Grade: New softwood railway sleeper. Generally square cut and straight with very occasional waney edges.
Colour: Light natural golden pine colour, that bleaches silver grey in the sun after 6 months or so as they season and dry out. This natural cycle of seasoning can take 4 - 12 months, depending on the amount of sunlight & the location of the railway sleepers. If you fancy a different bolder colour, there is always the easy option of staining these railway sleepers with a multitude of colours that can be applied by brush, and are available in most DIY stores.
Weight: The lightest of all our railway sleepers, and considerably easier to lift than the hardwood railway sleepers. (Approx 45 - 55 kilos for a 2.6m x 250mm x 125mm length). Always bear this in mind when you are ordering a particular size of railway sleeper. How do I plan to carry the railway sleepers into position? (e.g. the back of a garden). You'll normally need at least two willing people, with the possibility of incentives to sweeten the lifting process.
Treatment: Eco-friendly Tanalith treatment (Non-creosote treated). A good choice for domestic landscaping, raised beds, steps, retaining walls, growing vegetables, children's play areas, schools, public areas or places where people may sit on the railway sleepers or come into skin contact with them. If you cut any of the railway sleepers you will need to treat the cut end with a wood preservative (available in any DIY shop) See further information on EXTRA INFO tab above.
Description: These new British eco friendly railway sleepers are generally square edged, straighter and lighter than most used railway sleepers, and so easy to stack, cut & drill. See pictures above. They are FSC certified, which means that they come from approved well managed forests. New softwood railway sleepers are sometimes described as being 'green' timber because they have been freshly cut in the last 6 months, and are not kiln dried, air dried or seasoned. They may naturally have splits, knots, blemishes or waney edges. They are stored outside so they may sometimes be wet. If they are not firmly screwed to each other or other timber they may start to move or bow as they season and fully dry out.
Cutting: Fairly easy. The easiest of all our railway sleepers to cut. You can use a circular saw, chainsaw or even a handsaw to cut them. As with any project, it makes sense to try and limit the amount of cuts you need to do. Try and plan a design that fits with the size of our sleepers! As mentioned above, if you cut any of the railway sleepers you will need to treat the cut ends with a wood preservative (available in any DIY shop)
Attaching / Fixing: Timberlok will probably screw through these railway sleepers without a pilot hole, so long as the drill is reasonably powerful. So no need to pre-drill, and connecting these sleepers together should be pretty quick and straightforward.
Sizes: IMPORTANT. All sizes are approximate. That means that although a railway sleeper may be described as approximately 2600mm in length, or 250mm in depth, or 125mm in width it may in fact be several centimetres (or inches) longer or shorter. New railway sleeper are more accurate than used railway sleeper sizes but can vary slightly maybe +/- 10mm. As it happens, most landscaping projects have an element of flexibility or tolerance in them and can cope with this. If your project needs exact accuracy in length, width or depth, then you may need to cut the railway sleeper to your precise specifications yourself, or think of using a different size or type of railway sleeper.
These good value eco friendly railway sleepers are the most popular of all our new railway sleepers. Frequently used for those wanting a crisp clean neat landscaping look, with the option of staining or changing colour. Great for gardening, as they are very simple to stack and construct with, not to mention lifting, drilling and cutting. Can look very architectural and stylish. Popular for steps, walls, raised beds, decking, ponds, furniture & areas where creosote treatment is unsuitable. Just remember to treat any railway sleeper bare ends if you do any cutting! They are FSC or PEFC certified, which means they come from approved well managed forests.
Footnote We received this note from one of our customers:!
I think I'm a Pine Railway sleeper as you've described me to a Tee.
You see I have splits, knots, blemished and waney edges. I also started out blonde (well, light ginger to be more accurate) and have turned to grey. My Doctor has told me on quite a few occasions to 'dry out' . I haven't as yet shrunk, and am still holding onto my height of 5' 4" but yes I have been screwed in the nicest possible way! Now I understand my liking for Thomas the Tank Engine!
Regards, Bob Terry a.k.a. The Fat Controller.
WHAT DELIVERY OPTIONS DO I HAVE?
You have two options, depending on which delivery option you choose at the checkout stage online, or when you telephone the office.
1) STANDARD DELIVERY - CUSTOMER TO OFFLOAD RAILWAY SLEEPERS
This is normally a quicker & cheaper means of delivery that generally covers 100% of the UK, providing you have a forklift or sufficient strong people to offload your railway sleepers.
* DELIVERY TIMESCALE: You can choose any delivery day you want in advance within 2- 4 working days, Monday - Friday. Delivery will be between 9am & 5pm. You can choose, for a surcharge, a Saturday delivery.
* YOU are responsible for offloading the railway sleepers from the vehicle. The vehicle does NOT have a crane offload. If you do not have a forklift, you MUST have at least 2 or more strong people to manually offload. These timbers are too heavy for one person. The driver is NOT able to help you offload or carry materials into your house or garden. One exception! If the railway sleepers are 1.2m or less in length, the lorry driver CAN place the railway sleepers onto the pavement or road using the lorry tail lift and hand pallet truck.
