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Author Topic: RR Ties for $40  (Read 22328 times)

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Offline muddstopper

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #240 on: March 12, 2013, 05:34:31 pm »
I only read the first 5 or 6 pages of this thread, but I am not a logger so I wont throw my 2cents toward the profitability of sawing RRties. I do want to touch on another part of the tie discussion. Having worked for a major railroad for 37+years, most of them on traveling tie gangs. I have probably handled more ties than this entire group as a collective. I have installed the concrete ties and removed them just a few short years later because they wont stand up to the heavy tonnage of freight lines. I have also installed and removed composite ties, some made with wood chips, sawdust, plastics and glues, because they wouldnt hold up either. I have even installed, and later removed steel ties, that wouldnt do the job either. Wood has an amazing flexability that these other materials simply dont have. Anything to rigid will simply break like repeated bending of a wire. Simply put, the RR's use wood ties because they havent found a better material for the job, and believe me, they keep looking.

Also, not to bust anybodies bubble, I wouldnt look for RR's to be a major hualer of crude oil. When it comes to fuel, acohol will be what the railroads hual the most of. Not just the liquid itself, but also the grain and sugars used to make the ethanol is where the RR's will make their money. Most of the increase in track improvments are being made in the midwest where the corn is grown and the acohol is produced.

Someone mentioned the dangers of transporting crude oil and their by products in tank cars. Even went so far as to publish a few links to some serious incidents that had happend in the past. One would do well to not read to much into these reports posted, the newest one being over 30years old. The railroads have a tremendous safty record when it comes to hualing hazardous material. The trucking companies nor the pipe lines can boast of a better record. Still that doesnt mean the RR's would be a better fit for transporting refined or crude oil across the country. The reference was made to the tank capacity of a tank car compared to a truck tanker, well the same comparison can be made between a tank car and a pipe line. It simply cheaper and more efficient to hual the oil in a pipe line than it is in a tank car, whether by rail or truck.

As for the increased in the amount of track improvements being made, it might interest some to know that the railroads are not really hireing that many people to get the work done. Not even keeping up with the number of folks that retire each year. Layoffs are not that all uncommon and I know of one major railline that has actually cut back on the scheduled amount of track work to be done this year. Of course RR's look at the big picture over many years, not just this year or the next. If manufactureing ever returns to this country, then you can look for the railroads to be the main suppliers of material hualing. If imports increase, nothing beats a train for getting something from the West coast to the East coast in large quantities. Trucks can go where trains cant, but a train can hual more tonnage, greater distances, and on less fuel than a fleet of trucks.

Online Mooseherder

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #241 on: March 12, 2013, 06:14:54 pm »
The Railroad may want the Wood tie markets to think that concrete will replace them if their prices go too high.
Now that the secret is out they won't be able to hold that over their head for much longer.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #242 on: March 12, 2013, 06:23:38 pm »
Its not any secret.  If they stopped buying, the price of all low grade would slump.  If they buy too much, they force the price up.  It seems that they simply match the going to supply to anticipated demand.  These guys are pretty sophisticated buyers. 
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #243 on: March 12, 2013, 06:38:47 pm »
Right now, they are hauling natural gas by special container on trucks to McCain foods to replace stove oil. At one time they had rail to the local plant but all the river valley rail system was taken up 25 years ago. This is at both processing plants.

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Offline dgdrls

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #244 on: March 12, 2013, 08:54:24 pm »
This appears to be a market worth investigating especially since I need to try and make my next
mill purchase at least a break even proposition,

Is there a listing, directory or web-site of tie buyers in NY or the NE??

Good thread, lots of good information and experience  here.

Thanks
DGDrls

Offline muddstopper

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #245 on: March 13, 2013, 06:22:39 pm »
It might interest some of you to know that the railroads are some of the largest landowners in the country. RR tracks and right of ways are only a small portion of their land holdings. they do own massive amounts of timber land and do use their own timber for cross tie production. They need more ties, they just saw down a few more trees. Of course after the Conrail mergers, they also sold off a lot of their timber lands, both NS and CSX, in order to service some of the debt that they incrued because of the purchase, but the railroad still hold thousands of acres of timber land. While they do still buy ties from other sources, if prices get to high, they simply start cutting their own timber.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #246 on: March 13, 2013, 07:18:43 pm »
Those RR timber lands were sold off here in NB years ago. If you see NB Railroad Company on a sign here, it's owned by the Irvings. Irvings are a forest company, but do have some track and lease some to. But the rail road, like CN rail, don't own much outside of the rail bed, switch yards and shops. The river valley rail was abandoned 25 years ago and has reverted to DNR, the rail road doesn't own it. It's now the NB trail network. It will never return here. In my county there is very little land that isn't private land, any that aren't are 100 acre parcels scattered hither and yawn that are mostly all cut off. The Irvings have so many companies that it made a couple interesting books. When my grandfather was very young back before the depression he used to go with his father and guide for the Dead River Company on the Restigouche R, for salmon. The Irvings bought the company out, they still exist, and he never cared for Irvings all the rest of his life. The Irvings still have that fishing lodge and have exclusive rights to the water and the fishing. That was why he never liked them.

