Railroad companies and transit operators have recycled major portions of their track structure to an extent not widely known outside the rail industry. Most railroads have maintained high-quality track structure in part through effective use of secondhand materials. When heavy-use freight track is rebuilt and upgraded, much of the material is used to rebuild track or for relay programs on lower-density lines. Tracks serving industry rely on the continual reuse, relay, and recycling of rail and good track material. This article discusses in detail the railroad industry's recycling of the following materials: rail and other track material; wood ties; concrete and plastic; rubber; ballast, subballast, and subgrade; other steel and structural components; and construction and demolition debris. In conclusion, it is pointed out that most major North American railroads and rail transit agencies have large and efficient scrap-recycling facilities, representing a significant capital investment that pays a good return.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 28-31
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 184
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00723794
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jul 9 1996 12:00AM