How Much Does a Railroad Tie Weigh? All You Need to Know With Expert Opinion

A railroad tie is a rectangular wooden block that, for much of the 20th century, was used as a component of railroad tracks. It is typically made of wood that ranges from pine to other softwoods. Their is no exact answer to how much does a railroad tie weigh since the weight of a railroad tie varies depending on the thickness and type of wood used. It can range anywhere from 100 pounds to 300 pounds (45 – 135 Kg).

This article will enlighten you about the different types of railroad ties, including what they are used for and their variations in weights among different materials. For example, certain types are heavier than others, depending on the material they are made of.

Another factor that determines the weight is the size or length. Some are much longer than others, so obviously, they are heavier. The thickness of the wood will affect how heavy it is. The thicker it is, the more likely it will weigh more than its thinner counterpart. This also makes it more durable and supports a lot more weight than a thinner tie could handle before buckling under its own weight.

What is a Rail Road Tie?

The railroad tie is a structural component of a rail track made of timber, steel, or concrete sections. A railroad tie can accommodate both longitudinal and lateral forces, absorb vertical movement, and support shear forces in all directions. The railroad tie must be strong enough to support the load imposed upon it. The strength of a railway tie depends on its size, strength, the rail track under which it is located, and the quality of construction using proper design and materials.

How Much Does a Normal Railroad Tie Weigh?

A normal railroad tie weighs about 100 pounds, though it varies depending on the quality and the manufacturer of the tie. Railroad ties can be made of wood, concrete, or steel. Wood was the original material used for making railroad ties. This type of tie is made from seasoned hardwood such as oak, hickory, ash, and chestnut; softwoods such as fir and pine can also be used. The wood should be durable and not susceptible to splitting and warping.

Wood ties are susceptible to rot and insect infestation because they are made from natural materials; paint is often applied to the surface to protect these materials from deterioration by moisture, ultraviolet light, fungi, insects, or other natural elements. Copper or lead paint is not used because its toxicity is known. Lead-containing primer and paints should not be used on wood ties because of the danger of inhaling the dust particles from the painting operation.

The other type of tie made from steel is made from square bar stock. Steel square stock comes in various gauges and diameter sizes depending on weight and structural requirements. The best shapes for square ties include square and flat, but they also come in squares with two rectangular sides and square or rectangular bars with a radius on one or both ends, among others. Square bars can be used for various applications, from ties to guard rails, because they have a wide varieties of different shapes, sizes, and configurations.

How Much Does a Railroad Tie Weigh

Railroad Tie Cost and Pricing

Consumers should also consider the cost of railroad ties when purchasing railroad ties. There are many options in materials and thicknesses to choose from; prices range anywhere from $14 to $26 per tie. Most consumers find it beneficial to purchase railroad ties in bulk quantities; however, quantity discounts may not show until they select 100 units or more. Between 1/4″ and 2″ thick, railroad ties come in various sizes that can be used for any tight corner or flat area. Consumers can also choose from various widths and lengths.

The weight of railroad ties is dependent on the thickness and size of the tie. The length of the tie includes all sides, not just the visible part of it.

Various factors come into play when choosing and weighing railroad ties, such as the size and layout of the job. Regardless there is a need for precision in the size of each tie that might be on hand. The material used in the railroad ties is an important factor to consider, along with the cost and the aesthetic appearance that each customer may favour. The weight of a railroad tie is an important factor when considering how many ties will be needed for a specific location.

How Heavy Is A 9-Foot Railroad Tie?

Most people are unsure about how large a 9-foot railroad tie is. If you haven’t been around them before, or you’re not sure how long they are, knowing more about this fairly common item found in railroads and other transportation systems might make sense. So let’s find out some stuff about those wooden boards! 

According to the US Standard Specification for Wood Structural Lumber, published by the Association of American Railroads, a 9-foot railroad tie weighs roughly 1/4 ton (about 500 pounds). They also need approximately 12 square feet of space at their lengthwise centre per every inch they measure on each side.

How Much Does a Wooden Railroad Tie Weigh?

A wooden railroad tie weighs around 200 pounds, but ties made from softer wood will weigh less.

Why Are They So Heavy? 

The reason that railroad ties are so heavy is that they are made of very dense wood. Indeed, depending on the species of wood used to make them, railroad ties can weigh anywhere between 100 and 500 pounds! Some of the strongest woods which can be used include oak, pine, cedar, spruce, and Larchwood.

