That happened to MARTA. And if you do a web search on defective concrete ties, there are all sorts of hits.Some of the manufacturers claim up to 60, outside analysts are more likely to say 35-50, dependent on the weights of the loads, traffic volume, and environmental conditions. There have been some well publicized (within industry circles) cases of substandard lifespan of whole batches of ties, leading to large scale replacement.
I would suggest you look for you answer's in a forum more focused on the 'trade', than this one, more for Amtrak enthusiasts....Im currently studying about cracks on railway ties.
I work in the Metro of Recife, Brazil... We are facing this problem now, if you guys have any material that may help me understand better the situation, i would be very pleased
One advantage of wooden ties is that it is easier to make custom track elements, such as non standard crossings and switches, as it is far easier to cut or spike wood in a non standard way than customize concrete.What are the long term statistics of concrete vs. wood ties? Concrete has been available and in use for at least thirty years, but I'm still seeing/hearing most replacements being wood instead of concrete. Are there specific advantages to concrete in terms of train frequency, weight, speed, where wood would be at a disadvantage?