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Guide to Using Timber Railway Sleepers in the Garden

Updated on July 12, 2011

Railway Sleepers

Sleepers used in Garden Design
Sleepers used in Garden Design

Introduction

Discover how timber railway sleepers can be used in garden projects and what sleepers are available.

Railway sleepers have become popular in many gardens as a low cost and eye-catching hard landscaping material. They can be used in the construction of a number of garden features and projects such as retaining walls and planters, steps, garden furniture and feature benches.

Railway Sleepers

Sleepers are normally 250mm wide and 125mm deep and can be between 1.8 to 3m in length. Because of their size sleepers can achieve results quickly, and their aged wooden appearance brings a natural quality to the aesthetics of your garden.

Originally, railway sleepers were just that – heavy wooden sleepers used in the construction of the nation’s railway network. Reclaimed sleepers were obtained when railway lines were upgraded or renovated.

These days there are a wide range of different types of reclaimed, new hardwood and softwood sleepers available in different, and can even be ordered online from websites like http://www.timberclick.com

Original reclaimed used hardwood railway sleepers were previously used to support railway lines. They will still have creosote preservative on them and are often rounded through years of wear and tear, with large holes drilled through them.

Untreated Railway Sleepers

Untreated railway sleepers
Untreated railway sleepers

Types and Sizes of Sleepers

Reclaimed sleepers are available in different grades. Grade 1A is the best quality and reclaimed sleepers are available in both oak and softwood.

Grade 2A used oak and softwood sleepers have character but are still good quality at a lower price so are ideal for the majority of home landscaping projects.

Grade 3 sleepers are reclaimed oak which has been creosoted in average condition and are ideal for budget projects as they are lower cost.

New railway sleepers can be purchased in durable hardwood and are usually untreated giving a more natural wood appearance that can be light brown or grey in colour. They are also in better condition that reclaimed sleepers and are available in a wider range of sizes likes boards and planks.

New softwood railway sleepers are often sourced from the Baltic region and again are available in a wider range of sizes. Softwood is easier to handle, cut and drill and will turn a subtler grey/silver colour over time.

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    • profile image

      Thesco Timber Borneo 

      5 years ago

      We specialize in selecting the exact wood products tailored to our customers request. We sell balsa wood. Balsa shapes include: dowels, triangles, squares, blocks, sheets, balsa moldings, & specialty items. Excellent quality and very good prices.

    • profile image

      DUD imp.-exp. Ltd. 

      5 years ago

      -------------- wood sleepers Offer

      Dear Sirs ,

      We are a private company from Arad-Romania, located at 40 km East from the border with Hungary, set up (founded) in 1992, producer and exporter of wood products.

      Now we can OFFER you our sorts production :

      Veneer logs :

      --- Oak (robur & petraea Quercus),

      --- Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus),

      --- Beech (fagus sylvatica),

      --- Cherry (Prunus avium),

      --- Maple , Rigelahorn (Acer Montanum),

      --- Walnut (Juglans regia);

      wood products :

      1.) fresh or AD Beech (Fagus sylvatica) timber/planks after your specification;

      2.) fresh or AD , Oak (robur & petraea Quercus) timber/planks after your specification;

      3.) Oak , Turkey Oak or Beech sleepers (Buche Schwelle) : fresh cut , according EN 13145 sleepers standards;

      4.) OAK panel - finger joining A grade and Oak -- SPECIAL stratification ;

      5.) Oak barrels , 225 litres , typ France;

      6.) Spruce timber / planks , quality "B" for construction , fresh or AD form;

      Payment modality :

      a.) irrevocable L/C by payment at sight available with CEC Bank - Arad county branch (correspondent bank : DEUTSCHE Bank AG, Frankfurt * swift : DEUTDEFF). Supplier ( the seller) has a direct and immediate access to the value L / C when its bank shows: invoice and packing list original , respectively a copy after document from the cargo transport company as it is taken. *** Patial shipment allowed , transhipment ;

      b.) Money transfer modality : SHA

      The all expenses for quality inspection remain in the Buyer charge , the qaulity goods inspection with the Buyer quality inspector or SGS Romania , strict only in the Seller saw mill company (anywhere in Romania).

      Thank's in advance for your real support or proposal SPECIFICATIONS , if is possible until tomorrow.

      Best regards,

      dipl. eng. Iosa-Gherasim VLACIS

      "DUD imp.-exp." Ltd. Arad

      - R O M A N I A

      310204 - Romantastr. 12

      fax : + 40 - 357 - 814 317

      Mob. : + 40 - 744 - 438 669 ** Für Fragen stehe ich Ihnen gerne zur Verfügung --- kontakt Person Hr.dipl.ing. VLACIS;

    • profile image

      "DUD imp.-exp." Ltd. 

      6 years ago

      Dear Sirs,

      We are a private company from Arad-Romania, located at 40 km East from the border with Hungary , set up in 1992 , producer and exporter of wood products.

      Now we can OFFER you our sorts production :

      Oak or Beech sleepers (Buche Schwelle) : fresh cut , according EN 13145 SLEEPERS standards , saw measurement s: 123 x 203 x 2410 mm , invoice dimensions : 120 x 200 x 2400 mm , respectively the dimensions after your specification, quality A/B grade; Monthly : approx. 800 - 1.000 m3;

      Payment modality :

      a.) irrevocable L/C by payment at sight available with CEC Bank - Arad county branch (correspondent bank : DEUTSCHE Bank AG, Frankfurt * swift : DEUTDEFF). Supplier ( the seller) has a direct and immediate access to the value L / C when its bank shows: invoice and packing list original , respectively a copy after document from the cargo transport company as it is taken. *** Patial shipment allowed , transhipment ;

      b.) Money transfer modality : SHA

      The all expenses for quality inspection remain in the Buyer charge , the qaulity goods inspection with the Buyer quality inspector or SGS Romania , strict only in the Seller saw mill company (anywhere in Romania).

      Best regards,

      dipl. eng. Iosa-Gherasim VLACIS

      "DUD imp.-exp." Ltd. Arad

      - R O M A N I A

      310204 - Romantastr. 12

      fax : + 40 - 357 - 814 317

      Mob. : + 40 - 744 - 438 669 ** Für Fragen stehe ich Ihnen gerne zur Verfügung --- kontakt Person Hr.dipl.ing. VLACIS;

      e-mail : dud.vlacis@gmail.com

    • profile image

      hurbetpanels 

      6 years ago

      Railway Sleepers are ideal for use in landscaping projects. They can form lovely borders, or raised flower beds. Available either new or used, sleepers are favoured by landscapers throughout the country as they are highly versatile and bring a superb rustic look to a garden project.

      New Sleepers

      New sleepers are available either treated or untreated, depending on your needs. Treated sleepers are coated with a brown wood treatment which helps them to withstand weathering through wind and rain.

    • kentuckyslone profile image

      kentuckyslone 

      7 years ago

      I think the old ones that were taken when tracks were removed are the best. The weathered look makes a nice addition to a garden.

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