Key Post: Railway Sleepers

S

sueellen

Guest
Hi,

we are thinking of putting down railway sleepers as kerbing instead of the concrete ones. Has anyone done this before?
I know it will be costly but I think it will look good.

Paul
 
H

heinbloed

Guest
sleepers

Railway sleepers are treated with chemicals .The preservatives are toxic,and the weed killers sprayed over them for decades are related to "agent orange",nothing to be put into your garden.
The dangerous part in the treatment is called "tar oil WEI type A " ,the user is advised not to touch the treated timber with bare hands.Further on generations of railway users have shi.... on them,hepatitis viruses are the least you can expect to find on/in them.Used railway sleepers are hazardous waste under EU regulation. That probably is not translated into Irish law,at least there is no one controlling the "trade".Check the web to make sure,"waste legislation plus railway sleepers".
 
P

PMU

Guest
Re: sleepers

I think heinbloed is having you on saying that railway sleepers are hazardous waste under EU law. If you go down to the National Garden Exhibition Centre in Kilpedder, one of their exhibit gardens (the Town Garden www.clubi.ie/calumet/town_garden.html) uses railway sleepers to box off the beds, etc. I think they look cool.
 
K

kerinsp

Guest
agent orange? ha ha ha

Yes I they they look cool too. Much nicer than concrete kerbs.
I would have no problems sticking them all over my garden either.

I have pretty much decided to do the kerbing with sleepers even though its going to cost a lot. I need 110 m! (thats just for the kerbing). I have an area where I can box off some bedding too. Maybe next year...
 
G

Guest

Guest
railway sleepers and toxic chemicals

I dont think you should discount heinbloed's views quite so quickly. Ciggarettes were banned in public places because certain compounds are carcinogenic. If creosote and tar is carcinogenic then I would be very slow to use these sleepers in my garden with children and pets.

Secondly where do these sleepers come from. If this trade contributes to the ripping up of old railway lines then I would be also against this trade.

£££
 
Z

Zed

Guest
Be very carefulwith sleepers

Sleepers look good and are quite safe if kept as borders. Under no cirstances though use them anywhere near vegetable patches. Some people have raised beds for veg growing, using sleepers as the walls. Of course, all the nasties mentioned above, end up in the produce.

Same goes for tyres. As part of 'perma culture' a few years ago, massive yields of spuds could be had from a very small area, by stacking tyres on top of each other, filling the tyres with soil and then then growing potatoes in them. Great idea, apart from the fact that all the toxins in the old tyres contaminate the veg.
 
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Marion

Guest
Re: railway sleepers as kerbing

Heinbloed

I sourced this from the Dept of food and Ag. The directive comes into effect at the end of this month in Ireland.

Specifically, it states:
Arsenic-treated wood may not be used in:

Residential or domestic constructions, whatever the purpose,
Any application where there is a risk of repeated skin contact,
Marine waters,
Agriculture other than structural uses or for livestock fence posts (3(i) or 3(vii),
Any application where the treated wood may come into contact with intermediate or finished products intended for human and/or animal consumption.

Such arsenic-treated wood includes timber that is intended to be used in gardens, parks and areas where the public has access .
Marion :hat
 
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heinbloed

Guest
timber treatment

Thanks Marion for the interesting link.The problem of arsenic and chromium treatment is that it is not visible to the naked eye.Copper is green ,you can see green timber/ stakes in the garden center for example as well as in buildings.Copper is not very effective as a fungicide-it is used in (organic)vine growing- but it has some properties.Dyed timber (green) is treated timber,the colour is a warning sign for those who are handling it,the carpenters for example.They know that this timber has to be handled carefully(gloves,masks when cutting)-provided that they are trained carpenters.You will still find this sort of timber in children swings,sand pits etc.,neither the parents or the children are trained I suppose.The green colour is copperoxid and added as a warning signal.The really dangerous stuff is the arsenic and chromium-invisible to the untrained eye,just a very slight discoloration compared to untreated timber.
Now ,the railway sleepers ARE haz.waste.In municipal waste incinerators they are banned dispite filters and stags.The creosote is of the cheapest kind,never intended to come in contact with living organisms-except to kill them.There are different qualities of creosote ,some are still used in commercial treatment for garden fences or sheds.Those in railway sleepers are banned since a long time around the globe-not just in the EU-as a treatment for timber that might come in contact with living beings-not just humans.
The other qualities of creosote are slowly but surely phased out.In the Netherlands for example no timber treated at all is for sale anymore to the private costumer.
And it is not necessary.Amsterdam,Venice,Hamburg and many other cities are build on timber that was never treated,their buildings lasting for centuries .
If timber treatment is necessary than timber should not be used in that place.It is simple as that.
I have spoken to architects who where proud about their nice constructions with timber (they even got prices and awards) in which they used treated oak.Simple minds they are.They could have used zinc coated gold bars as well.
Thanks again,there is hope.
 
Z

zag

Guest
Re: timber treatment

On a side note, is there any evidence to back up my belief that all the 'sleepers' out the can't possibly have come from railway tracks - that at least some of them have never seen the business end of a train waste pipe ?

The way I see it, we are not over endowed with railway lines here in Ireland, and those that we do have are not exactly refurbished every year.

I know there is a certain turnover of sleepers as tracks are re-laid over time, but I just can't believe that the number of suburban gardens sporting sleepers could be supported by the amount of track refurbished here every year.

