Wooden Sleepers

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The wooden sleeper is the most ideal type of sleeper, and its utility has not decreased with the passage of time. The wooden sleeper has the following features.

Wooden sleepers have the following main advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Wooden Sleepers

(a) Cheap and easy to manufacture
(b) Absorbs shocks and bears a good capacity to dampen vibrations; therefore, retains the packing well
(c) Easy handling without damage
(d) Suitable for track-circuited sections
(e) Suitable for areas with yielding formations
(f) Alignment can be easily corrected
(g) More suitable for modern methods of maintenance
(h) Can be used with or without stone ballast
(i) Can be used on bridges and ashpits also
(j) Can be used for gauntleted track

Disadvantages of Wooden Sleepers

(a) Lesser life due to wear, decay, and attack by vermin
(b) Liable to mechanical wear due to beater packing
(c) Difficult to maintain the gauge
(d) Susceptible to fire hazards
(e) Negligible scrap value

At present wooden sleepers are being procured from the State Forest Departments. A detailed inspection of sleepers is done at the time of procurement to ensure that the sleepers accepted are of good quality and free from defects. The main defects
normally found in sleepers are
(a) Centre heart
(b) Presence of knots, warps, wanes, and shakes
(c) Split ends
(d) Twisted or cross grains

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