Why Concrete Sleepers Are the Best in Railway Track Construction

16 March 2022
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

Sleepers play a crucial role in railway tracks. First, they transfer the load from the tracks to the subgrade and ballast. In addition, they ensure stability of the rails by holding them firmly together and keeping them spaced to the required gauge. Moreover, they help reduce vibrations from the rails, among many other functions. However, sleepers are made from a wide range of materials. Wood, cast iron, steel, composite and concrete are the standard sleeper materials you will find. Generally, every railway sleeper material has its benefits and drawbacks. However, concrete sleepers tend to be a more popular option. Here's why.

Greater Durability

Concrete sleepers have the edge over other sleeper materials when it comes to longevity. These sleepers are typically made from prestressed or reinforced cement concrete. First, they are less affected by decaying or changing climate patterns like wooden sleepers. Therefore, they are suitable for all moisture conditions and soil types. Some metal sleepers like cast iron may be susceptible to corrosion or rusting, especially in salty water conditions. However, you won't have to worry about such with your concrete sleepers. In addition, concrete sleepers can withstand fire hazards better than other materials like wood. Moreover, you don't have to worry about vermin attack with your concrete sleepers.

Better Stability

Concrete sleepers also tend to offer greater stability than other sleeper materials. That's because they are typically heavier than the other sleeper materials. Therefore, they offer better stability to the rails. In addition, they perform better in resisting tension, particularly prestressed concrete, so you won't have to worry about the sleepers cracking under the pressure of the high-tensile wires typically used in railway tracks. Moreover, their resistance to tension means the sleepers can better withstand stress originating from heavy and fast-moving traffic.

Better Insulation Properties

Concrete is typically a good insulator. Therefore, if you plan to install circuited tracks, they are a more suitable option to consider. 

Ease Of Maintenance

It also helps to think about maintenance levels when selecting railway sleepers. Generally, concrete sleepers have low-level maintenance compared to other railway sleepers because of their insusceptibility to moisture damage, rust, corrosion, vermin attack etc. In addition, maintaining the gauge, alignment and cross level tend to be much easier with concrete sleepers.

Ideal For Mass Production

Concrete is naturally a readily available material. Therefore, if you have a large project that requires mass production of concrete sleepers, you can easily get this and at more affordable prices.

For more information about concrete sleepers, contact a local professional.