Maintaining your sleepers

By Stanley Arumugam

I am continually impressed with the creativity and rigour of engineering. Railways, for example, provide a critical backbone infrastructure to moving freight in many countries and also passengers in some. The hundreds and thousands of kilometres of railway track are precisely ‘tied’ together with heavy support structures underneath called ‘sleepers’. These rectangular blocks are laid perpendicular to the rails and serve critical purposes:

  • transferring the energy/load to the rail tracks;
  • holding the rails upright and steady;
  • keeping the tracks correctly spaced to the right gauge;
  • in case of derailment, if they have been properly maintained, sleepers can keep the wheels running preventing massive damage.

The distance and durability of railway lines depend on the strength of sleepers.  Railway sleepers need regular checking and maintenance.

This week I ask myself:

  • What are the sleepers in my life?
  • How could I check on my sleepers this week and give them some maintenance?

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