University plans the end of railway sleepers

19 October 2013

£15 million project to end railway sleepers & revolutionize railway tracks.

SINCE railways started in the 1800s, railway tracks have been laid by fixing individual rails to individual railway sleepers on a bed of ballast. A team of University of Huddersfield researchers are breaking with this tradition and working on the development of all-steel railway track sections that can be laid quickly together (like a toy railway set) and fitted with computer technology, which provides instant safety alerts. 

At present on the railways you can get deterioration from one railway sleeper to the other or when ballast degrades and some railway sleepers become unsupported. This project promises a steel railway track system that uses steel beams to give consistency of support and better control.

A steel modular track section pre-built in a factory would mean that they could be pre-equipped with smart technology to recognise any faults or deformation that happens on traditional railway lines, and hence warn of potential accidents.