Frequently the NCDOT Rail Division receives requests for used railroad ties. People often think these crossties can easily be recycled and used for landscaping purposes.
Unfortunately the ties are coated in creosote, which the Environmental Protection Agency has declared a restricted use pesticide. While safe for railroad use, they are actually listed as a hazardous material.
In short, the NCDOT does not sell or give away these materials. The railroad or contractor is responsible for the proper disposal of crossties in North Carolina.