AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Concrete sleepers a better option: ARTC

<p>The decision to use concrete sleepers on the rail line between Melbourne and Brisbane was about good track design, improved reliability and reducing long-term recurrent costs, the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) said today (Tuesday, August 15).</p> <p>It comes as federal transport minister Warren Truss backs concerns within the timber industry that the ARTC’s decision to limit its use of timber sleepers would affect the livelihoods of timber workers.</p> <p>In a letter to ARTC chairman Barry Murphy, Mr Truss called for the ARTC to consider the needs of the timber industry when deciding on contracts for sleeper supplies.</p> <p>An ARTC statement said the government-owned rail network owner would continue to need 100,000 timber sleepers each year, as well as needing bridge timbers and transoms.</p> <p>The ARTC has maintained that the use of concrete sleepers meant less maintenance and increased reliability.</p> <p>Concrete sleepers are able to carry heavier loads, last longer and should cut transit times.</p> <p>The ARTC has a contract for 1.35m concrete sleepers, funded by $270m in AusLink funding, and is still evaluating a second contract for up to 1.6m sleepers.</p> <br />