Efficient Culvert Rehabilitation for Uninterrupted Rail Operations

Revolutionizing rail infrastructure: Snap-Tite culvert rehabilitation for uninterrupted rail operations


The Union Pacific Railroad operates in North America, covering 23 states in the western two-thirds of the United States. The railroad is responsible for 32,100 route miles, with 6,336 of those miles running through Texas. Located under some of these miles of rail, are storm water drainage culverts that were installed 40 to 50 years ago and are now past their design life span.

The Union Pacific Railroad regularly maintains all of its railways and rail structures. As part of this regular maintenance, Union Pacific located a severely corroded 84-inch ID corrugated metal culvert (CMP) that it needed to reline. The location of the culvert was under a stretch of rail in Athens, Texas.

The railroad looked for a solution that would not disrupt any rail service during the rehabbing of the culvert. With its commitment to safety, the Union Pacific also required a safe method of fixing the culvert that its own maintenance crew could install.

Snap-Tite Solution

J. David Bateman from Union Pacific’s bridge department worked with Snap-Tite Representative Trevor Cone to find a solution for the deteriorating CMP. The pipe chosen to line the corroded culvert was a 63-inch OD highdensity polyethylene (HDPE) Snap-Tite pipe. The railroad chose to use Snap-Tite because the Snap-Tite system does not require any special training or special equipment, so the railroad’s maintenance crew could handle relining the failing culvert. In addition, the Snap-Tite culvert lining system is a no-dig solution for culvert repair, meaning there is no need for major excavations or disruptions to the rail or road traffic during construction.

“Snap-Tite gave us the solution we needed to safely restore the culvert and not interrupt service. This was vital to us,” said Bateman. “It was also vital that the product and installation method we chose be both cost-effective and provide us with a permanent solution. Snap- Tite provided us with both.”

Cone along with Snap-Tite Director David Hundley were onsite to assist the Union Pacific crew with the Snap-Tite installation. Snap-Tite’s quality control program ensured that the Snap-Tite pipe joined in the field provided a water-tight storm water system. Snap-Tite has patented male/female machining at each end of the HDPE pipe, which allows the pipe to be ‘snapped’ together.

The grouting of the annular space filled any voids created by the corroded CMP. The newly installed 63-inch OD Snap-Tite pipe culvert liner offers a 102 percent improved flow rate compared to the existing 84-inch ID CMP, so the smaller diameter pipe actually increases flow. Now lined, the old culvert is at full strength andexpected to have an indefinite service life.


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