Restoring and maintaining railway infrastructure is a huge task, especially for an entirely volunteer-based workforce. With an average life-span of 10-15 years, the ongoing maintenance of track infrastructure using timber sleepers becomes even more difficult the further down the line you go. By the time you install new sleepers for a whole section, it’s time to go back to the start and replace them all over again (not to mention the recurring cost of new sleepers).
While alternative sleeper materials are not a new thing, with both steel and concrete sleepers being used in railways for many years, one Aussie company has been working on an even better solution. Integrated Recycling from Mildura have developed Duratrack, an engineered recycled plastic railway sleeper, manufactured in Australia from Australian waste plastic.
With a minimum 50+ year lifespan, they are not only environmentally friendly but provide an organisation like CMR with a product that will reduce both the cost and effort required to maintain the track infrastructure and allow us to focus our resources into providing a top-quality heritage railway experience for our guests.
Some interesting facts about Duratrack sleepers:
30 Duratrack railway sleepers will save about 300 trees and use about 1 tonne of plastic waste.
Every kilometre of (standard gauge) Duratrack sleepers installed will recycle approximately 90 tonnes of waste plastic.
Compared to concrete or steel sleepers, Duratrack sleepers require less energy to manufacture and thereby produce significantly less greenhouse gases.
We would love to get the support to see these rolled out along the line at Cooma and beyond and be the pioneers for recycled sleepers in NSW.
In an age where NSW alone produces 800,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year, of which only 10% is recycled, it’s important that we all embrace and support important initiatives like this and CMR is no different.
Check out the Integrated Recycling website for more information about the Duratrack recycled sleepers, including how they’re made and where they are being used
If you would like to help with track restoration, both in the yard and out on the line, we are always looking for financial contributions toward our sleeper fund which will help us purchase new sleepers and hardware to replace the many aging (or non-existent) sleepers.
All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible.