Axion secures $8 million contract for recycled railroad ties in New Zealand

Distributor will supply Ecotrax Sleepers to KiwiRail under three-year contract.

February 19, 2015

Axion International Holdings Inc., Zanesville, Ohio, a recycled polymer technologies company which produces Ecotrax composite rail ties/sleepers and Struxure composite building products has announced that its distributor Alcoa Fastening System and Rings (AFSR), Torrance, California, has secured a three-year, $8 million contract to supply various sizes of Ecotrax ties to KiwiRail, New Zealand’s largest rail transport operator.

The contract specifies Ecotrax ties for mainline track as well as specialty ties for road crossings, bridges, and turnouts through AFSR Melbourne Industrial Fasteners Operations. Headquartered in Wellington, New Zealand, KiwiRail is the largest rail transport operator in New Zealand. KiwiRail operates services on 3,898 kilometers track, of which around 500 kilometers are electrified.

Axion Global Sales Manager, Cory Burdick says, “This is a major announcement as we have been working with KiwiRail on several projects in which they have tested and placed small purchase orders for our Ecotrax rail ties through our distributor AFSR. This sizeable contract demonstrates our proven competitiveness in the market and also the superiority of our 100-percent-recycled products as they have the ability to withstand harsh environments and, in fact, have excelled in areas where the environment tends to degrade traditional wooden ties. New Zealand is facing growing concerns for replacing wood ties as they reach the end of their useful life prematurely due to rot, erosions, and other factors. We have been able to address that successfully and economically.”

Ian Norrie, AFSR Australia sales and marketing manager, says, “KiwiRail is demonstrating its environmental values by embracing this fully recycled (and recyclable), non-leaching, ‘green’ product. KiwiRail selected Ecotrax composite sleepers from AFSR Australia based on their proven record in both North America and Australia.”

KiwiRail says it has been implementing a decade-long program of investment to ensure that the rail network can deliver the highest levels of service expected from its passenger and freight customers. The $4.6 billion turnaround plan, approved by the government, is designed to preserve and enhance New Zealand’s national rail freight network and move KiwiRail to a sustainable business model that delivers value to their customers and taxpayers.

Ecotrax composite rail ties are manufactured by Axion using 100-percent-recycled plastics. Because they are inert, Ecotrax rail ties will not rot or absorb moisture, and they are impervious to insect infestation, the company says.