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Stilllearning

Railway sleepers

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I go past this view of our local station on an almost daily basis. Earlier this year, SNCF upgraded the single track line to having modern concrete sleepers and new ballast. This has left a large stack of old timber sleepers as shown in the centre of the attached image. There must be some use for them, surely?

90BAE865-5C69-4BD0-994E-A071E44DBF49.jpeg

Edited by Stilllearning
To add the image

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Just now, Stilllearning said:

I go past this view of our local station on an almost daily basis. Earlier this year, SNCF upgraded the single track line to having modern concrete sleepers and new ballast. This has left a large stack of old timber sleepers as shown in the centre of the attached image. There must be some use for them, surely?

Big demand for landscaping and I know a few horsey types who have used them to build outside schools

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8 minutes ago, Stilllearning said:

I go past this view of our local station on an almost daily basis. Earlier this year, SNCF upgraded the single track line to having modern concrete sleepers and new ballast. This has left a large stack of old timber sleepers as shown in the centre of the attached image. There must be some use for them, surely?

 

 

Valuable things - rotten ones make about £9 each, decent one s£15 and V.Good up to £30 each

Bought a load of sleepers for making a cross-country (equine) course thru' the woods.

 

I was lucky enough to pick up a few brand new (untreated) Mahogany sleepers a few years back - don't know what they were doing being used as sleepers but they didn't half knock my chain saw about. Beautiful wood, 9 foot long x 11" x 9" (from memory)

 

 

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They make good little runners for putting your sailing dinghy trolley on. That's what I used some for.

 

Back stop for car parking.

 

Coal Staithes.

 

 

Edited by Ray T

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They used thousands of them to cremate livestock when we had foot & mouth, they burn really well. I believe they imported new ones to burn from Sweden when stocks ran out in the UK

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They tend to rot from the center and our local steam train center call them canoes & sell them for a tenner.

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56 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

 

Valuable things - rotten ones make about £9 each, decent one s£15 and V.Good up to £30 each

Bought a load of sleepers for making a cross-country (equine) course thru' the woods.

 

I was lucky enough to pick up a few brand new (untreated) Mahogany sleepers a few years back - don't know what they were doing being used as sleepers but they didn't half knock my chain saw about. Beautiful wood, 9 foot long x 11" x 9" (from memory)

 

 

Are you sure they were railway sleepers? Wrong wood and wrong dimensions for a sleeper. Jarrah or Ekki far more likely if they were intended to be sleepers. Outside possibility they were longitudinal timber rail bearers for a bridge. It does seem that 'sleeper' has become a garden centre term for a big slab of wood.

 

Hardwood's are never treated for use as sleepers.

 

JP

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11 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

Are you sure they were railway sleepers? Wrong wood and wrong dimensions for a sleeper. Jarrah or Ekki far more likely if they were intended to be sleepers. Outside possibility they were longitudinal timber rail bearers for a bridge. It does seem that 'sleeper' has become a garden centre term for a big slab of wood.

 

Hardwood's are never treated for use as sleepers.

 

JP

Could be - I'm not a timber expert, I purchased a truck load (several 100) of them from a 'clearance guy' who had the job of removing 1000's from a Railway Yard and there were a 'few' of these 'Mahogany' ones I got him to include.

Beautiful tight grained 'mahogany' coloured polished to a lovely finish.

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Up here in the Spey Valley there is a strong tradition of using them to build houses, the typical sleeper dimension being a nice building block for a single storey dwelling. 

 

When the railway came to this area in the mid 19th century the locals would recycle the cast off sleepers which I think used to be replaced every 15 years or so.  We have friends who live in one of these "sleeper houses" as they are known.  Quite why the practice was so widespread in this small corner of Scotland no-one knows but as some of these buildings are now over 100 years old (and we get some weather up here) it was certainly sound thinking.

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3 minutes ago, Alan de Enfield said:

Could be - I'm not a timber expert, I purchased a truck load (several 100) of them from a 'clearance guy' who had the job of removing 1000's from a Railway Yard and there were a 'few' of these 'Mahogany' ones I got him to include.

Beautiful tight grained 'mahogany' coloured polished to a lovely finish.

Sounds all above board to me. Must be right!

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Wooden sleepers were generally pressure impregnated with creosote.   There was a certain wood used for sleepers in deep cuttings liable to flooding that don't float in case the track tried to shift, but I can't remember what it was.

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You could level uneven ground, make a platform to build a boat on........oh look, there's one now.

 

 

IMG_0221.JPG

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1 hour ago, bizzard said:

Wooden sleepers were generally pressure impregnated with creosote.   There was a certain wood used for sleepers in deep cuttings liable to flooding that don't float in case the track tried to shift, but I can't remember what it was.

Only softwood sleepers are treated, not hardwood.

 

I think that name you are forgetting is concrete.

 

JP

Edited by Captain Pegg
  • Haha 2

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24 minutes ago, Captain Pegg said:

Only softwood sleepers are treated, not hardwood.

 

I think that name you are forgetting is concrete.

 

JP

No, this was long before concrete sleepers were even thought of.

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The hardwood sleepers were probably eucalyptus (Jarrah) v. hard and dense and they do polish or varnish up to a nice mahogany colour, sometimes available as recycled boards from old piers and buildings.

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1 minute ago, Bee said:

The hardwood sleepers were probably eucalyptus (Jarrah) v. hard and dense and they do polish or varnish up to a nice mahogany colour, sometimes available as recycled boards from old piers and buildings.

Yhat was it, I think.

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14 minutes ago, Bee said:

The hardwood sleepers were probably eucalyptus (Jarrah) v. hard and dense and they do polish or varnish up to a nice mahogany colour, sometimes available as recycled boards from old piers and buildings.

is eucalyptus a hard wood, it is v fast growing, I have just felled one this weekend

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23 minutes ago, rasputin said:

is eucalyptus a hard wood, it is v fast growing, I have just felled one this weekend

Yes, the term is used to define conifer/softwood deciduous/hardwood.

It's an poor term tbh balsa is a hardwood and yew is a softwood.

Eucalyptus is a very fine firewood but split it now, do not wait until it's seasoned 

Edited by tree monkey
Yes to yew, bloody auto correct

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strange that I didn't know that definition,

 

when looking up definitions it would seen that larch is an evergreen..lol

 

I always refer to birch as a soft hardwood. 

 

It was a difficult tree to fell, in a confined space having no idea of its characteristics. It was nice to get back to the security of the pines 

 

when looking 

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