The Dangers of Railroads

Railroads are a key part of our transportation system, but they can also be a major safety risk. That’s why the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has implemented strict track safety standards that all railroads must adhere to. 

These standards ensure that tracks, vehicles, and other infrastructure are kept in safe working conditions, minimizing the risk of injury or death from derailments, collisions, and other rail-related incidents.

The FRA’s track safety standards cover everything from track structure and maintenance to inspection and enforcement requirements. For example, all tracks must be inspected regularly for defects and wear and tear. During inspection, if there are any potential hazards to the track, they must be addressed immediately. 

The standards also specify how frequently certain types of equipment must be inspected, what kind of protective gear should be worn by workers, and how to handle hazardous materials safely.

It’s important to note that the FRA’s track safety standards are constantly evolving as new technologies are developed and new safety issues arise. This means that all railroad companies must stay up to date with the latest rules and regulations to ensure that they are operating as safely as possible.

At the end of the day, following these safety standards can mean the difference between life and death when it comes to railroads. It’s essential for everyone involved, from passengers and employees to the public at large, that these standards are taken seriously and adhered to at all times.

The Importance of Railroad Safety Standards

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is responsible for establishing safety standards for the nation’s railroads. The FRA’s track safety standards are designed to ensure that railroad tracks are kept in good condition and meet all safety requirements. 

These standards cover everything from the proper maintenance of track components to the installation and inspection of railroad crossings.

Railroad tracks must meet stringent safety requirements to prevent derailments and other catastrophic accidents. 

The FRA’s track safety standards help to ensure that all railroads meet these requirements. By following the guidelines established by the FRA, railroad operators can ensure that their tracks are safe for both passengers and freight.

In addition to setting safety standards, the FRA also oversees the enforcement of its regulations. If a railroad is found to be in violation of any of the FRA’s track safety standards, it can face fines or even temporary shutdowns. 

The FRA also conducts periodic inspections of railroad tracks to make sure they remain in compliance with its regulations.

The Benefits of Following Railroad Safety Standards

Adhering to safety standards set by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is essential to protecting both passengers and railroad employees. 

The FRA has established a comprehensive set of track safety standards that must be followed in order to ensure a safe railway system. These standards cover a range of topics, from rail inspection and maintenance requirements to safety rules for operating on the track.

The benefits of following these standards are numerous. Track safety standards help to prevent derailments and other accidents caused by faulty or worn-out rails or tracks. 

They also help to reduce the risk of injury or death from collisions with other trains, structures, or people on the track. Finally, they ensure that the tracks are well-maintained and meet safety regulations in order to protect the public from harm.

By adhering to FRA track safety standards, railroads can also benefit from improved performance and reliability. 

Properly maintained tracks are less prone to degradation and wear, which can lead to improved efficiency, fewer breakdowns, and fewer delays. This ultimately saves money for the railroad industry and provides a better experience for their customers.

R&S Track Maintenance Inc. – Keeping Railroads Compliant to the Federal Railroad Safety Standards 

At R&S Track Maintenance, we understand that the federal railroad administration’s track safety standards are essential to ensure that all railroads across the United States remain safe and reliable for passengers, crew, and freight. 

These standards are designed to provide a level of safety that is regularly monitored and enforced to protect people and property. Our goal is to ensure that all railroads in the U.S. are as safe as possible and remain up to code. 

Contact us to learn more about our railroad installation and maintenance services!

railroad projects that rely on steel
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Why the Railroad Industry Relies on Steel for the Railroad Projects

Did you know that the majority of railroad construction contractors use steel? Steel is the top priority when building new networks and repairing existing ones. However, the question of why still stands.

Well, a railroad project has very specific goals, like finishing on schedule, on budget, and in compliance with safety regulations. Steel products are given priority by any railroad contractor because they facilitate the achievement of all these goals. 

We’ll go into more detail regarding the advantages of employing steel in railroad projects.

Railroad Projects that are Cost-Effective

Providing the very best services while staying within the financial constraints of the project is one of the most important goals of railroad repair and construction. 

It is difficult to employ quality products while also constructing railway tracks that are safe, efficient, and within the allocated budget. Utilizing steel results in significant cost reductions.

Steel components, such as ties and turnouts, have the potential to cut costs. Steel ties are shipped in bundles to make them convenient to carry to a project site. 

Additionally, the use of turnout plates, tie plates, spikes, screws, and anchors is rendered unnecessary as a result of steel turnouts.

Railroad Projects that are Safe and Secure

Steel turnouts, in particular, maintain a gauge for their lifespan. This maximizes the safety of the rail system. 

In addition to this, they offer sturdy and dependable support. It is important for steel to have a high level of wear resistance and even more resistance to breaking. 

