What are the dimentions of railroad ties?

a frequently asked question.


I run across this question on discussion forums quite often and at one time asked the question myself. Designing as much railroad track as we do the size of the ties is an oft asked question.

While we have our “standard” sizes we use, and these closely match what is typically given as a response by other modelers on the forums, the answer to this question is simple… there are no standard sizes.

There are so many variations used by every railroad that realistically there are no standard sizes. When track was initially laid the standard sizes of a particular railroad were met, most of the time. But after years of use and maintenance most of those standards went out the window in favor of what ever was on hand at the time.

I see evidence of this quite often, as shown in the above image. These ties are over 14″ wide! On a CNR mainline at that. The standard size should be 9″. These weren’t exceptions either, few of the ties are of similar size. Some of them even looked like logs!

So if being quoted hard and fast numbers for tie sizes, be suspicious….


About the Author:

I'm your host, Tim Warris, a product developer in Port Dover, Ontario. Since March of 2007 I have been documenting the construction of the former CNJ Bronx Terminal in HO scale. For my day job, I design track building tools for Fast Tracks, a small company I own and operate. Fast Tracks makes it fast and easy to hand lay your own trackwork. Stop by our website to learn more!

Posted by: Tim | 07-23-2007 | 11:07 AM
Posted in: Picture of the Day

No Comments »

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack URI


Leave a comment