Railway Track Sleepers are members which lay transverse to the rails on which the rail supports and fixes. Sleepers are concrete beds in the railway tracks. The sleepers are of concrete, timbers, steel, cast iron, RCC, and the Prestress concrete. The main role of sleepers is to transfer load from rails to the ballast. And the sub-grade below. It as a transverse member throughout the permanent way.
These sleepers fix vertical to each other. It fixes throughout the track. The main work of sleepers is to hold rails in a strong position. It receives the loads from rails and spread to ballast and sub-grades.
Functions of Railway Track Sleepers
Sleepers perform the following functions
- It holds the rails at the proper gauge and at the proper level, flat curves, turnouts, and in diamond crossings.
- Transfers load evenly from rails to ballasts to absorb vibrations of moving loads.
- Provides a good stability of track.
- The track circuiting is making easy with it.
- Supports the rail tracks at proper super-elevation.
- It acts as an elastic medium in between the ballast and the rails to absorb blows.
- It maintains the horizontal and vertical alignments throughout the entire track for a long lifetime.
- They provide a way to rectify track geometry during its use.
Requirements of Railway Track sleepers
For a long time period and for a good performance the sleepers need to some important requirements.
- Sleepers must be economical.
- Should have a low maintenance cost.
- It should be easier to handle during the maintenance operations like lifting, packing, removal, and replacement.
- The weight of sleepers should not be too heavy or too light. It should have a moderate weight for ease of access.
- And capable to resist shocks of rails because of a fast-moving load with vibration.
- It should have a proper spacing between two sleepers for ease of maintenance for removal and replacement.
- Sleeper to design in a way that they should not push out easily due to moving loads.
- A sleeper to provide with anti-theft qualities.