This is dependent on choosing steel products of a higher quality. Excellent quality and composition assure that steel components will provide the highest possible level of safety for the rail track. 

More Eco-Friendly

Creosote is a type of chemical that has been shown to be hazardous to humans and the environment. Steel turnouts and ties don’t use creosote, therefore they’re environmentally beneficial. 

It is also possible to use recyclable steel for ties. When steel equipment is no longer useful, it may be recycled and turned into a new product through a manufacturing process. 

Therefore, the utilization of steel in the construction of railway tracks is regarded as more beneficial to the planet. 

Does the Transportation Industry’s Need for Resources Rely Heavily on Steel?

Steel is the predominant material used in rail track components. Railways utilize steel for a variety of material needs, including but not limited to the following:

  • Rolling stock (coaches, wagons, and locomotives) 
  • Tracks 
  • Infrastructure 
  • Electric traction

Consult with a Seasoned Railroad Contractor at R&S Track

It’s easy to see why it is critical to make use of steel when it comes to railroad construction. Steel is required to support the weight of massive trains traveling at fast speeds. A minor error can result in significant costs, including the destruction of property and even loss of lives. 

Using high-quality steel both reduces the associated risk and ensures that the rail track is safe with trains moving along it quickly and easily.

For reliable railroad contract services, contact us here in R&S Track today!

Freight Train cars.
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8 Factors to consider when Hiring a Railroad Maintenance Company

If you’re in the railroad industry, you know how important it is to have safe, efficient tracks. To achieve this, maintenance must be performed regularly to ensure that there are no problems that can lead to derailments. For this reason, it’s crucial that you work with a team like ours at R&S Track Inc, to help you with these repairs and inspections. Here are factors to consider when hiring a railroad maintenance company.

1-Certification and License

When hiring a railroad maintenance company, the first thing you should check is whether they are certified and licensed. The Federal Railroad Administration offers many certifications and licenses that are required by the state to function as a railroad company. This ensures that they have the necessary qualifications to do the job. Furthermore, make sure that the company is insured and bonded. This protects you from any financial damages that may occur should something go wrong.

2-Where It’s Located

The next factor you should consider when hiring a railroad maintenance company is where it’s located. After all, you want a company that’s close enough to your railroads so that they can easily and quickly get to them in case of an emergency. Plus, a local company will be more familiar with the area and the specific challenges that come with maintaining railroads in that region. 

3-What Type of Equipment They Use 

Another important factor to consider is what type of equipment the company uses. After all, you want a company that has the latest and greatest equipment so that they can properly maintain your railroads. That way, there won’t be any hiccups that result in delays or disruptions for your customers. You also want to make sure that the company uses safe practices while working on these delicate pieces of machinery. That way, they won’t damage anything else while they work on fixing something that needs fixing!

4-How Long They Have Been in Business

One important factor you should consider when hiring a railroad maintenance company is how long they have been in business. A company that has been around for a while is likely to be more experienced and therefore better equipped to handle your needs. 

You want to make sure that the company you hire has a wealth of experience in the industry. This way, you can be confident that they’ll be able to handle any issue that may come up. Do they have experience with your type of railroad? What size crews do they typically work with? All of these factors can impact the quality of their work. For example, if they’re not used to working on your type of railroad or your crew is larger than what they usually deal with, this could lead to poor service and delays in finishing the job.

5-How Many Employees They Have

Another factor to consider is how many employees the company has. A larger company is likely to have more resources and be able to handle more work, while a smaller company may be more personal and provide more individualized attention. The number of crew members a company has can also be indicative of their experience level. If a company has a large team, it’s likely because they’ve been in the business for a while and have taken on big projects.

6-Can They Handle the Job?

You’ll want to consider when the company will be able to do the job. If you need it done urgently, then you’ll obviously want to prioritize companies that can do the job more quickly. But if you have some flexibility, then you can look at other factors as well. The size of the company is also something to consider. A large company may have more resources and be able to get the job done faster, but it may also charge more. A smaller company may be more affordable, but it may not have the same resources available.

7-Highly Trained Staff

You want to be sure that the company you hire has highly trained staff. This is important because they will be the ones working on your railroad tracks. You want to be sure that they know what they’re doing and that they’re able to do it safely. Make sure that the company you hire has trained staff with experience working on railroad tracks.

8-The Company’s Safety Record 

Another important factor to consider is the company’s safety record. This is vital because you want to be sure that the company you hire is safe and that their employees are safe. You can check the company’s safety record by looking up their OSHA statistics.

Hiring a Railroad Maintenance Company: R&S Track Inc

There are many factors to consider when hiring a railroad maintenance company. But by keeping these eight factors in mind, you can be sure to find the right company for your needs. 

