Railway sleepers v. macrocarpa sleepers

  • Andrea
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9 years 8 months ago #38046 by Andrea
How do they compare at standing up the elements over time - sitting on the ground?

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9 years 8 months ago #491523 by Deanna
I'd go railway sleepers, very hard wood, designed not to rot. Not sure about price comparison

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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9 years 8 months ago #491524 by muri
I bought macrocarpa as they untreated and I am using them around the veg garden. The hardwood jarrah sleepers are usually treated with creosote to make them last longer again so would not be good to use where you are growing food bearing plants.
Australian Jarrah is a good good strong hardwood so I could imagine they would last longer tho

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9 years 8 months ago #491526 by Stikkibeek
Not all railway sleepers are equal. The modern ones are ground treated pine and are a different size. The old hardwood ones will last a long time.
An alternative is old telegraph or power poles, all of which are hardwood.
Or you could do what we did. Use ground treated pine, but line it with heavy black polythene sheeting (Sort you use under concrete) It will help to protect the soil from any contaminants
Macrocarpa, may benefit from this too, if not in contact with the soil. You just have to be careful and not dig it over with anything likely to puncture the polythene.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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9 years 8 months ago #491560 by Del
If you're talking about real railway sleepers, ie, ex railway, note that creosote is nasty stuff (google is your friend).

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9 years 8 months ago #491565 by 4trees
Hi, old railway sleepers were Eucalyptus wood, which doesn't need treatment, Macrocarpa sleers are not ground durable timber, some folk have coated them with tar, which water proofs them and preserves them. If you can get Eucalypt sleepers, try and design the area without having to cut the sleepers, as they are very hard to cut and very hard on the chainswaw. Cheers.

Cheers
http:treeandshrub.co.nz

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9 years 8 months ago #491566 by Alan Gilbert
Mac is equivalent in rot resistance to H3 treated pine, i.e., not resistant to being in permanent contact with Mother Earth. H4 treatment is designed for that.

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9 years 8 months ago #491571 by Stikkibeek

Alan Gilbert;496371 wrote: Mac is equivalent in rot resistance to H3 treated pine, i.e., not resistant to being in permanent contact with Mother Earth. H4 treatment is designed for that.

H4 will also rot were it comes in contact with air when part is underground. Just look at older treated posts that have been in the ground for some years. They have a band of rot at ground level. You also have to make sure they are sealed up again where/if you have to cut them.

H5 is better for anything that is underground.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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9 years 8 months ago #491587 by Andrea1
Thanks for that. Would love to be able to get some euc sleepers. Any ideas? I've never actually seen them.

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9 years 8 months ago #491591 by Stikkibeek
I know that Jacob demolition have a good pile of them in Drury (South Auckland) so you could try recyclers, or garden centres. Land scape garden supplies also sometimes carry them. You may be shocked at the price though.

They are charactorised by the plate holes in them (where they secure the rails to the sleepers) Best picture I could find of them although there are dozens of photos on Google. images.theage.com.au/2012/11/03/3767673/...sleepers-620x349.jpg

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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9 years 8 months ago #491612 by Mich
Hi Andrea - we purchased some 2nd-hand railway sleepers directly from KiwiRail at a much cheaper price than I was able to source elsewhere here in Wellington. If you go to this site: www.kiwirail.co.nz/infrastructure/infras...astructure-team.html and look for the email address link for the materials coordinator, Christchurch area, you could ask him they have any for sale, and what they're made of etc.
Cheers, Mich.

Good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help someone up. Anon.

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9 years 8 months ago #491624 by Alan Gilbert
Stikkibeek makes a good point that's worth expanding on. No wood treatment penetrates very far into the timber, so any cut surface should be re-treated.
This applies to any treatment, even H1 or boron used in house framing, though few builders ever bother.
And yes, H5 is better for in-ground use, though it's hard to get in some sizes, and costs a fair bit extra. H4 will last pretty well.

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9 years 8 months ago #491646 by X-Toma
Not sure what type of timber they are, but the Mill in Oxford supplies railway sleepers to Kiwi Rail. They had a big bundle there a couple of months ago that I was going to buy a couple of, but ended up using something else. They're a pretty friendly bunch in there, so drop by and see what they have

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9 years 8 months ago #491652 by Andrea1
Thanks very much for all the info, very much appreciated. Thanks X-Toma, I didn't know the Mill on Mill Rd did that - very good to know!

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5 years 6 months ago #542437 by Interlink1
Replied by Interlink1 on topic Railway sleepers v. macrocarpa sleepers
Macrocarpa is not a hardwood and hence not naturally durable. All hardwoods will stand the test of time, in ground, polythene lining will potentially allow (untreated) hardwoods to last indefinitely!

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