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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

RTA: Tie production nudged down, purchases nose-dived in November


After holding strong through the fall months, tie purchases “finally yielded to seasonal norms” in November, tumbling 24 percent from October’s level to 1.8 million units, according to the Railway Tie Association’s (RTA) monthly crosstie market report. However, tie production, which typically falls off in November, dropped by “an insignificant 1.4 percent” to 2 million units, RTA officials said in the report.

Reversing several months of declines, tie inventories edged up 1.4 percent to 15.3 million units, the report states.

Through 2011’s first 11 months, production totaled 21.1 million units, up 36 percent, and purchases totaled 22 million units, up 21 percent compared with the same 2010 period.

Meanwhile, 12-month rolling data shows purchases were growing at a “fantastic” annual rate of more than 21 percent, exceeding 23.5 million units — the highest amount since RTA began collecting data in 1987, the report states. Production of 22.8 million ties grew at an annual rate of 36.5 percent. The inventory-to-sales ratio remained stable, matching October’s 0.65 ratio.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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