Every year, freight railroads spend billions of dollars to improve their nationwide infrastructure. New projects—bridges and flyovers, rail yard and terminal expansions—often draw the most attention, but ongoing maintenance is at the core of rail investments and ensuring the safety and efficiency of the network.
Rocla Concrete Tie, Inc. produces over a million ties each year to keep pace with demand and they anticipate that record railroad spending—$29 billion in 2015—will make this year one of the company’s strongest yet.
“The rail renaissance and overall increases in traffic are driving demand for more capacity and safety upgrades,” said Peter Urquhart, President and CEO of Rocla. “We will continue to invest in our production capacity to meet the needs of the railroad community.”
Rocla began producing rail ties in 1987 at its original Denver, CO, manufacturing facility. Today, they have additional facilities in Bear, DE; Amarillo, TX; Guanajuato, Mexico and Pueblo, CO, the site of their flagship facility.
In the 25 years since Rocla began its operations, the company has produced more than 22 million concrete ties. Much of their success, as well as the overall vibrancy of tie industry, coincides with the rail renaissance that emerged after the Staggers Rail Act of 1980. This act created a system of fair and balanced regulation that allowed freight railroads to reinvest in their infrastructure—to the tune of $575 billion since 1980.
“Rail ties are the literal foundation that support a healthy rail network. At Rocla, we’re proud to contribute to the industry’s ongoing, massive maintenance efforts to ensure a safe and reliable system,” said Urquhart.