May 22, 2013

Edmonton Transit taps Axion plastic rail ties

Axion International Holdings Inc. received a purchase order from the Edmonton Transit System (ETS) for Ecotrax specialty rail ties. The ties will be used for road crossing applications where the transit line’s rail tracks intersect with roads.

Ecotrax composite rail ties are made from Axion's patented 100%-recycled plastic formulation. In manufacturing ties for this purchase order, more than 150,000 pounds of plastic were taken out of the landfill stream and converted into high-performance ties.

With this order, ETS becomes Axion’s third Canadian customer and one of numerous transit lines around the world to install Ecotrax.

Ecotrax offer unique benefits and advantages, as compared to traditional wood ties, in cold northern climates, according to the company. During the long winter season salt is regularly used for road safety due to heavy snowfall and ice formation. While salt entrapment under road crossings can damage and reduce the life of traditional wood ties, the plastic ties are completely impervious to salt.

Freeze-thaw cycles are also common, where water gets into wood, freezes, and then thaws again, leading to a weakening and rapid deterioration of traditional wood ties. Ecotrax are not porous, do not absorb moisture, and therefore are impervious to water and rot.

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