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
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Offline dgdrls

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #247 on: May 31, 2013, 07:33:09 pm »
I have noticed a fair amount of rail tie work here in the Northern NY Region above Watertown,
Has the price on ties moved at all?

DGD

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #248 on: May 31, 2013, 08:51:26 pm »
While working this week out in the bush, the area happened to be near a freight rail line. I saw car after car of petroleum roll by one day on a block that bordered the rail road. On this block I had to watch out for old fencing that is mostly disintegrated, but hard on saw blades.  :-\

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry

Offline WH_Conley

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #249 on: June 01, 2013, 01:01:33 pm »
Only thing I have heard about ties is that a new log buyer started up a couple of months ago and is paying $75.00 per thousand more for tie timber than anyone else and trucking the logs 150 miles. Needless to say, he is getting all the logs. Either he is gambling big time or he has a better market.
Bill

Offline RayMO

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #250 on: June 01, 2013, 08:49:44 pm »
What is the going rate for good oak tie logs in your area ????
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Offline WH_Conley

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #251 on: June 02, 2013, 11:10:24 am »
225 to 250, before this guy came along.
Bill

Offline RayMO

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #252 on: June 02, 2013, 11:14:33 pm »
250 here in MO picked up at the landing price.
Father & Son Logging and sawing operation .

Offline dgdrls

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #253 on: June 03, 2013, 06:17:36 am »
So  $225-250/thousand  for materials

What are buyers paying per tie delivered ?

Thanks
DGD



Offline WH_Conley

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #254 on: June 03, 2013, 07:15:15 am »
Oak 7x9-$21.00, mixed hardwood  7x9 $20.50, 6x8 $12.75.
Bill

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #255 on: June 03, 2013, 08:27:04 am »
I'm assuming those log prices to be in Doyle scale.  Its hard to make a direct correlation from one scale to the other.  You're looking at around $477 on the oak, and $465 on the mixed hdwd.

Theoretically, you can cut a 7x9 from a 12" log.  In Doyle scale at $250, you only pay $8 for material.  In a 13" log, that goes up to $10.25, but you'll be getting more in side cuts.  At 17", there is a breakeven point where the tie pays for the log.  Your operating costs and profit needs to come from your woodwaste and your side cuts. 

What's happened to the #3 log values?  Have they moved up along with the tie log price or have they remained low?
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Offline WH_Conley

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #256 on: June 03, 2013, 09:02:36 am »
The local buyer prefers 9 foo ties. That brings oak down to $.440. It is Doyle. To get the numbers you are talking you have to be buying 8 foot logs. Around here the market is good enough for what logs are left that you will not get any logs. Most of the loggers anymore won't hardly cut less than 10 feet. If you have to buy a 12" log at 10 ' at 250 then the price goes to $10.00. What passes for tie timber around here anymore is not hardly worth taking side lumber. We had an ice storm a few years that has changed our markets completely. Now that the glut is over the demand is out running the supply.
Bill

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #257 on: June 03, 2013, 11:17:51 am »
Around here, a 9' log gets scaled as an 8' log.  There is no tie log category for 10' logs, so they would grade out at #3.  We converted some of that #3 wood into firewood. 

I remember about 10 years ago when they were saying that there was going to be a shortage of loggers.  That would crimp supply pretty well and force prices up. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline WH_Conley

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #258 on: June 03, 2013, 12:36:32 pm »
As far as I know, in this immediate area, I was the last one cutting ties that was strictly buying the logs. The other tie cutters also log. I should say the other guy. He is the only small mill left cutting ties now.

Tie timber used to be 8'6", bought for 8'. Can't do that anymore. Everything to do with the local market has completely changed in the last few years.  There used to be a small mill just every couple of miles. Brokers would travel the country trying to buy tie siding. 
Bill

Offline two tired

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Re: RR Ties for $40
« Reply #259 on: June 03, 2013, 05:16:47 pm »
10 ft. ties delivered to the tieyard $32.50. Just went up about a month ago.
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