Redwood was considered the best wood of all for making railway ties. The mill at Albion produced millions of ties for the Southern Pacific railway. The picture right shows an Albion train full of railway ties.
In the picture left you can see a Tie Making Crew at work. The man at the back is cutting (bucking) the tree with a cross saw into the proper length. The man on the far left is marking with the marking log the sawn log for the cut which, in the hands of an expert, required only a couple of blows so straight was the grain of the redwood tree. The next man is splitting the log with a sledge hammer and a wedge. The man on the right hews the tie with a broad axe to finish it.
A railway tie could be made by one man although there was normally a small crew.
The little museum at Elk has an excellent display of the tools used and the process.