The Glasgow Section of the Permanent Way Institution (the professional organisation for Track Engineers) recently convened an online seminar covering the topic of steel sleepers; to review and share their experiences of the installation and maintenance of steel sleepers. The review was not afraid to explore some of the misconceptions and discussed the background, causes, underlying reasons, and methods of prevention, with best practice actively discussed.
The impartial conclusion among these well experienced users, was that steel sleepers have been misunderstood, and unfairly maligned. Additionally, it can be heard in the presentation, that newly recognised benefits have materialised, and effectively tilt the balance of advantages in favour of steel sleepers over other forms of sleepers.
This group of track engineers and users of steel sleepers, concluded that steel sleepers today offered new and significant cost savings, and construction advantages, and were able to quantify the savings. Furthermore, the presenters also concluded that in the move towards the ‘zero carbon’ future in 2050 (2045 in Scotland), steel sleepers have considerably less embodied carbon equivalent, in the basic steel sleeper format. This makes the presentation on YouTube an interesting and worthwhile viewing.
Trackwork was impressed with the conclusions from this notable group, because these were all users of steel sleepers, which are made and supplied from the Wallasey factory of Trackwork, and represents an unsolicited testimonial of the product in track.
Trackwork, in conjunction with the special steel profile supplied by British Steel, manufactures all the steel sleeper range for use by Network Rail in the UK, and to overseas customers in many countries.