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Railroad Ties in landscape bed

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by bigjeeping, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Client wants me to pull out his rotten RR ties and replace them. I have never worked with lumber in the landscape, and wanted to ask you guys if I can just do a cut-and-paste.. pull out old ties and rebar, put in new ties and new rebar.

    Or do I need to go below grade and build a base so they stay level?

    I was going to use fabric on the 2nd tier, where there are 2 ties stacked, but didn't think fabric would have any purpose where there was just 1 tie.

    All input is appreciated! :usflag:

    2011-04-12 14.47.09.jpg
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Doesn't look like anything major, so a base might be over-kill.

    Whatever you do, go buy pressure treated lumber to replace it instead of RR ties. RR ties are used when you get them and it doesn't seem like they last at all.

    On the section with one course, I would either go with smaller posts such as a 6x6 and do two courses. If you stick with one, I would just make sure to nail them together good where they butt up.

    If you use fabric, use geo-grid on the double/triple course and sandwich it between the courses and run it back to lock it in.
  3. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    I try talk them in changing to stones tell them it will last forever
  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    Problem is they used RR ties instead of treated lumber as already pointed out.

    Then next problem appears that they just laid the boards end to end without them being joined together and they used metal rods in front of the wood using them as door stops instead of through the wood into the ground.

    A layer of rock underneath the wood would help drain water away making the new wood last longer. Also the wood must be tied together by going up with two levels of wood staggered and placing pieces at right angle to the wall extending backwards on the backside of the wall.

    Easy job to do. No need to sell a stone wall.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    Deadman might be over-kill with just two-three courses. The geo-grid running back would solve that problem with less digging.
  6. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    I think the rebar was an after thought...much later...

    Those railway ties have been treated with creosote.
    The railways don't even use that on their ties any longer.

    Around here that is a banned toxic material.

    That's why we have wood pressure treated with safe products now
    so it can be used to build childrens playgrounds

    Where will you dispose of the ties?
    They may have to go to a special dump for a fee.

    I would suggest you check into that, or you'll be stuck with them or
    you'll be dumping illegally.
  7. Southern Elegance

    Southern Elegance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    upsale stone or concrete products. railroad ties are a waste of money
  8. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Thanks everyone. I'll see if they want to do boulders, otherwise will probably go with pressure treated 6x6 and do a few courses with geo grid.

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