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STRAILway polymer sleepers, a sustainable alternative solution

For many years now, the German company Kraiburg Strail GmbH & Co KG, a developer and manufacturer of railway solutions, has been designing and marketing polymer railway sleepers, a sustainable alternative to traditional sleepers made of wood, concrete or metal.
STRAILway polymer sleepers, a sustainable alternative solution
STRAILway polymer sleepers, a sustainable alternative solution

Railway sleepers play a crucial role in the safety and functionality of railways. By providing support and stability to the rails, they help prevent derailments and ensure that trains run smoothly and safely.

Advances in technology and materials mean that wood, the “historic” construction material for sleepers, is now competing with others such as concrete and steel, as well as, more recently, polymers, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

More than 50 years of service life for recycled plastic sleepers

Kraiburg Strail’s STRAILway sleepers are made from recycled polypropylene and polyethylene and reinforced with glass fibre (granules). One hundred per cent recycled and recyclable, they combine environmental benefits with significant advantages in terms of installation and maintenance. With a lifespan of over 50 years, they are resistant to wear and tear, climatic factors, deterioration caused by insects and fungi, hazardous materials, chemicals, acids or other dangerous liquids. This longevity translates into reduced maintenance costs, which in turn means lower overall infrastructure operating costs.

Equally resistant to warping and fracturing, they guarantee a stable and reliable track structure, while retaining the same flexible properties as wooden sleepers.

Light, strong, and durable

Another advantage is that the extrusion process used to manufacture them means that these polymer sleepers can be produced in any length required by the customer or in long lengths of over 5 metres. Particularly light, they are easy to handle and quick to install, with no need for specialised tools.

Thanks to their featherweight and low wear rate, they are a particularly sensible solution for slow-down areas such as marshalling yards, turnouts, tunnels, or bridges.

The German Federal Railway Authority has approved STRAILway recycled plastic sleepers for use in railway turnouts, with axle loads of up to 225 kN and speeds of up to 160 km/h.

To date, they have been installed at turnouts in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and France, as well as in Chile and Mexico.

More information:
THE polymer sleeper — KRAIBURG STRAIL

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