Impact of concrete sleepers on ANR maintenance procedures and maintenance standards

In order to put the usage of concrete sleepers in tracks of the Australian National Railways Commission into perspective,the following outline gives briefly the reasons for their selection for use in the Trans-Australian Railway. Firstly the Trans-Australian Railway passes through very arid and desolate country where annual rainfall is most unreliable and often does not exceed 100 mm per annum. High summer temperatures, in the vicinity of 50°C, are a common occurrence and coupled with very low to zero humidity, had a very drying effect on the untreated West Australian Hardwood timber sleepers on this railway. Limited strength tests conducted showed that the hardwood sleepers lost approximately half their strength over a five year period in this environment. Sleeper replacement records indicated an average sleeper life of 17 years, tending to diminish to 15 years. As shrinkage of timbers occurs, dogspikes become loose resulting in timbers requiring cross boring and spiking at least once during their life-time. The durability and other properties of timber sleepered track can be considerably improved if they can be effectively treated with preservatives of a non-volatile nature. Our experience is that hardwood timbers in use on the Trans-Australian Railway do not respond well to treatment with preservatives. West Australian hardwoods were also becoming more scarce to get in required numbers and quality was falling off.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 11p. ; PDF
  • Monograph Title: Permanent Way Institution (PWI) NSW, 1980 annual convention

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01711467
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 19 2019 2:26PM