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Advice on laying railway sleepers for small raised lawn

Discussion in 'Lawns' started by The Early Bushman, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. The Early Bushman

    The Early Bushman Apprentice Gardener

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    Hi, I need some advice on using railway sleepers to make a small raised lawn. The area i am going to lay it on is a small trench maybe half a meter wide on the edge of paving stones. I was wondering what way i would go about putting the sleepers on the paving stones themselves. Would it be ok to just set them on the the edge and screw them together or would i need to put to put a layer of cement below them.
     
  2. ARMANDII

    ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi, well, my sleepers are laid on soil lining my paths. I would think it would be easier to lay them on soil rather than concrete, less fuss, because the weight of the sleepers will keep them in position as they have done for me over the last 15 years. Again, I wouldn't bother screwing them together as, in my opinion, it will look out of place unless you did it in the corners on the lawn side where it would be covered. If you go the laying on soil way then all you need is a shallow [1 inch] trench just to stabilise and settle the sleeper into the ground.
     
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    • Baymule

      Baymule Gardener

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      I kinda figured that railway sleepers are the same thing that we call railroad cross ties. So I hit Wikipedia and sure enough, they are, in fact, one and the same. Here they are made of wood and creosoted. The article mentioned that in Europe and Asia, they are made of pre-stressed concrete, steel and plastic composite.

      So what are your railway sleepers made of? The creosote woods ones here are considered hazardous material, but we have a few that we are using for corner posts in the fence. They are also used for retaining walls, landscaping and steps. Because they are treated with such toxic material, I don't use them near food producing plants.

      I scored some treated telephone poles some years ago, they stayed in a pile until we moved here. Then I made my poor long suffering husband go get them. We used them when we built my barn, along with lots of other lumber and such that I scrounged up. Saved us $$thousands.
       
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      • ARMANDII

        ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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        Hi Bay, The original genuine railway sleepers are from a time when a lot of railway track was closed are made of Oak, and a lot still are. They were soaked in Creosote and Tar but lots of people used them in their gardens. I put Railway Sleepers, which had Creosote in them, in my garden to line my paths and have had no problems. That might be because the Creosote has had time to "age" and possibly less toxic, whatever the reason they're not affected the Roses that have roots with inches of them:dunno:
        Newer Sleepers probably have never seen a railway track but are made for the Gardeners and DIY'ers and are still made out of Oak or, as an alternative, Pine.

        I think British Telecom would be a bit upset if I "acquired" some of their Telegraph Poles
        [​IMG]

        :dunno::heehee:
         
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          Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2016
        • Baymule

          Baymule Gardener

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          Recently the electric company replaced the poles, so I called them. I asked if I could have some of them and the very nice lady told me that if the poles laid there long enough, I could have them. So we took my tractor and my husband's Kawasaki mule and dragged home 3 poles, 40 feet long. Future barn poles for sheep sheds!
           
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          • ARMANDII

            ARMANDII Low Flying Administrator Staff Member

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            [​IMG]

            :thumbsup::heehee:
             
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