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Sleepers

Sleepers

Sleeper is transverse support for a railway to give stiffness to it.

Functions of Sleepers

  • Holds the rails to correct gauge.
  • Give a firm and even support to the rails.
  • Distributes the axle load over a sufficiently large area of ballast.
  • To act as elastic medium between the rails and ballast to absorb vibration.
  • To maintain the alignment of the track.
  • To provide insulation for electrified track.

Classification of Sleepers

Depending on the material used for their manufacture, the Sleepers can be divided into the following categories

  1. Wooden Sleepers.
  2. Steel Sleepers
  3. Concrete Sleepers
    Wooden Sleepers

    Wooden Sleepers

1. WOODEN SLEEPERS

Wooden sleepers are the ideal type of sleeper. Hence they are universally used. The utility of timber sleepers has not diminished due to the passage of time.

Advantages

  • They are easy to manufacture
  • They are more useful for heavy loads and high speeds
  • They are easy to handle without damage
  • They are more suitable for soft formations
  • They absorb shocks and vibrations better than other types of sleepers.

Disadvantages

  • They are easily liable to attack by vermin and weather. Hence their life is lesser than other type of sleepers
  • They are susceptible to fire.
  • Their maintenance cost is highest in comparison to other type of sleepers
  • Their useful life is short about 12 to 15 years.

2. STEEL SLEEPERS

Steel Sleepers

Steel Sleepers

Due to the increasing shortage of timber in the country and other economical factors have led to the use of steel and concrete sleepers on railways.

Advantages

  • It is more durable. Its life is about 35 years
  • Lesser damage during handling and transport
  • Easy to manufacture
  • It is not susceptible to vermin attack
  • It is not susceptible to fire
  • Its scrap value is very good

Disadvantages

  • It is liable to corrosion.
  • Cracks at rail seats develop during the service.
  • Fittings required are greater in number.

3. CONCRETE SLEEPERS

Concrete Sleepers

Concrete Sleepers

Concrete ties have become more common mainly due to greater economy and Shortage of timber.

Advantages

  • It is more durable having greater life.
  • It is economical as compare to wood and Steel.
  • Easy to manufacture.
  • It is not susceptible to vermin attack
  • It is not susceptible to fire

Disadvantages

  • It is brittle and cracks without warning.
  • It cannot be repaired, and required replacement.
  • Fittings required are greater in number.
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My name is Mustafa Awais, I am basically from Pakistan & Currently living in Saudia Arabia, I am Civil Engineer as well as Web Master.

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