The Railway Tie Association publishes a magazine, Crossties, for producers and users of treated wood crossties and related products. The May/June 2017 issue introduces a new regular feature called “Meet the Researchers,” and it kicks off by showcasing researchers from the Forest Products Laboratory (FPL).
This makes perfect sense, as one of the original goals for early FPL scientists was developing preservatives for railroad ties. More durable rail ties lengthened the service life of ties in use, and helped ease the demand for lumber, as trees were being cut at alarming rates across many northern and western forests.
Over time, lumber treatment and preservation research focused on environmental concerns as well as durability. Today, FPL researchers in the Durability and Wood Protection group continue to work on improving the treatment of wood.
You can read the full issue of Crossties here. See page 13 for the Meet the Researchers feature.