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AXION Ships 500 Recycled Composite Rail Ties to Calgary Transit

AXION International Holdings, Inc., a leader in recycled plastic and plastic composite technologies used to produce ECOTRAX® rail ties and STRUXURE® building products, announced today the Company has shipped 500 rail ties to Calgary Transit for use in road crossings, where the transit line's tracks intersect with roads. Calgary Transit has been a customer of AXION's since 2009 and has purchased ECOTRAX® ties annually.

ECOTRAX(R) rail ties impervious to elements in 3-year old street crossing, as compared to rusted out steel fasteners.

Due to the environmental impact of wooden creosote ties, Calgary Transit started experimenting with a composite tie in road crossing areas in 2009. "During the evaluation period it became clear that these ties accept our tie plate and screw spike consistently, do not break down and road salts seem to have no effect on their longevity," said Keith Hiatt, Calgary Transit's Track and Way Coordinator. "The big driver is the environmental benefit as we are not using non-renewable resources, such as the oak wood ties as in the past and the creosote coating that must accompany that said wood tie. At this point in time our decision to use composite ties in road crossing areas is prudent and responsible. Given ours and other properties experience with composite ties Calgary Transit will make composite ties a standard installation on our system," Hiatt said.

"Last month, in conjunction Calgary Transit's engineers we inspected ECOTRAX® ties that were installed in a road crossing three years ago. We pulled up the street crossing panel and found that although the harsh, cold and wet weather during Calgary's winter had rusted and corroded the steel fasteners, our ties had remained impervious to the outdoor elements," stated Cory Burdick, AXION's ECOTRAX® Sales Manager. "Calgary Transit has indicated its interest in continuing to choose ECOTRAX® for new and replacement road crossing applications."

ECOTRAX® composite rail ties are made from AXION's patented 100%-recycled plastic formulation. In manufacturing ties for this purchase order, more than 100,000 pounds of plastic were taken out of the landfill stream and converted into high-performance ties.

"The market for replacement ties increased 43% between 2000 and 2009 according to the Association of American Railroads. Customer adoption continues to grow for our ECOTRAX® rail products. AXION is the market leader in composite ties and we're seeing more customers placing orders for annual tie maintenance purchases, street crossings and turnouts," stated AXION President and CEO Steve Silverman.

AXION currently sells its ECOTRAX® rail ties to rail roads and transit systems that include Calgary Transit, Edmonton Transit, Toronto Transit in Canada, MTA Long Island Railroad, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Miami-Dade Transit, New Jersey Transit and a major Class 1 railroad in the U.S, to name a few. ECOTRAX® are in various stages of testing and certification with railways across the globe and are being considered for significant orders including a potential 300,000 rail tie per year opportunity in Europe.

In cold northern climates, during the long winter season salt is regularly used for road safety due to heavy snowfall and ice formation. While salt entrapment under road crossings can damage and reduce the life of traditional wood ties, ECOTRAX® are completely impervious to salt. Freeze-thaw cycles are also common, where water gets into wood, freezes, and then thaws again, leading to a weakening and rapid deterioration of traditional wood ties. ECOTRAX® are not porous, do not absorb moisture, and therefore are impervious to water and rot. Offering longevity and therefore a higher ROI for customers, ECOTRAX® also provide the added environmental benefits of recycling plastic waste and reducing the harvesting of trees.

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