Tie Inspection & Services


Using state-of-the-art imaging technology, Aurora® scans your tracks to reveal the exact condition of every tie and the associated components along the way. It pinpoints any potential problems and marks their exact location so you can plan to repair them in the most efficient way possible.

Aurora finds flaws manual detection methods may miss, and it does it while traveling down your tracks at up to 42 miles per hour. Detailed reports grade your ties so you can ensure compliance with industry regulations, prioritize tie replacement and streamline your capital maintenance programs.

Wood Tie Grading

Aurora assigns grades to each and every wood tie based on more than 20 variables, including plate cut, surface roughness, decay, and splits. Grading can be customized to your railroad’s standards and used to generate detailed compliance reports and defective tie cluster analysis.

Concrete Tie Inspection

Over time, Rail Seat Deterioration (RSD) can cause a crosstie to no longer support and restrain the rail. Aurora uses advanced shape recognition to identify RSD and pad wear, as well as the condition of fasteners.

Rail Base Corrosion Assessment

Chipping, cracking and splitting are usually telltale signs of Rail Base Corrosion (RBC), most commonly found in tunnels. Aurora can assess the severity of RBC by continuously measuring the width of the rail base and identifying areas of material loss along the rail base.

Data Management

To date, Aurora has scanned more than a million ties and assigned milepost coordinates, GPS coordinates and tie grade information to every individual tie. All of that information gets simplified down into easy-to-understand reports customized to your railway’s specific needs. They’ll let you know when ties degrade, when fasteners have failed, where rail base corrosion is occurring and many other factors that can impact the safety and efficiency of your track. You can quickly and easily pinpoint any potential problems so you can plan ahead to repair them in the most efficient way possible.

Aurora can also help ensure you’re in line with industry regulations. Detailed compliance reports will confirm that you have at least the minimum number of effective wood ties in a segment, uncover rail joints with defective crossties and check for rail seat deterioration exceptions in concrete ties.

Asset Inventory

Aurora can locate components on track such as joint bars and provide an accurate inventory of these assets across your network, providing you the ability to track the inventory from a central location.

GPS/GIS Data Management

During track inspection, Aurora also collects precise GPS location for each individual crosstie which can in turn be used to update or verify current GIS network maps for improved and reliable GPS referencing of mileposts, track assets and features.

Aurora Data Viewer

Access your data via a web based data viewer that allows you to view the Aurora images as well as the location and grades for each crosstie inspected. Perform virtual track walks from the comfort of your own office.

Optimized Tie Set Out (TSO)

Utilizing Aurora inspection data as well as the railroad’s tie replacement logic to identify exactly which ties need to be replaced, the TSO system can then optimize the plan for tie distribution, allowing you to know exactly where to set out ties and eliminate the need for someone to walk the track and physically mark where to set out ties ahead of the tie distribution team.

The software allows the user to know where to set out ties and how many are required for each drop as they travel along the track. The result is ties that are much closer to where they will be installed, allowing for increased productivity for tie replacement teams as they will spend less time moving ties around to the appropriate install location.

  • Aurora uses a combination of cameras and lasers to generate a high-resolution 3-D image of your track
  • Hyrail truck travels down the track at up to 42 miles per hour
  • Aurora assigns milepost coordinates, GPS, coordinates, and tie grade information to every individual tie
  • Compliance reports are customized to your railway’s specific needs
  • Measures RSD and pad wear
  • Identifies critical loss of rail base

US Patent #7616329
US Patent #8081320
US Patent #8209145
US Patent #8405837
US Patent #8711222
US Patent #8958079
US Patent #9441956
US Patent #11433929

LTI Aurora Brochure


Crosstie Inspection case study

Case Study – Crosstie Inspection Capabilities of the Aurora System