Railroad Tie Retaining Wall

Summary on Retaining Walls

Railroad Tie Retaining WallThe main purposes for retaining walls are for erosion control and stabilizing soil on landscapes that slope or where the land drops off at certain levels. All the hard work is done behind the wall structure that contains soil or rock that provides lateral support and eliminates movements from such natural elements. There are many building materials that retaining walls can be structurally built from. Such materials include concrete blocks, stone blocks, bricks, poured in concrete, large rocks and boulders, timber sleepers and logs and even railroad ties.

Every homeowner has different perspectives and decorative ideas when choosing the look they want for their retaining wall application. This has been made possible because there are several material options available to build specific retaining wall height and designs that have exceptional structural strength but at the same time to also utilize the decorative appeal to create a focal point with visual interest.

What Are Railroad Ties?

Evergreen Trees Evergreen tree types are the wood that railroad ties are made from. This type of wood has been used for decades on rail road tracks and is still used today. The wood is saturated in a preservative solution {creosote} which provides the wood protection/ durability when used on railroads. The benefits of this chemical is to allow longevity aspects so the wood can last for several decades. Unfortunately for home garden retaining walls, the creosote solution is not at all safe to use as this chemical is only ever used for the sole purpose on railroads and telegraph poles.

For a small percentage of homeowners they may still opt for railroad ties to feature as the building material for the retaining wall application. The concept of using real railroad ties is what excites them and attracts them the most to this type of material, perhaps they are train fanatics.

Advantages of Railroad Tie Retaining Walls

Railway TrackIf you are contemplating on using old railroad tie as your preferred building material for your retaining wall project, you must ensure and inspect each wood plank is still in good condition. Railroad tie retaining walls can be featured for various landscaping purposes which include garden walls, walls for steps and stairs, fence systems, to level out yard locations, garden borders and walkway borders.

The following information is what attracts some home owners and consumers to choose railroad tie retaining walls; the advantages include:

  • They are made from evergreen hard wood
  • They are a natural product that posses natural character and natural textures
  • They are a recycled material from actual real railroads
  • They do provide excellent wall structural strength and stability as they are extremely heavy in weight
  • They are very affordable
  • Their neutral texture will tie in and complement any landscape setting color theme
  • They can painted if you change the color decor of your home garden setting

The Disadvantages of Railroad Tie Retaining Walls

There are always advantages and disadvantages to any retaining wall material available on the market. It may be the affordability aspect, the durability factor, the limited wall design; it may not be the most suitable material for the wall height as well as other reasons which makes one product stand out more from the rest. The following are disadvantages to railroad ties when compared to other masonry blocks:

  • There are limitations in structural wall designs that can not be achieved with circular or curve flowing wall designs Railroad Ties
  • It is not as durable and long lasting like concrete, brick and stone block retaining walls
  • Railroad ties can attract termites and rot issues that weaken the wall structure and can make the wall collapse
  • The wood can splinter
  • Very heavy
  • Lumbering trees

The other disadvantage that may be an issue to some homeowners, is because each plank is extremely heavy, you will need the assistance of another person to help you build the wall. It’s impossible to carry the heavy weight of each wood plank by yourself, play it safe and make sure you do have another person helping you.