West Virginia Patent of the Month – January 2023

In the modern railway industry, tie plates play a crucial role in supporting the rails and keeping them at the correct gauge. Appalachian Timber Services LLC (ATS) has redesigned the process of attaching tie plates to wooden railroad ties, improving efficiency and precision to shorten overall labor and delivery times.

A plating system attaches a pair of tie plates to a wooden railroad tie with screw plates, ensuring the plates are aligned an in gauge. Pre-drilled holes are made in the appropriate position on the railroad ties before they are loaded into the plating machine. The ties are then clamped in place while hydraulic screw-presses turn screw spikes to fasten the tie plates in place.

This method not only reduces the errors in mounting tie plates but also reduces maintenance requirements by attaching the tie plates within a closer tolerance than previously required. The use of pre-drilled railroad ties, holding presses, and screw presses results in a reliable and accurate attachment process, reducing the chances of the tie plates falling out of gauge.

Located in the heart of West Virginia’s prime hardwood timber-growing region, ATS has been contributing innovative solutions to the railway industry  since 1972. The company is well known for the production and treatment of high quality cross and switch ties. This reputation has been curated by decades of innovation, leading to efficient and accurate mechanical processes which provide precise gauge tolerance and fast delivery times.

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