Axion International Holdings Inc. (New Providence, N.J.), on Sept. 10, 2013, announced that it had received its first purchase order from Russia for its trademarked ECOTRAX rail ties. The ties wil be shipped to Russia and installed in track with a major transit line later this year. The rail ties were sold to AXION's in-country distributor and business partner, TVEMA, an international group of companies based in Moscow, which has subdivisions involved in design, manufacture and project development of rail diagnostic equipment. Over the past 18 months, AXION has been working diligently with TVEMA to create composite rail tie standards and specifications for Russia.
Russia's railway system is the country's key mode of transportation, with an operational length of over 85,000,000 km (52.8 million miles), making it the second largest rail network in the world. According to an article in Railway Technology, a current rail modernization plan in Russia calls for the construction of up to 20,000 km (12,427 miles) of new routes, the upgrade of 13,800 km (8,575 miles) of freight lines for heavy axle loads, among other improvements, at an estimated cost of $353 billion by 2030. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has invested more than $1.6 billion in 13 Russian rail projects since 2001.
"This purchase order from Russia is an encouraging development, given the size of the rail industry there, Russia is known to have some very harsh weather conditions and ECOTRAX has a proven track record of high levels of performance in these types of elements," says Axion president and CEO Steve Silverman. "We are very happy with our progress in securing adoption and approvals in Russia. This is a long process in any country, and TVEMA has done a great job."
Axion's composite rail ties have massive potential for widespread adoption throughout Russia's rail network, many of which traverse a variety of climates where wooden alternatives are short-lived. ECOTRAX rail ties are not porous, they do not absorb moisture, and therefore are impervious to water and rot. Axion contends that the rail ties' longevity and, therefore, a higher return on investment for customers also provides the added environmental benefits of recycling plastic waste and reducing the harvesting of trees.
Globally, ECOTRAX ties are in track test or undergoing purchase approval with leading passenger and freight lines in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, and Europe and throughout North America.
ECOTRAX composite rail ties are made from Axion's patented, 100 percent recycled plastic formulation. Because they are inert, they will not rot or absorb moisture, and they are impervious to insect infestation. ECOTRAX rail ties reportedly meet and exceed all American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of-Way Assn. specifications and are continuously tested at third-party laboratories and in track.
For more information about ECOTRAX rail ties, visit www.axionintl.com.