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Frequently Asked Questions

How long do landscape railroad ties last?

A railroad tie retaining wall can last up to 40 years in a dry climate, maybe only 15 in a wet one, depending how its treated.

How long do wooden railroad ties last?

Average life of hardwood ties is 20 to 25 years.” Kevin Haugh, president of CXT Inc., provides somewhat shorter estimates of tie service life: about 40 years for concrete versus a range for wood tie life of from 8-10 years up to 15-25 years dependent on the climate and wood type.

Which is better, treated lumber or railroad ties?

While many landscape timbers are resistant to rot, they are not as resistant as pressure-treated lumber or railroad ties. If you are looking for a permanent structure that will last forever, treated wood is your best bet. Thinking about sprucing up your outdoor space with railroad ties or landscape timber?

Why are railroad ties used for retaining walls?

Railroad ties are thick, durable, cheap, recycled wood that forms long-lasting barriers for beds, paths and retaining walls. You see them everywhere and many consider their distressed appearance naturally attractive. The wood is preserved by soaking it in creosote, which is composed of over 300 chemicals, many of them toxic and persistent in soil.

Is it safe to use old railroad ties for gardening?

Railroad ties are common in older landscapes, but are old railroad ties safe for gardening? Railroad ties are treated wood, steeped in a toxic stew of chemicals, chief of which is creosote. You can find old railroad ties for sale even at garden centers, which makes the question confusing.

How big of railroad ties do I Need?

You’re best off using railroad ties “as is” – as standard 6-foot and 8-foot timbers. If you’re building something complex, railroad ties might not be for you.

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