The Railway Tie Association (RTA) recently announced that Nathan (Nate) Irby, Ph.D. has been appointed as its new executive director. The RTA was organized 102 years ago to promote the economical and environmentally sound use of wood crossties.

Dr. Irby has most recently field managed the strategic sourcing wood tie program for Union Pacific, the nation’s largest Class 1 railroad. He has also served as an adjunct professor with Mississippi State University’s Sustainable Bioproducts program.

With a Ph.D. in Forest Resources from Mississippi State University, Dr. Irby has created training, inspection, and research and development initiatives at Union Pacific to establish quality control processes for all wood crossties and bridge timbers purchased for railroad service.

The creosote wood treatment industry has a long history in support of the railroad industry. As documented in a 2019 report for the Association of American Railroads (AAR), approximately 95% of all new railroad ties are preserved wood, with 98% either creosote or creosote-borate treated.

Creosote Council congratulates Dr. Irby and the Railway Tie Association as they move forward into the future.