Sleepers made of elements of a sleeping car compartment

Students and researchers at the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, with the support of the Netherlands Railways (NS), have developed sleepers from compartment side dividers and luggage racks of old passenger cars, reports Railway Supply magazine citing information from NS.

Sleepers made of elements of a sleeping car compartment
Picture: nieuws.ns.nl

These elements are removed from the cars during their repair. Each year, this generates about 200 tons of waste that cannot be reused or recycled.

Partitions and luggage racks are made of composite. It is a durable and lightweight material composed of various plastics with reinforcing fibers.

The innovative recycling technology is based on the use of shredded old plastic interior parts. A mixture based on them is poured into a glass fiber reinforced mold.

The result is a super strong and durable material. At the same time, the sleeper weighs 123 kg, which is significantly less than the reinforced concrete counterparts (283 kg). Other advantages include better sound insulation properties. In addition, the plastic sleeper can be recycled in the same way.

A sample has been produced for testing. If the first trials are successful, NS plans to conduct more extensive research for future technology adoption.

Related:

Pyrolysis is a promising way of wooden sleepers recycling