Questions and answers

Are reclaimed railway sleepers safe?

Are reclaimed railway sleepers safe?

Some people prefer a rustic, vintage look and so always look for reclaimed sleepers whilst others look for new railway sleepers as they are safe to use when creating vegetable gardens due to the fact that they have not been treated with creosote.

Which railway sleeper is best?

Timber that has been treated with preservative is the best choice in most cases – UC3 treated timber is best for use out of the ground, while UC4 treated is best for in-ground. Another type of timber available is green oak, which does not need treating as they are long-lasting naturally.

Which railway sleepers last the longest?

As a rule, hardwood oak sleepers tend to last the longest naturally with an expected lifespan of around 100 years. An untreated softwood will last for between three and five years if it sits on the ground, whilst treated softwoods can last between 20 and 30 years if they are maintained correctly.

What size are reclaimed railway sleepers?

Traditional Railway Sleepers (Reclaimed / Old / Used) measure approximately 250mm x 150mm x 2.6m. The development over the last 15 – 20 years of their application and extensive use in the garden and landscaping industry has led to a multitude of different sizes and indeed types of Railway Sleeper.

Can you lay railway sleepers on soil?

For one, you can simply place your sleepers directly onto soil, allowing the heavy sleepers time to bed in. The use of gravel or sand to secure sleepers is a popular alternative to concrete.

Are railway sleepers carcinogenic?

Wooden railway sleepers, or crossties, soaked in creosote are used in railway tracks across Europe. Creosote has been used as a wood preservative for many years and contains toxic chemical compounds including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Some of these are a danger to human health as they are carcinogenic.

Will sleepers rot in the ground?

Like all wood, sleepers will eventually rot and fade when exposed to the weather. To prevent them falling to bits before their time, you need to use a good wood preserver.

How do you stop sleepers from rotting in the ground?

Wood Preserver Wood preservative treatments provide garden sleepers with protective properties that help prevent rot, mould and fungal growth, as well as help to form a defence against the elements. It is best to apply a wood preservative before installation of your sleeper, so that you can paint all sides.

What can I use instead of railway sleepers?

WoodBlocX™ can be used in the same way as new or old railway sleepers, without the problem of creosotes seeping from the reclaimed sleepers in warmer weather, making them unsuitable for certain projects like fish ponds.

How much does a 2.6 m railway sleeper weigh?


Type Garden Landscaping Reclaimed A1 Sleeper
Length 2600mm (2.6m)
Material Hardwood
Finish Treated
Weight 80kg

What should I bed railway sleepers on?

The railway sleepers should ideally be laid on a surface that is level and firm. Many people simply lay them down directly on the earth, grass, deck or concrete.

How do I fix railway sleepers to the ground?

Sink the bottom sleepers into the ground to half their depth, drill holes in the sleepers at 1m centres, 25mm wide by 75mm deep. Tap 150mm long dowels into the holes, fix the next layer of sleepers by locking dowels into matching holes. Drill and fix the next layer of railway sleepers.

What can you do with a railway sleeper?

They can also be used to give more structure by creating retaining walls or edging, an ideal replacement for brick or stone. Manufactured from rough-sawn timber, our range of sleepers are pressure-treated to provide abrasion, mildew and rot-resistance to ensure longlasting use.

Where can I find linnells Bros railway sleepers?

We are a large supplier of Railway Sleepers within Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Milton Keynes.

What kind of preservative to use on railway sleepers?

This depends on the type of railway sleepers you have. Reclaimed railway sleepers are usually made from high grade Oak or other dense exotic hardwood, and have usually been treated with Creasote, Tar or some other industrial grade preservative. Reclaimed railway sleepers are likely to last for decades above ground if left untreated.

What kind of wood is a railway sleeper made of?

Reproduction railway sleepers are usually made from Oak or Pine. They can be bought untreated and pre-preserved. It is worth checking this with the supplier if you are unsure. A new, preserved sleeper will have a greenish brown tinge much like a new fence panel.