Originally uploaded by P_Linehan.
This stack of old railroad ties I found next to an exhibit of a restored railroad caboose in Norlo Park in Guilford township, Pa. The ties reminded me of how important creosote preservation was for the railroad and almost all other outdoor uses of wood.
Of course creosote, a type of oil, is very toxic. It also leaked from the wood creating even more hazards. The sites of creosote factories are Superfund waste sites. For example, the old creosote plant in Pensacola, FL was a massive cleanup headache. Fortunately, we have other ways to preserve wood. Railroad ties are often made from other materials. we should never forget about the imoprtance of creosote, though.