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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

RTA: Crosstie production surged, purchases crept up in January


Tie production — which had exceeded tie purchase levels for each of the six months prior to January — surpassed purchases in January by a 50 percent margin, according to the Railway Tie Association (RTA).

After a seasonal dip in December, production rebounded in January, climbing 21 percent on a month-over-month basis to 2.1 million units, RTA officials said in their monthly crosstie market report. Tie purchases inched up 0.6 percent to 1.4 million units and inventories rose 3.5 percent to 20 million units.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling totals showed production had continued to level off since October, standing at about 25 million ties and continuing at an annual growth rate of about 11 percent, RTA officials said. Purchases, which had peaked in July 2012, stood at 22.4 million units, suggesting growth had slowed to an annual rate of 1.8 percent, they said.

The rolling totals also showed that inventories grew more than 17 percent over the 12-month period. The inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 0.77 in January 2012 to 0.89 in January 2013.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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