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In January, tie production increased 23.3 percent to 1,395,000 ties and purchases rose 24.4 percent to 1,468,000 units compared with December 2018 levels, according to the Railway Tie Association's (RTA) latest market report.On a year-over-year basis, production climbed 8.4 percent while purchases dropped 7.4 percent.Meanwhile, January inventory fell 0.5 percent to 14,356,000 ties compared with December 2018 and by 20.4 percent from year-ago levels."This year started with increased production and purchases," the report stated. "Since purchases were stronger than production, the inventory was still in [a] declining trend."As a result, the inventory-to-sales ratio (ISR) was virtually flat at 0.68 in January from the previous month. Compared with January 2018 levels, the ISR fell from 0.76, the report stated.