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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

RTA: Crosstie purchases plummeted, production posted small gain in May


After reaching “pretty high” levels in March and April, crosstie purchases fell 9.6 percent to 1.7 million units in May, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly tie market report. Production inched up 1.6 percent to 1.7 million units while inventories totaling 16 million units decreased only slightly.

Through 2011’s first five months, tie purchases totaling 8.7 million units remained 14 percent higher than the total reached during the same 2010 period, the report states.

“Production has really bounced back and is 50 percent higher [at 8.6 million units] than year-to-date through May 2010,” RTA officials said.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows purchases resumed climbing in May after a “soft spot” in April, and were growing at an annual rate of nearly 18 percent, the report states. Production was growing at about the same pace while the inventory-to-sales ratio dropped to 0.77 vs. May 2010’s 0.95.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/1/2011