With the right partner, you can keep your railroad running smoothly for years to come. RS Track is a leading Midwest railroad track contractor. We are OSHA compliant, certified, and have been serving the maintenance needs of Midwest railroads since 1987.  Contact us today for all your railroad maintenance needs!

railroad accidents- benefits of a midwest railroad.
Architecture & Building, Blog

Modern Benefits of a Railroad in the Midwest

Here’s a look at why a Midwest railroad contractor will stand by railroads for freight in this modern age, despite the countless contemporary alternatives. Some of the greatest inventions to come out of our collective history are still heavily relied upon today. Consider the wheel, which has not only defined transport but has also gone on to play a huge role in engineering. Ever reliant upon them today are the trains that span Midwestern America, which in themselves are a vital invention in our country’s history.

8 benefits of having a Midwest railroad

These hulking machines have not only stood the test of time but still offer some unique advantages over other forms of freight transport. Here are the modern benefits of a Midwest railroad.

1. The Fate of Freight

Understanding how rail freight can be better than other forms of freight transport takes a look at how freight has evolved in recent years. The amount of businesses operating in our great nation nowadays is relatively astounding, with many existing solely online and operating from warehouses.

2. Prompt Expectations

The advent of online shopping has changed not only how we purchase goods during a global crisis like a pandemic but also our general shopping habits. It’s no surprise that freight has also had to adapt, with demand for the prompt delivery of all manner of consumer goods becoming a standard.

3. Shipping on a Shoestring

The cost of freight is a major consideration, especially for those companies whose profit margins are reliant on high product turnover. However, other costs have taken precedence in recent years too.

4. Overnight Delight

Many major businesses are transitioning their operations to a digital storefront, to save on countless costs. While this has its benefits for consumers and suppliers alike, there is a downside that has led to the prompt expectations of modern customers.

Once upon a time to buy your desired product, you would go to your local store and purchase one either to be taken home that day, later that week or to be sent out thereafter. This involved a lot of human interaction, which would have acted as a buffer for concerns around how long it might take to receive.

Nowadays, going online shopping, we aren’t faced with any friendly faces of customer service representatives wishing to ease our minds. This has made people more demanding when it comes to shipping times, so freight companies have adapted to acting fast and delivering efficiently.

5. Benefits of a Midwest Railroad

Ask any Midwest railroad contractor their preferred way of traveling across these great states, and they’ll almost always tell you it’s hitching a ride on one of the many trains. This isn’t just because of the scenery, though; Midwestern roads are notorious for delays, accidents, closures, and construction.

So while trucks have proven adept at moving goods quickly across borders, they are quickly slowed by these common issues, which can keep your goods from getting to their final destination within the deadline.

6. Counting Costs

It doesn’t take an economist to understand how shipping things in bulk tends to be cheaper than shipping individually. Although when it comes to shipping bulk loads of any product, it starts to get big and heavy pretty fast.

As previously mentioned, those companies that rely on a thin profit margin on each product need to find ways to move large amounts quickly while minimizing costs. The best way to do this is by shipping as much as possible at once, sometimes amounting to several tons.

7. All Gas No Breaks

A year ago today, shipping via a fleet of trucks may have had a comparable cost to shipping via a rail freight network. Although due to global events, the cost of gas has skyrocketed to a monumental level, making trucks financially cumbersome overnight.

While most trains rely on the same diesel fuel that trucks rely on, the way that each uses the gas is quite different. A modern locomotive is around 10 times more fuel efficient than a truck and can carry a ton of goods 480 miles (ca. 772 km) on just one gallon of fuel.

8. Environmental Costs

Arguably as important as the financial cost is, the environmental cost of our actions on this planet has gained more attention in recent years. Finding ways to enact our businesses while minimizing or mitigating harm can ensure that there’s still a planet and resources for future generations.

Although both rely on diesel, the fuel efficiency of trains is not only a financial incentive but also an environmental one. The benefits of a railroad also tend to be a lot more linear than roads, only requiring a thin strip of tracks rather than spiderwebbed networks across states and counties.

Support your Local Midwest Railroad Contractor

Here at R & S Track, we know that railroads have not only existed in the Midwest for centuries, but they played a major role in the development of our country. If you’re considering buying, developing, or repairing railroads here, be sure to contact us to speak with a Midwest railroad contractor who can help guide your decisions. There are many benefits of a Midwest railroad and our team can help you create the dream railroad.

