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Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What are plastic composite railroad ties?

Composite rail ties are railroad ties manufactured from recycled plastic. They have a longer lifespan than wooden ties, are impervious, do not rot, resist insect attack, can co-exist with other commonly used material and don’t require maintenance.


2. Why are plastic composite railroad ties a better option to wooden and concrete ties?

Concrete ties’ weight makes them difficult to handle, they are often damaged in transportation and lack flexibility of application. Wooden ties are flexible, however rotting, insects and corrosion significantly reduces their lifespan. Moreover, the chemicals used to protect the wood and the number of trees needed to maintain the tracks make them harmful to the environment. Composite ties not only inherit the advantages of both concrete and wooden ties but also avoid their drawbacks, making them the better choice.


3. What are the functional advantages of composite railroad ties?

Composite ties can be sawed, planed, nailed, screwed and glued with tools commonly used to fix railroad ties, making for a simple installation process. Composite ties have a low thermal expansion coefficient and thermal conductivity, in addition to high anti-seismic, compressive, tensile and flexural strength. Composite ties can maintain good electrical insulation and stability even in long-term adverse weather conditions. They are light in weight and can be customized into any length. Furthermore, they can be customized to be used as turnout, bridge, crossing and mats.


4. What are NuEra GreenTies made of?

NuEra composite ties are made of up to seven (7) different plastic components. These components include plastic bags and bottles that would otherwise end up in landfills.


5. What are the economic benefits of switching to NuEra GreenTies?

When we calculate the economic impact of our product, we look at it in terms of Total Cost of Ownership. NuEra GreenTies are impervious, resist to heat and moisture and chemical, reduces vibration and noise meaning they last much longer than traditional ties. By switching to NuEra’s ties you will experience reduced maintenance costs, reduced frequent replacement costs, reduced disposal costs and reduced rail down time, all of which translate into significant economic savings to your bottom line.


6. What are the environmental benefits of switching to NuEra composite train ties?

Each kilometre of NuEra ties uses 208 000 kgs of recycled plastics. In other words, if the NuEra ties were made only of plastic bags or bottles, each kilometre of NuEra track would represent approximately 104 M plastic bags or 41.5 M plastic bottles that would have otherwise ended up in landfills, in addition to saving over 750 trees. Furthermore, NuEra ties also reduce noise pollution by dampening the sound and vibration of freight on the rails. Finally, after the usable lifecycle of a NuEra tie, they are reprocessed and recycled to make a tie again.


7. Are there any harmful chemicals in NuEra composite ties?

NuEra composite railroad ties are made of 100% recycled materials and pose no risk of leaching hazardous chemicals into the ground water.


8. How many ties are there per typical track kilometre? 

There are 2 019 NuEra composite train ties per kilometre (3 250 / mile).


9. Are composite ties new?

No. Composite ties have been successfully used for over 60 years around the globe and across a variety of environmental conditions. In fact, there have been more than 2.5 million composite ties installed in North America since their introduction a decade ago.


10. Can NuEra ties be used alongside wooden ties?

Yes. In fact, interspersing NuEra ties can extend the life of the track and the remaining wooden ties.


11. What is the expected lifespan of NuEra composite ties?

The exact lifespan of a railroad tie depends on the environment, operating conditions and material composition. The life expectancy of NuEra composite plastic ties is up to 50 years due to the durability of the materials used.


12. Where are NuEra composite ties made?

NuEra's sleepers are currently manufactured in Montreal, Qc, by our partner Centro Plast. NuEra plans to eventually manufacture all its products in Canada.


13. What makes NuEra’s products circular?

NuEra ties are made with 100% recycled plastic, using a low temperature process which is better for the environment and protects the integrity of the material, and we work with our partners on recollection options to reprocess the used ties to make new one which makes the whole process 100% circular.  


14. Can the equipment we use to install wood ties install NuEra composite ties?

Yes. NuEra ties meet the same size and shape specifications and can be installed with the same mechanical equipment used for wood ties.

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