Nowadays, they are mostly used in concrete and asphalt roads, reinforced concrete bridges, tunnels, composite decks, and similar applications. Railroad ties are very resistant to termites and other insects. For example, the bare minimum is that if they are contaminated with termites or sugar ants (or other harmful insects), they will not be approved for use in any construction project. During the manufacturing process of railroad ties, it can seem like there is not very much room for error; the standard needs the products to be free of defects or flaws (including knots) for them to reach an acceptable quality level at the end of the day.

Are Concrete Railroad Ties Better Than Wood?

Concrete railroad ties are made of concrete and are pounded and pressed into a uniform shape to provide a stable, protective layer for the railway. Concrete ties are more difficult to splinter, resist rot and crack, resist fire better than wood ties, can be cleaned easier, and be used as a base for pavement or paved areas.

Wood ties have little to no structural soundness when “dry” unless properly sealed with asphalt. Wood cripples easily in harsh weather conditions (wind) and will crack from internal moisture content, especially if covered by asphalt. Depending on where your line is constructed, you could encounter several weather-related problems with wood ties: sun exposure, freezing temperatures, high winds, snow loading, etc. This will cause the wood to expand and contract with temperature variations, causing the ties to break. The most common problem is with snow loading on frozen ties.

Wood ties are difficult to shape and therefore cast very irregular shapes when they are moulded. There is a tendency for the ties not to be evenly spaced, which reduces their structural integrity. Wood ties do not compress easily because of their porous nature and can easily collapse if pressure is applied to them with any force. Wood has a limited life span because it tends to decay and leaves behind toxic particles which can build up in the soil over time.

New lumber ties can be expensive. In many cases, wooden ties will cost as much, if not more, than concrete ties. With this being said, many railway projects are currently using wooden ties instead of concrete because of the high cost and non-convenience factors associated with installing concrete railroad ties.

Concrete railroad ties can be easily painted with a variety of colours. Concrete railroad ties have proven themselves to last longer and withstand the most weather conditions than wood railroad ties. Concrete is environmentally friendly because it does not require a sealer to protect from UV rays and harsh weather conditions like asphalt. The simple facts are that concrete ties have proven to be the most durable and affordable option for railway projects.

Are Concrete Railroad Ties Better Than Wood

The Different Components That Make Up the Railroad Tie Are as Follows:

1) Face – This side will be placed against the rail and usually has a small lip on top. This lip is useful when working with concrete and ties because it gives you a place to pour concrete into and around to secure it properly. The face can be made of either wood or plastic, but most often is wood. The face also ends at the crown, which indicates where the top of the beam is. This part slopes toward the head, which contains an opening for receiving the railroad tie pin that secures it to the rail bed.

2) Head – This is the end of the tie placed onto the rail bed. There is also a small lip on top of this end, but it is smaller than on the face side. The head often contains an opening for receiving a railroad tie pin to secure it to the rail bed.

3) Crown – This is the top part of the railroad tie, and it slopes downwards toward the head. The slope can either be 1/2 inch per foot or 1/4 inch per foot, but you will often find them with 1/2 inch per foot slope.

4) Webbing – The underside of each railroad tie has webbing, which gives the beam strength and stability. While the webbing can be made of either wood or steel, you will often find that they are made of steel.

5) Heartwood – The heartwood is a ring around the railroad ties’ outer edge that connects the web and face parts. This gives it added stability and also extra room for concrete without being in danger of it being squeezed out from between the face and web.

6) End grain – This is under each railroad tie’s side, which looks like a Venetian blinds pattern. The end grain gives added strength to the railroad tie beam while also making it resistant to rotting or any type of rot that may happen within its wooden structure.

Can I Use Railroad Ties for Landscaping?

The short answer is yes! Here’s why you should use railroad ties for your landscaping project.

The detailed answer is little more complex: if done responsibly, using old railroad ties can be great for planting areas like flower beds and rock gardens. In contrast, it may be cost-prohibitive to demolish your entire landscaping project and start over. This method can also help preserve the integrity of the materials you have already invested in; instead of replacing aged plants with younger versions, use these antique pieces to fill in spaces that lack depth or beauty.

In addition to adding character and charm, railroad ties offer many other benefits for your landscaping project. They are easy to place in any configuration you wish; there may be a specific pattern you have in mind, or you may throw them haphazardly into the area. This makes railroad ties perfect for filling spaces such as pathways or courtyards, where plants will be the main attraction.

If you’re interested in using railroad ties for your landscaping project, ensure that they are not treated with toxic paint or chemicals before bringing them into your home. You can do this by running them through fire; they should quickly heat up while burning off the chemicals which were used to treat the wood.


After reading this post, you should better understand how much does a railroad tie weigh and their uses in today’s world. They are important components in tracks worldwide used to keep rails aligned to make sure trains run efficiently. They can also help protect tracks from weather and other elements that may damage them.