Railroad spikes represent a vital component of the rail track system, as they fasten the rail to the supporting crossties. Thus, it is important to understand its behavior and effect on the fastening assembly to mitigate any local failure, which, in turn, could lead to system deterioration or damage. Currently, alternative solutions to the traditional hardwood timber crossties are increasing being adopted by the railroad industry in the USA, with recycled plastic composite crossties being among the available alternatives. Their sustainably, environmental benefits, durability and ease of installation render them an attractive and competitive solution. Several research programs have studied this material and its fastening system in the past; however, additional research is required to fully understand the behavior of these materials and their interactions with the fastening system components. This paper presents an investigation that aims to understand and assess the performance of typical railroad spikes used for recycled high-density-polyethylene crossties. The study encompassed a comprehensive experimental investigation and analytical finite element modeling. The testing program evaluated railroad spikes using static testing methods recommended by the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA) manual. These tests addressed the rail spike pullout and lateral restraint for both screw and cut spikes. Finite element models were constructed and calibrated using the data obtained from the experimental program in order to extrapolate on the experimental results and predict the behavior of full-scale systemsbeyond the scale of the laboratory. The results observed in this study showed great promise, surpassing all the AREMA recommendations, which highlights the potential of these materials if properly optimized and engineered. Screw spikes exhibited a very good performance, surpassing the minimum recommendations by a significant margin (up to more than 200%) and are thus are highly recommended for future implementation.