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Crosstie purchases and production cranked back up in January after a slow end to 2014. Purchases soared 23.4 percent to 1.9 million units and production climbed 6.8 percent to 2 million units compared with December levels, according to the Railway Tie Association (RTA). On a year-over-year basis, purchases inched up 0.2 percent and production grew 28.8 percent.The tie inventory at January's end reached 16.1 million units versus 15.95 million units at December's end, and the inventory-to-sales ratio inched up from 0.70 in December to 0.71 in January.Meanwhile, the RTA's 12-month rolling data through January shows purchases (at 22.9 million units) were down at a 9 percent annual rate. Production (at 21 million units) continued to level off and was up 0.7 percent compared with the year-ago level, RTA officials said in a monthly market report.