Grade: Grade 1 tropical hardwood railway sleepers. Extremely durable railway sleepers for all landscaping projects and general purposes. Generally pretty squarish and straight although years of unrelenting weather will have naturally started to wear away some of the edges and exposed faces. See pictures above.
Colour: Various shades of reddish brown to greyish brown, depending on the bleaching effect of the sun. Various shades of red and brown on the inside, when cut or planed.
Weight: Can be very heavy to lift. 2.6m x 240mm x 140mm size Azobe railway sleepers can weigh as much as 90 - 100 kilos. Bear this in mind when you are ordering your particular type of railway sleeper. How do I plan to carry the railway sleepers into position? (e.g. the back of a garden). You'll need at least two willing and strong people, and the serious possibility of bribery or cohersion.
Treatment: Untreated. These railway sleepers were originally used on the railways without any form of treatment, with an intended lifespan of up to 100 years.
Description: These reclaimed African Azobe railway sleepers are probably between 30 - 60 years old, depending on which section of railway they came from in Europe. They are very durable, tight-grained tropical hardwoods with excellent longevity & made from one of the hardest wood in the world. Probably one of the heaviest & hardest railway sleepers on the tracks. Having spent 30 - 60 years on a railway track, they may inevitably have the rustic signs of cracks, loose bits, or 'character'.
Cutting: Very hard. You'll need a circular saw / chainsaw / powered saw to cut these railway sleepers. Start off with a new or sharpened blade, and be prepared to re-sharpen. Occasionally optimistic people try by handsaw, but you'd have to be very determined or fit. 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 railway sleepers!
Attaching / Fixing: Timberlok will not screw through these railway sleepers without a pilot hole, even if the drill is powerful, so it is essential to pre-drill. These railway sleepers are very tough !
Sizes: IMPORTANT. All sizes below are approximate. That means that although a railway sleeper is described as 2600mm in length,depth or width it may in fact be several centimetres longer or shorter. This is due to the fact that these railway sleepers were cut decades ago, in circumstances when it wasn't crucial to be centimetre perfect or accurate in dimension. 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 to cut them to your precise specifications yourself, or think of using a different railway sleeper.
Incredibly tough used African tropical hardwood railway sleepers suitable for outside landscaping, steps, raised beds, decking, aquatics etc.. as well as internal furniture, lintels, woodturning etc.. Indeed, any project where you want amazingly durable weathered railway sleepers without any creosote complications. Very serious weight, so plan for strong help! Extremely long lasting, and even used underwater. There can be some variations in width and depth, so allow for this in your project. The toughest railway sleeper!
Additional note: Reclaimed railway sleepers have been practically used for many decades out in the open to support train tracks. Naturally, they have been weathered by the wind, rain, sun and snow, and also can be have residues of grime, dirt, or oil from the trains that have passed or stopped over them. This is simply the obvious consequence of using authentic and historical railway sleepers. Many landscapers normally install them in the garden, and allow the rain and snow to clean them up. Others may chose to jet wash them, especially if they want to sit on them. If you visit our projects pages, you will see thousands of projects that have used reclaimed railway sleepers, recently taken from the railways.
You have two options, depending on which delivery option you chose at the checkout stage online, or when you telephone the office.
1) THE CHEAPEST OPTION - CUSTOMER TO OFFLOAD RAILWAY SLEEPERS
This is the cheapest, most popular & efficient means of delivery that covers 100% of the UK.
* YOU can chose any delivery day you want in advance within 2- 4 working days, Mon - Fri, between 9am & 5pm.
* YOU can chose, for a surcharge, a next day delivery, timed delivery or 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 manally offload. These railway sleepers are too heavy for one person. The driver is not able to help you offload or carry railway sleepers 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)
2) THE MORE EXPENSIVE OPTION - LORRY OFFLOADS RAILWAY SLEEPERS WITH CRANE OR FORKLIFT
This delivery charge is usually more expensive than the Pallet 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 crane-offloaded so long as there is sufficient space for the crane or forklift to operate without lifting over 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 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 many pallets the order takes up, so whether there is 1 sleeper on a pallet, or 20 sleepers on it, it makes no difference!
HOW DO WE WORK OUT THE DELIVERY COST ?
The cost depends on the postcode of where you live, the number, size and weight of your railway sleepers, how quickly you want it, and whether you can offload or not. 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!
Dense, tight grained, hardwood railway sleepers, especially tropical timbers, are completely different to light, softwood railway sleepers which have to be treated with either creosote or pressure treatment to prevent them rotting and collapsing. Hardwood railway sleepers are much more durable and naturally longer lasting.
African Azobe railway sleepers, for example, are often used untreated by British Waterways under water, due to their natural preservative qualities. Jarra, Karri, Mora, and Greenheart are likewise placed untreated on the railway track by Network Rail, and are expected to last for up to 100 years.
So, untreated railway sleepers are popular with those wanting to keep clear of chemical treatments, or contamination, and wanting to use something that is naturally longer lasting.