A mixed bag for concrete and composite tie suppliers

It's been a pretty slow year for concrete tie suppliers. With railroads pulling back on new track construction projects, there's been less demand for concrete ties, CXT Inc. President Steve Burgess told me in a recent interview.

"Basically all the new construction projects that would involve concrete ties have been pushed out," he said. "Not that these projects aren’t going to go, it's just that they're not a part of this year's capex."

Composite tie makers, on the other hand, appear to be faring better; execs at Axion Structural Innovations and LT Resources Inc. told me that business has been up in 2016. And reps from both the concrete and composite markets think transit projects will spur more activity in the future.

To get a better sense of the current state of each market, check out my short write-up in our October issue.

What are your thoughts on the future of concrete ties? Composite ties? Will more railroads begin using composite ties when possible? And will transit projects remain a bright spot for both markets?

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