Be sure to check out our gallery to see some of our work; otherwise, contact us today for any additional inquires.

how long do railroad tracks last - how often do railroad tracks need to be replaced - concept image.
Architecture & Building, Blog

How Often Do Railroad Tracks Need to Be Replaced & Tips for Track Maintenance

The weight of a train exerts a constant substantial force on the railroad tracks. Environmental factors also have an impact on the health of the tracks. Over a period of time, many damages occur which cause the railway tracks to become unusable, unusable, and in need of railroad replacement or maintenance. In this article

The most common damages which will require a Midwest railroad contractor for railroad track replacement include:

  • Rail Creep: When the wheels of a train run along the tracks or rails, they generate various forces e.g. vertical force, longitudinal horizontal force, and lateral force. The longitudinal force is what causes the rails or tracks to move along the sleepers. It’s what’s called a rail creep. The outcome of creeping in rails is typically an unequal size of space between railway tracks, and in extreme circumstances, dislocation of the rails themselves. As such, the sleeper can also experience skewing, which will result in significant damage to the line, which will then lead to a weak rail structure and will put the safety of the track at risk. 
  • Rail Damage: Uneven surfaces along the rails are the primary indicators that there is damage to the rails. The changes in dimensions and conditions of a track are often caused by poor railroad quality, construction deviation, design errors, and wheel-rail effects e.g. vehicle load, crawling, and speed. 
  • Joint Damage: Rail joints are important as they hold together a rail or track’s adjoining ends in the proper position both in vertical and horizontal planes. It’s the weakest component of a railroad track, which is why it’s also prone to damage. 
  • Ballast Degradation: The force of an axle load causes the ballast to deteriorate, and fines fill the spaces that are created when the stones of the ballast are displaced. The fines accumulate mostly underneath the sleepers which begin to do so at the formation surface and work their way down towards the base or foot of the sleepers. The condition known as fine-contaminated ballast develops when the layer of ballast becomes polluted with fines that originate from a variety of sources. The performance of the ballast can be diminished from fine contamination. It will impede drainage, decrease track stiffness, and increase track settlement.

All these require the expertise of a seasoned Midwest railroad replacement contractor to resolve. Damages to railway lines not only disrupt the normal operations of trains but also put passengers’ lives at risk. It is crucial to examine, establish, and implement railway track maintenance systems in order to ensure good railway track conditions. 

Maintaining railway tracks with the help of a Midwest railroad contractor can also prevent economic losses which are caused by the disrepair of railway tracks. Regular railway track maintenance can further extend a track’s service life and ensure that all components are in good running condition.

railroad replacement tips concept image.

Railroad Track Replacement Tips & How to Maintain Railroad Tracks

There are different methods to maintain the condition of railway tracks and prolong their service life. 

The proven and tested ways include:

Allocate Resources for Rail Grinding

Grinding the rails is widely regarded as the single most cost-efficient and effective preventative maintenance procedure for minimizing the negative effects of the rolling contact fatigue, for profile restoration, and for getting the most value out of the rail asset.

Rail grinding done by a Midwest railroad replacement contractor can extend the life of rails, offer fuel savings, reduce surfacing cycles, extend the service life of component tracks, increase axle loads, increase train speeds, and improve passenger comfort and ride quality.

Schedule Routine Rail Replacement

When properly maintained by a Midwest railroad contractor, a modern running track has the potential to last for almost 30 years after its construction. 

It may be difficult to recognize the signs of deterioration in rails because they appear to last an entire lifetime. However, it’s possible that facility maintenance staff could miss some of the subtle cues that indicate rail replacement is overdue. 

This is why it is good practice to schedule a rail replacement after 20 to 30 years rather than waiting until issues arise.

Perform Ballast Injection

Ballast offers the railway sleepers a bed that is leveled out, as well as sufficient support. The weight is transferred from the sleepers in order to subgrade and evenly distribute the load. As trains pass by, ballast maintains the sleepers in their position.

Because the ballast can degrade or get contaminated; ballast injection has to be done by a Midwest railroad contractor. 

The process introduces more stones onto an existing ballast bed or surface and leaves the compact and stable ballast bed undisturbed.

Bonus Tip: Tamp, Tamp, Tamp!

Tamping is performed to correct the track’s alignment, cross-level, and/or longitudinal profile. Sleepers are lifted in order to fix the level and vibrating and oscillating tamping tines are inserted into the ballast. Tamping involves the use of a ballast tamper or tamping machine.

Hire Most Trusted Midwest Railroad Tracks Contractor: R&S Track Inc.

The vagaries of the Midwest’s climate, constant vibration, and wear and tear, present a huge challenge to a network. Regular railway track maintenance carried out by professionals such as RS Track Inc. is necessary. We specialize in railroad track replacement.

At RS Track Inc., the service life of an older track can be prolonged, costly delays are avoided, fuel consumption is significantly reduced, and closure and disruptions are minimized. For a clear and safe operation, contact us at RS Track Inc. today! 

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