The term Railway Sleepers has been defined as the components on which the rails have been arranged with proper gauge. Their main purpose is to reset on ballast and sometimes it is also known as ties. Whenever the train passes then the load from the rails is taken by these Railway sleepers and thus it is finally distributed to the ballast.
The Railway Sleepers comes in various sizes and in both new and reclaimed, softwood and hardwood. The main purpose of the reclaimed sleepers has been generally used to support the railway lines and they contain a worn appearance which makes them ideal for a traditional rustic look. On the other end, the new square-edged sleepers come in either the form of softwood or hardwood and these are more suited to a contemporary scheme.
From the past few years, it has been seen that the railway sleepers are stimulated due to their versatility and ruggedness when it has been used in landscaping projects. Thus, these sleepers are commonly used to form the planters and they act as an edging and are ideal for the retaining walls.
How Does The Railway Sleepers Work?
The other name for railway sleepers is Railroad. These are mainly used under the steel rails with the help of a proper gauge. Whenever the train passes the weight of the steel rail is loaded to rail sleepers and thus the weight gets distributed to the ballast. While seeing from the railway lines, the rail sleepers are laid horizontally beneath the tracks. Also, it is the main part of holding the rail lines at the correct gauge.
It is true that every year, millions of rail sleepers are made from different materials and are manufactured and applied in railway line construction. Usually, the Railway sleepers contain 4 main functions, and these are:
1: It helps in fixing steel rails in order to maintain a uniform gauge.
2: Railway sleepers pass the force of steel rails to ballast and to maintain horizontal level.
3: These sleepers help in reducing the vibration whenever the train is passing through steel rails.
4: It holds steel rails in position and longitudinal direction.
Classification of Railway Sleeper:
Based On The Materials Used, These Railway Sleepers Are Classified Into The Following Categories:
1: Wooden Sleeper
2: Concrete Sleeper
3: Steel Sleeper
4: Cast-iron Sleeper
5: Composite Sleeper
7: Steel Rail sleepers
8: Green Railway sleepers and many more
1: Wooden Sleeper:
The wooden sleeper is a part of a railway sleeper and these sleepers are made up of wood. Moreover, it contains a long history of application and still, it can be seen in many places especially in western countries. The most common raw material that has been used in Wooden sleeper are Oak, teakwood, jarrah, etc.
Some Benefits Of Wooden Sleeper Are:
1: The Wood sleepers are cheaper than the others and are easy to manufacture.
2: These sleepers are light in weight, and they can be easily transported and handled while installing.
3: Fasteners can be easily installed on Wooden sleepers.
4: These sleepers are good insulators; thus, the rails are well-protected.
5: Any type of gauge can get easily maintained by wooden sleepers.
6: These are suitable for all types of rail sections.
7: These sleepers are well-suited for railway tracks.
Disadvantages of Wooden Sleeper:
1: The life of these sleepers is very less in comparison to others.
2: These get weak against fire.
3: These sleepers get easily affected by humidity and that will cause dry rot.
4: If it is not properly treated then there is a chance of vermin attack.
5: It contains poor creep resistance.
6: Good attention is required by every laying.
2: Concrete Sleeper:
Another type of Rail Sleeper is Concrete Sleeper. It has rectangular support, and it is made up of concrete materials.
Following Has Been Listed Some Benefits Of Concrete Sleepers:
1: The concrete sleepers are heavier than the other types of sleepers and it gives good stability to the rails.
2: The sleeper contains a long-life span, so it is economically preferable.
3: Corrosion doesn’t occur in Concrete sleepers.
4: Vermin attack, decay doesn’t get attacked to Concrete sleepers. Thus, they are suitable for all types of soil and moisture conditions.
5: It contains higher bucking strength.
6: Concrete is a good insulator, so this type of sleeper is suitable for circuited tracks.
7: It holds the tracks strongly and maintains the gauge.
Disadvantages of Concrete Sleeper:
1: Due to its heavyweight, handling is difficult.
2: For tracks, bridges, crossings the concrete sleepers are not suitable.
3: There is a risk of damage when transporting these concrete sleepers.
3: Steel Sleepers:
Steel sleepers might be used in standard gauges, lightweight lines, etc. Unlike the wooden sleepers and concrete sleepers, the steel sleepers contain high strength and good corrosion resistance in bad weather conditions, and this makes it with less maintenance work.
Some of the Benefits of Steel Sleepers:
1: These sleepers are light in weight and are easy to transport and install.
2: The Steel sleepers can be easily recyclable and thus they possess a good scrap value.
3: The life span of steel sleepers is more than 30 years.
4: These are good resistant against fire.
5: It contains good resistance against creep.
6: These sleepers cannot be attacked by vermin.
7: They are well-suited for railway tracks of high speeds and larger loads.
8: They hold the rail strongly and connecting the rail to the sleeper is simple.
Some of Its Disadvantages:
1: Steel sleepers can get affected by chemicals easily.
2: It usually requires high maintenance.
3: These are not suitable for all types of ballast and are provided as a bed for sleepers.
4: These are not suitable for all types of rail gauges and sections.
4: Cast Iron Sleeper:
Cast Iron sleeper has been widely used in Indian Railway lines and it is the last type of Railway sleeper:
Its Benefits Include:
1: These sleepers can be used for a longer period, mostly up to 60 years.
2: Their manufacturing is easy, and it can be done locally so no need for longer transportation.
3: Vermin attack cannot be possible in Cast iron sleeper.
4: It provides a strong seat to the rail.
5: The damaged cast iron sleepers get remolded into the new sleepers.
6: Creep of rail can also be provided by cast iron sleeper.
1: It is brittle and can be damaged easily while handling.
2: These can be corroded by saltwater and are not suitable for coastal regions.
3: It is expensive in the market as compared to the other railway sleepers.
4: Fastening materials are required to fix this rail sleeper.
5: Proper maintenance is required.