* ACCESS: You must ensure that there is sufficient space for the lorry to access your road and property, and that there is sufficient area for you to safely offload. The vehicle is normally a rigid lorry which is about 10 metres long and about 2.6m wide (Imagine a full size bin lorry) It is crucial to tell us, when we contact you to arrange delivery, whether there are any delivery problems - e.g. a narrow road, cul de sac, cars parked in front of the property etc... An unsuccessful delivery will incur a further charge, often equal to the original haulage cost.
2) PREMIUM DELIVERY - THE RAILWAY SLEEPERS WILL BE OFFLOADED FOR YOU
This delivery charge is normally more expensive than the Standard delivery, but is essential if you order some heavy railway sleepers, and you haven't got a forklift, or sufficient strong people to help you offload. Having your railway sleepers placed on your drive is a perfect way of protecting your back and keeping your friends happy!
* DELIVERY TIMESCALE is generally within 1- 2 weeks, Monday - Friday, and between 8am & 6pm. Unfortunately you can't normally choose your own delivery day in advance, as the haulier will need to efficiently piece together a set of deliveries, according to which part of the UK they are driving to. Please let us know in advance if there are any delivery days you can't make. We will normally confirm the exact date a few days before.
* ACCESS: You must ensure that there is sufficient space for the lorry to access your road and property, and that there is enough area for the lorry to be safely offloaded. The vehicle is normally a rigid lorry which is about 10 metres long and about 2.6m wide (Imagine a full size bin lorry) It is crucial to tell us, when we contact you to arrange delivery, whether there are any access problems - e.g. a narrow road, cul de sac, cars parked in front of the property etc... An unsuccessful delivery will incur a further charge, often equal to the original haulage cost.
IS THERE A MINIMUM ORDER OF RAILWAY SLEEPERS?
No. It makes no difference. The cost to you is the same whether we deliver 1 railway sleeper or 10 railway sleepers... e.g. if the delivery cost to somewhere in the UK for 20 railway sleepers was for example £99 + Vat, then the delivery for 1 railway sleeper would cost the same. That's because our hauliers charge us according to how much lorry space the order takes up, so whether there is 1 railway sleeper on a pallet, or 20 railway sleepers on it, it makes no difference!
HOW DO WE WORK OUT THE DELIVERY COST?
The delivery charge depends on what type of railway sleeper you choose and where you live. If you go online and place the number of railway sleepers you are interested in into the shopping basket, and input your postcode, the website will calculate the delivery cost according to the number and length of the railway sleepers. If you play around with different lengths of railway sleepers, you will discover that 1.2m ones are the cheapest to have delivered, followed then by any sleeper up to 2.4m in length, and then finally the longer 2.6m, 3m and 3.6m ones. It's all about what space the railway sleepers take up on a lorry, and what the haulage companies then charge us. Lots of different variables! If you order online, the delivery cost will be worked out automatically by a computer brain. If you order by telephone, the delivery cost will be calculated by a mere human being, who will chat with you whilst working it all out!
EXTRA TREATMENT INFORMATION
TANALITH PRESSURE TREATMENT-THE FACTS
Our new eco friendly treated softwood railway sleepers have been treated with Tanalith, a much more environmentally friendly, 'greener' alternative to creosote, and is suitable for all kinds of landscaping. It is a water based preservative treatment that helps protect against decay and fungal and insect attack.
~ The railway sleepers are treated using vacuum & pressure impregnation.
~ When impregnated into the railway sleepers the chemical components become fixed within the wood structure and are leach resistant.
~ Suitable for use even in the most extreme environments such as marine applications.
~ Usually specified for general construction and ground contact timbers
~ Can be used in residential, commercial and industrial applications
~ Easily painted or stained
It is so far the most environmentally friendly form of pressure treatment available and has replaced the original CCA treatment. It does not contain arsenic or chromium and have a very low potential for human toxicity. An eco treatment will not leak out in the summer, and is particularly suitable for schools, play areas, children, animals, growing food and indoors, where creosote is unsuitable.
For more technical information please have a look at the Tanalith website or contact the technical guys at Tanalith.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Believe it or not, the treatment companies (and hence us!) offer no guarantee as to the treatment and the longevity of the railway sleepers. They argue that because:
a) timber is used and constructed in so many different applications and settings (above ground, under ground, in water etc...), and because
b) timber naturally splits and moves after treatment, which can expose untreated wood... and because
c) customers cut and drill into the treatment on the timber, leaving bare wood...
- they cannot guarantee or predict how long the railway sleepers will last and how long the treatment will be effective.
SITTING ON THE FENCE
In reality, like many companies, they are frightened about people making claims against them, and so they chose to offer no guarantee, rather than risk someone wanting the whole of their railway sleepers to be replaced after 10 years, if it starts to rot.
Recently we were told of an old traditional timber company that had once rashly offered a lifetime guarantee on their oak fencing. About a year ago an 80 year old lady came into their office brandishing a yellow discoloured receipt from 1959, and stating that several of her fence posts were now rotten! All credit to them, they went out and replaced them!
And the moral is... be careful what you promise!
Although we all know that pressure treated railway sleepers will last considerably longer than 2 days (!) we are unable to say or guarantee how long it will last. Sorry. It's all very unsatisfactory, but it's the way of the world !