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Hollow Switch Ties (HST®) Switch

The HST®, or hollow switch tie, allows switch rods to be placed inside hollow ties. With the HST®, the rod connections allow for point movement without binding, and the switch can be surfaced with mechanized tampers.

They have the additional benefit of containing non-conducting composite switch rods, which does away with the need for switch rod insulation. The high strength steel ties also serve as gauge plates to hold the track in gauge. The HST® is a multi-function system designed to make life easier for maintainers and other maintenance personnel, as well as to increase the life of the trackwork.

HST’s can be designed for nearly any rail weight and switch point configuration and geometry. The tie profile has been specifically selected for its high strength and modulus. HST’s have been used extensively in areas of heavy freight and coal, as well as on major transit lines. They are also being used in new high speed rail lines. For longer turnouts that use a helper system, they also integrate very well with the Rotary Assist system provided by Nortrak.


• Allow for mechanized switch tamping
• Designed to accommodate rail running
• High strength composite fully insulating “blue” switch rods
• High strength steel tie section w/ heavy duty insulation
• Positive gauge control
• Reduced maintenance
• Improved switch life

Technical Specifications:

• Can be used with virtually any rail weight and geometry
• Compatible with all common switch machines and stands
• Hand or power operated switch configurations
• Switch rod strength – 100,000 PSI
• Design wheel loads – 39 kips +100% impact
• Electrical resistance – 400 Volts/Mil Min.
• Track modulus is equivalent to concrete tie