As the quantity and cost of disposing of waste from large-scale industrial production has become costly from an economic and environmental point of view, the question of reuse has become an integral part of the organizational aspects of both public administrations and individuals, and in particular that of designers. This aspect can offer many creative ideas. Just think of the reuse of wooden pallets that we now find in the most disparate contexts.
the wooden sleepers for railway after careful recovery operations by specialized companies that mechanically remove the surface layer, can be marketed again and more and more frequently find new fields of application. An example of a treated oak crossbeam can be seen at forestgreen.es, a company specializing in outdoor wood.
The surface condition of railway sleepers is not perfectly smooth, which makes them perfectly compatible with the rural context. We believe that the evocative aspect transmitted by railway sleepers during their reuse should also be highlighted. Simple “markers” given by the shadows of the holes in the wood where the old fixing screws were housed are enough to project our imagination “elsewhere”.
What are railway sleepers?
A railway sleeper can be described as the rectangular support system that forms the bottom rails of the track. They are usually placed perpendicular to the rails themselves, keeping the rails at an appropriate distance and in an upright position. Traditionally, railway connections are made of wood, but today concrete is also widely used.
What does it have to do with gardening? Railway sleepers have long been used in landscaping. The wood is used to build beautiful garden steps, furniture and raised garden beds. Railway sleepers can be the perfect addition to any garden, large or small, bringing a touch of design to the natural space in an organized and efficient way. So full steam ahead?
Original and new sleepers
Garden railway sleepers have become popular in landscaping projects. Attractive and inexpensive, railroad ties are the ideal material for landscaping. Aged wood gives your garden an aesthetic and natural quality. There are a range of varieties of reclaimed sleepers that you can buy at your local garden center or online. The salvaged original railway sleepers will be weathered and perforated. The original sleepers will be treated with creosote, i.e. they are made from preserved wood to give them a longer life.
New railway sleepers, on the other hand, are available in hardwood and softwood and, compared to the original hardwood, are untreated. This gives the wood a more natural look and its color can vary from light brown to grey. In addition to being in better condition than the original salvaged sleepers, new sleepers are available in a wider range of sizes, including planks and pallets.
Mainly used in agricultural and mountain contexts for the construction of paths, fences and retaining steps, railway sleepers have now become the raw material for creating gardens with vintage and country accents.
Reflection on the use of sleepers in the garden.
Wooden railway sleepers are an example of a technological element made with a natural material. Its material characteristics lend themselves perfectly to reuse for the creation of multiple building and decorative elements.
This aspect represents a source from which designers draw ideas for the contemporary design of gardens and parks with a strongly evocative character.
If we want to buy wooden sleepers, we must always turn to professionals, the quality of these is essential so that they have the longest possible life.