Track Functional Group

Technical Committee 30 - Ties and Fasteners

This committee is responsible for the development and publication of recommended practices and information relating to:

  • Characterization of the load environment and performance of cross ties in track.
  • Specifications for design of concrete to be used in the manufacture of concrete ties or switch ties.
  • Design and use of concrete ties, including devices or systems for fastening rail to the ties.
  • Evaluation of rail seat deterioration of concrete ties.
  • Design, handling, preservation, inspection, and disposal of wood cross ties and wood switch ties.
  • Maintenance of records and data pertaining to the service life and economic use of wood ties.
  • Design, material properties, and general considerations for engineered composite ties.
  • Evaluative tests for tie systems.


Steven Melniczuk

Director, Track Engineering



Vice Chair

Ricardo J. Quiros Orozco

Rail Fixation Engineer

voestalpine Railway Systems Nortrak



Arthur De Oliveira Lima

Research Engineer

University of Illinois


Subcommittees and Current Assignments

Subcommittee A: Recommendations for Further Investigation and Research.

Subcommittee B: Revision of Manual.

Subcommittee 2: Wood Preservatives and Preservative Treatment of Forest Products and Wood Tie Disposals.

D2-1-20 Updating recommended practices for handling, seasoning, conditioning and preserving forest products. 

D2-2-20 Researching the upcoming EPA legislation governing the disposal of Borate treated ties. 

D2-3-20 Determining ways to identify and classify scrap ties and include in manual.D2-4-20 Investigate the use of X-Ray scanning (or similar technology) of ties in track to identify weaknesses or defects within the interior of the wood not visible by visual inspection on the outside surfaces

D2-5-20 Investigate the use of X-Ray scanning (or similar technology) for tie inspection at treating plants

D2-6-20 Investigate the use of RFID tags for marking ties and storing tie specific information

D2-7-20 Investigate the use of boron rods and compounds for remedial treatment of ties in track 

Subcommittee 4: Concrete Ties.

D4-1-20 Researching new concrete technology and potential use for concrete ties. 

D4-2-20 Researching tie pads and ballast pads to include in Chapter 30.

D4-3-20 Development of recommendations for post-tensioned ties

D4-4-20 Development of a turnout tie section in Section 4

D4-5-20 Recommendation on prism testing for crack prevention

Subcommittee 5: Fasteners.

D5-1-20 Updating performance requirements for fastening systems on concrete ties

D5-2-20 Creation of performance requirements for fasteners on wood ties (Currently there is a set of tests in the Appendix adopted from Chapter 5, which is unrealistic)

D5-3-20 Reviewing the entire Chapter 30 and cleaning up errors related to fasteners

D5-4-20 Explore what constitutes as ‘fastener’ and what that means with regards to the rest of the Manual

D5-5-20 Investigate ‘categories’ or classification of track types and what that may mean for Chapter 30

D5-6-20 Consider developing a specific ‘fasteners’ section of the Manual (there are other sections/chapters of the Manual with possibly orphaned fastener material (e.g. ‘direct fixation track’, found in Chapter 8 (Concrete Structures and Foundations))

D5-7-20 Investigate Chapter 5 track components and whether they should be included in Chapter 30

D5-8-20 Evaluation of the effectiveness of Section 2, Testing, in the Chapter.  Is there value in Section 2 if almost all tests pertain to only concrete ties? Should the Chapter be rearranged accordingly

D5-1-23:  Adoption of fastening system components (plates, spikes, etc.) from Committee 5.


Subcommittee 6: Engineered Composite Ties.

D6-1-20 Development of recommended practices and information related to:

a) Characterization of the load environment and performance of composite cross ties in track
b) Design, material properties, handling and general considerations for the performance of engineered composite ties
c) Improved evaluative tests for composite tie systems

Subcommittee 7: Steel Ties – Dormant.

No current assignments