Grade: New softwood railway sleeper. Generally square cut and straight with very occasional waney edges.
Colour: NEW to our range, these striking dark stained railway sleepers vary from shades of grey to black, depending on the light and whether they are wet or dry. Have a look at the above photos. Some of them appear to be light grey and others almost black, yet they are all the same railway sleepers taken at different times, and locations in the wood yard. They say that a camera never lies, but in this case it plays tricks with the eyes! These railway sleepers can further bleach silver grey in the sun as they season and dry out. This natural cycle of seasoning can take 6 - 18 months, depending on the amount of sunlight & the location of the railway sleepers.
Weight: The lightest of all our railway sleepers, and considerably easier to lift than some hardwood railway sleepers. (Approx 25 - 30 kilos for a 2.0m x 200mm x 100mm 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 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 coloured wood preservative (available in any DIY shop)
Description: These new dark grey / black 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 PEFCC 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 dark coloured 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. 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 dark grey / black railway sleepers are a new addition to our railway sleeper range. They will be popular with those wanting a crisp, clean and designer landscaping look, yet with a darker shade, rather than the natural blond pine 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. They are PEFC certified, which means they come from approved well managed forests.
Extra information: Delivery & Treatment
WHAT DELIVERY CHOICES DO I HAVE ?
'STANDARD' OR ' PREMIUM'
You have two options, depending on which delivery option you chose at the checkout stage online, or when you telephone the office.
1) 'STANDARD DELIVERY'
CUSTOMER TO OFFLOAD RAILWAY SLEEPERS
The cheapest delivery option on the website.
This is the cheapest, most popular & efficient means of delivery that covers 100% of the UK.
* YOU can choose any delivery day you want in advance within 2- 4 working days, Mon - Fri, between 9am & 5pm.
* YOU can choose, for a surcharge, a next day delivery, timed delivery or saturday delivery. This surcharge will need to be arranged with the office AFTER you have placed your order online.
* 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 manally 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 palletruck.
The vehicle is normally a non-artic rigid lorry (carrying approx 10 - 15 tons) about the length of a coach or bus.
2) 'PREMIUM DELIVERY'
LORRY OFFLOADS RAILWAY SLEEPERS WITH CRANE OR FORKLIFT
This delivery charge is usually more expensive than the Standard system, but is essential if you order some heavy railway sleepers, without any forklift, or sufficient people to help you offload.
* Your railway sleepers can be offloaded so long as there is sufficient space for the crane or forklift to operate without being obstucted by parked vehicles etc...
You must ensure in advance that a lorry has clear access to your property. 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 unsuccesful delivery will incur a further charge, often equal to the original.
IS THERE A MINIMUM ORDER ?
No. It makes no difference. The delivery cost to you is the same whether we deliver 1 railway sleeper or 20 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 many pallets 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 chose and where you live. If you go online and place the number of railway sleepers you are interested in into the shopping basket, and imput 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.
PRESSURE TREATMENT - THE FACTS
We now offer new eco friendly treated softwood railway sleepers that have been treated with 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 protects 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 envirinments 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. They do 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.
HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?
Believe it or not, the timber treatment companies (and hence us!) offer no guarantee as to the treatment and the longetivity 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, and because
c) customers cut and drill into the treatment on the timber,
that 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 !