If you are familiar with our blog you know that I like to answer railroad related questions, even if you are not necessarily a railfan or a railroad worker, you probably heard about how great the railroad ties are for a landscaping project.
If you already tried to get free railroad ties and you were unsuccessful, you might have to look into buying them.
Now depending on your needs, do you want untreated railroad ties, or the treated, previously railroad used are good? Used or New? How many railroad ties are you looking to buy?
Depending on your answer the best way to buy them might be different.
So where to buy railroad ties from?
In this article I will focus on how to buy the regular, used, treated railroad ties, since these are the most wanted ones.
Most of these used railroad ties are treated with creosote, I have written an entire article about what railroad ties are made of and why they are treated with toxic substances, the whole “treated” thing adds some confusion about the legality of using railroad ties for landscaping purposes or any other purpose.
I will not get into that topic right now, what I can do is quote from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency stating that “Reuse of creosote-treated wood is not subject to regulation by EPA under pesticide”, please refer here for any questions you have about using railroad ties for your residential needs.
I have written this article with the intent to make your life easier, by helping you find where to buy railroad ties from, so I’ve been looking for major chain stores first.
Chances that you may have one of these stores in your area are good, unless you’re from North Dakota (not too many Home Depots there).
Home Depot sells used railroad ties, you can order them online and have them deliver to your place. They measure 7 in x 9 in x 8 ft and they weigh about 150 lbs. I am not sure if they have a limit of how many you can buy, please check out with them. They offer a nice delivery option, which is the flat fee, I believe is less than $100 dollars, doesn’t matter how many railroad ties you’ll be buying. They sell them for $18.97 each.Buy railroad ties from Home Depot.
Lowe’s is another great large chain store which chances are, it will be close to you. The railroad ties sold at Lowe’s are half foot bigger than the ones from Home Depot, or at least that’s what their description says. Lowe’s railroad ties are 7 in x 9 in x 8.5 ft, they at this point don’t offer delivery, or at least not for my area, please check with their website if that changed. The price per railroad is $14.88 which is $4.09 cheaper than Home Depot.Buy railroad ties from Lowe's.
Menards will be another good choice, unfortunately they don’t sell them online, or at least not at this point, make sure you check back with them. The railroad ties sold by Menards are 7 in x 9 in x 8 ft, which is exactly the same size as Home Depot’s. On their website they state that the ties are salvaged from train track beds and are as well as the above mentioned ones, previously treated with creosote. The price is not mentioned on their website, so you might have to call them. Menards have stores in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Kansas, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan and a few other states.Buy railroad ties from Menards.
BridgeWell Resources would be another great place to buy railroad ties, the only problem is that they sell bulk and wholesale only, I couldn’t find what would be a minimum order, please check that with them. They sell both new and used railroad ties, they sell directly to the railroads as well as contractors and municipalities.Buy railroad ties from BridgeWell Resources.
These are just a few places from where you can buy railroad ties, easily and comfortably, but of course, the reality is that there are hundreds of other ways of buying them.
Let’s look at other ways of buying railroad ties, less conventional, I could say.
In my previous article, where I tried to educate on how to not get free railroad ties, I have mentioned some of these other ways of getting railroad ties for free, well same platforms are true for buying them.
Facebook Marketplace - you might be familiar with it, every Joe and his mom is selling stuff there. The good thing is that you might find used railroad ties, and in many instances way cheaper than in store.
OfferUp - another sell and buy platform, same concept as Facebook Marketplace, probably not as widely used, a simple search with the term “ used railroad tie” will get you some results.
Railroads - many railroads are getting rid of the old, bad railroad ties, you might be able to buy them directly from them, check out the railroads in your area, call them and ask.
Small lumber stores in your area, some of these stores buy bulk/wholesale from railroads and resell retail.
Any other selling platform available to you, like Craigslist.
As I always say, I hope this article will help you find where to buy railroad ties from, if it did or it didn’t, please leave your comment in the section below.
Note : Make sure you wear protective equipment when handling treated railroad ties, such as mask, gloves. Also if you are planning to pick them up I suggest to read how much a railroad tie weighs, you will thank me afterwards.