Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Track Repair

A Baker's Waterproofing Concrete Repair Case Study

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Challenge

The Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad (BPRR) is a 368 mile long, class II railroad operating from Butler, PA to Buffalo, NY carrying commodities such as paper, petroleum, chemicals, coal, steel, and sand. BPRR experienced settlement issues at two (2) road crossings, one (1) in Petrolia and the other in Punxsutawney, PA. Each area was affected by drainage issues, settling the 16” thick, three-piece prefab panels nearly three (3) inches when loaded with rail traffic. This extreme settlement left the tracks vulnerable to shaking and bouncing; rail movement is a serious safety concern which can lead to derailment if left unresolved. To address this, BPRR contracted with specialty contractor Thornbury Inc.

Solution

Thornbury Inc. selected Groundworks by Baker’s and the PolyRenewal™ Polyurethane Injection System to resolve the problem quickly and minimalize mobilization and disruption of train schedules. The PolyRenewal™ solution was the most efficient and cost effective solution available.

PolyRenewal™ is a two-part urethane that expands into rigid foam once injected under a concrete slab through drilled, 5/8” injection holes. Using specialized equipment, approximately 600 lbs. of PolyRenewal™ 400 Hydrophobic material was injected below the slab for BPRR.

The expansion of the foam displaced the water in the void out from under the slab and lifted the track back to its original elevation. Because PolyRenewal™ is almost fully cured within 30 minutes, the railroad crossing was able to be live load tested shortly after install; no movement was detected. The entire job was completed in just two (2) days despite the flooding beneath the panels. Thornbury Inc. & BPRR are pleased with the installation and indicated they would be quick to use PolyRenewal™ to address future issues.

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