Review of failures of railway sleepers and its consequences

Ferdous, Wahid and Manalo, Allan and Aravinthan, Thiru and Remennikov, Alex (2014) Review of failures of railway sleepers and its consequences. In: 1st International Conference on Infrastructure Failures and Consequences (ICFC 2014), 16-20 Jul 2014, Melbourne, Australia.


Railway sleeper is one of the important structure that having problems with high maintenance and replacement costs owing to its early failure. This paper presents the causes of failures of the traditional railway sleepers particularly timber, concrete and steel, and discussed its effect on the railway industry. The review of literature indicates fungal decay, end splitting and termite attack are
the typical causes of timber sleeper failure. In case of concrete sleeper, deteriorations are observed because of rail seat abrasion, longitudinal cracking, high impact force and chemical attack. Failures in steel sleepers are mainly due to corrosion and fatigue cracking at the rail seat region. These unexpected failures of sleeper significantly increase the track maintenance costs. This paper also presents some recommendations to minimise sleeper failures for their safer usage.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2014 RMIT University. Permanent restricted access to published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2014 23:03
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2017 23:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: railway sleeper; causes of failure; protective measures
Fields of Research : 09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090506 Structural Engineering
09 Engineering > 0905 Civil Engineering > 090507 Transport Engineering
09 Engineering > 0913 Mechanical Engineering > 091307 Numerical Modelling and Mechanical Characterisation
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering

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