I know it is only a few metres per garden, but still . . .

z
 
L

Laoise

Guest
railway sleepers

Article from the Telegraph - pointing out that slae of railway sleepers becomes illegal from June 2003 and that as yet no incinerator in Britain is equiped to deal with burning the things due to the emissions - and you want to put them in your garden !!!

Toxic Sleepers hit the Buffers:
www.telegraph.co.uk/garde...leep13.xml
 
L

Laoise

Guest
sleepers

EU Commission Directive 2001/90/EC - europa.eu.int/eur-lex/pri...410043.pdf -
pointing out that wood treated with creosote may not be put on the market.
By way of derogation -- wood already treated MAY be put on the second-hand market for reuse BUT re-use is specifically prohibited in toys, playgrounds, parks, gardens and leisure facilities where there is risk of frequent skin contact.

Irish Law - S.I 107 2000 - translates this prohibition as follows:
iii) Relating to old treated wood: the prohibition shall not apply where this is placed on the second-hand market. However, such wood may not be used:
- inside buildings whether for decorative purposes or not, whatever their purpose (residence, employment, leisure),
- for the manufacture of containers intended for growing purposes and any re-treatment and the manufacture of packaging which may come into contact with, or of other materials which may contaminate, raw, intermediate and/or finished products intended for human and/or animal consumption, and any re-treatment,
- in playgrounds and in other outdoor places of public pleasure.

Clearly our EU neighbours are able to enjoy a higher standard of protection from carcinogenic components than Irish law allows for, in that Irish Legislation refers only to Public spaces.

As for the Waste issue - check the Waste Management Act of 1006, Second Schedule Part 2. www.irishstatutebook.ie/front.html
Here the components which render a waste material as hazardous are specified. These components include creosote.
Even Irish Legislation recognises crosote contaminated waste as being hazardous.
 
K

kerinsp

Guest
they are coming from east europe

The sleepers that you can get in the builders merchants are coming from east europe now.

I just don't buy the "dangers" of having them as kerbing. I dont see the occassional contact with a railway sleeper as being more dangerous than having a few cigarettes in fairness.
 
X

XXY

Guest
.. or a little touch of asbestos

.. or a little touch of asbestos
 
K

kerinsp

Guest
why not radioactive waste while you are at it

I am unconvinced.
 
S

sueellen

Guest
Re: railway sleepers as kerbing

Some other posts

paulocon
Frequent poster
Railway Sleepers


Anyone know where to buy some and what the price is?

regards,
paulocon

kerinsp
Registered User
Re: Railway Sleepers


any builders merchant should have them. They cost about 25 euro each!

extopia
Frequent poster
Re: Railway Sleepers


If you're looking for a large quanitity you could try www.czechdirect.ie/usedsleepers.html

elderdog
Frequent poster
Re: Railway Sleepers


On the road from Dublin to Skerries I passed a place with a sign up saying they had some for sale.

Dunno how much.

Is this anywhere near you ?

paulocon
Frequent poster
Re: Railway Sleepers


elderdog,

Sorry - should have gave my location.
Living close to Drogheda.

paulocon.

Breffni Boy
Registered User
Re: Railway Sleepers


There is a place on the old N1 north of Drogheda. I have seen their sign on the RHS northbound about half way up Tullyesker Hill just past McGovern's Garage. Don't know how much but may be worth a trip.

BB

paulocon
Frequent poster
Re: Railway Sleepers


cheers breffni boy - not that far from me at all. I'll check it out at the weekend.

sunnyday
Frequent poster
Re: Railway Sleepers and Toxic Chemicals


I was actually thinking about using some for a patio area. I guess that's possibly not such a good idea? Are there any "safe" sleepers around?

paulocon
Frequent poster
Re: Railway Sleepers and Chemicals


Am putting them down the back of the garden as steps up to the garden shed. Something to think about.....

Just for anyone out there who is buying sleepers, I've rang around quite a few places (North-East) and the best price I've got is EUR25 inclusive of delivery (3 miles).

Some garden centres were selling for as much as EUR32 so be careful before parting with your money.

PGD
Frequent poster
Re: Railway Sleepers


you also need to be careful over the quality of what you get.
I once went to view sleepers costing €35 each and they were terrible. A complete mix of sizes and lots of them hat large holes/depressions in them. You would not have been able to use them to build retaining walls etc.

I found that Jones' (Fruit Farm and Garden Centre) in Donabate had a large stock of excellent quality ones and I bought a good stock of them. I'mnot sure if they have any of that batch left though.

It's like anything, they are fine for general use. You could worry about what they are coated with, but all the wood that garden stuff/fences are made from have preservative on them too. I wouldn't use them beside a veggie garden but general border/bed use if OK.

Remember that they are very heavy and you will need two people and possible a LARGE saw or chainsaw to work with them.
 
D

Doogo

Guest
Re: railway sleepers as kerbing

why the bump! Sue-ellen
just curious?
 
S

sueellen

Guest
Hi Doogo,

I made a key post of the original thread and combined 2 of them because its a topic that comes up regularly. :)
 
L

Lemurz

Guest
Sleepers

Passed a sign on the way back from Cork today selling railway sleepers, near the horse and jockey. Didn't have time to stop and ask, but I imagine they deliver as it's a truck depot/warehouse. Seemed to have a good stock of sleepers in the yard. Contact numbers on sign were 086-8200929 & 0504-44544 & 0504-44644.

If you get a change to ring before me, please post the details, etc.
 
L

Lemurz

Guest
Re: Sleepers

Modern technology - My camera phone!
(and before you reply sunnyday- I wasn't driving)
 
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