How to Repair Railroad Tie Retaining Walls Dig out the dirt sitting within 3 feet of the retaining wall using a shovel. Remove any ties that are spongy, cracked or crumbling on any side. Reposition the railroad ties so they sit in a slight step configuration, if they are stacked straight up, with an offset of 1 inch. Click to see full answer. Keeping this in view, how long will a railroad tie retaining wall last?Around here (Atlanta), they sell different grades of used railroad ties. I’m sure the better ones last a little longer, but after 15 years, most RR tie walls start looking pretty ratty, and after 20 years, it would probably be replacement time.Likewise, how do you reinforce a failed retaining wall? The wall can be strengthened by transferring some of the shear force to the base where the wall meets the ground. This can be done by either extending the footing of the base or placing concrete to thicken the base. Installing anchors or tiebacks is another option for extra strength. Similarly, it is asked, how do you repair a rotted railroad tie? Repair the damage. If there is surface splintering on the tie, sand or grind it off. If there is rot, sand it away or saw it off. If there are holes in the tie, fill them with spike-hole filler compound, which is specifically meant to fill up holes in railroad ties.Are railroad ties good for retaining walls?You can build a retaining wall for a simple, economical way to terrace uneven ground and reduce dirt erosion. The finished crosstie retaining wall is an effective, attractive solution to dirt erosion. A long auger bit and 1/2-inch drill are needed to bore holes for reinforcement.