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Tires and Trains: How Recycled Tires are Improving Railroads

Published Nov 27, 2013

 

Tires and trains don’t usually strike up an immediate association. When talking about mass transport, tires are usually associated with trucks, cars, and airplanes. But thanks to recent technology, tires are becoming more of an important part of improving railway systems across the world. How, you might ask?  By using tires in their recycled form.

 

Recycled Tires as Railroad Ties
After tires have gone through their typical cycle of being used on a car, truck, or plane, they are discarded of or, more optimally, recycled. Because the rubber is still viable, recycling those tires for re-use can be beneficial for many different situations.

 

One way that science has helped recycled tires to benefit railway systems is through new innovative railroad ties. Traditional railroad ties have always been constructed of wood, while in recent years, some have been made of concrete or plastic. The problem with wood ties however, is that they are susceptible to rot, infestation, and general erosion over time. Weak or old wood railroad ties can be detrimental to the larger infrastructure system. But with railroad ties made of recycled rubber, they are guaranteed to be stronger and longer lasting.

 

Benefits of Using Recycle Tires on Railroads
Countries that use trains as their main source of transportation of people and goods are finding rubber railroad ties to be extremely beneficial. Fewer ties are needed per mile because they are much stronger. Over time, because these rubber ties will last longer, cities and countries will save substantially in having to replace old or worn ties to ensure that railways are kept safe.

 

Other Uses for Recycled Tires on Railways
In addition to railroad ties, modern technology has also found another use of recycled tires to help with railway infrastructure. In fact, just a few months ago, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) announced that 13,000 tons of recycled tires were used in the creation of an extension of the railway to Fremont, California.

 

If you’ve ever lived or worked near a major railway, you’re probably well aware of not only the sound, but also the vibration it causes each time the train passes. For this most recent BART extension, shredded waste tires were used as a method to reduce vibration caused by the railway system for surrounding houses and buildings. BART chose this method of using tire-derived aggregate because it’s the most environmentally friendly, but it also makes for easier transportation because it’s lighter than other traditional material like gravel.

 

Rubber railroad ties and using shredded waste tires to reduce vibration of railroad tracks are just a few of the ways that recycled tires are being put to use throughout the world. At Eco Green Equipment, we specialize in creating products that are helping with the recycled tire movement. Our equipment allows for the easy processing of shredded or granulated tires that can then be used for eco-friendly products like those used to improve railways.

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