The Treatment of Sleepers.
Although on certain stretches of the Home railways steel sleepers have been laid for experimental purposes, generally speaking the timber sleeper is standard throughout Britain. For the treating and preparation of timber sleepers prior to their introduction on the track, each of the group lines maintains special depots. The Great Western Company has just opened a new sleeper creosoting works at Hayes, near London, designed to deal with 500,000 sleepers annually.
The works employ electricallydriven conveyors to bring the various materials together, to pass the sleepers along through the adzing and boring
A bridge of signals, L. & N.E. Railway, Kings Cross, London.
machines and through the chairing machines, and finally out to the special wagons into which they are dropped ready for despatch to various parts of the system. The adzing and boring machines deal with one sleeper every ten seconds. From here the sleepers pass on a special train of trolleys into the pickling cylinder, where creosote is forced in under a pressure of up to 200 lbs. per sq. inch. The two pickling cylinders are 90 ft. long, and each cylinder holds 660 sleepers. The working tanks feeding each cylinder hold 65,000 gallons of creosote. From the cylinders the sleepers pass on to the chairing machine, where the chairs are not only bolted on to the sleepers, but also set to gauge ready for laying in the track. The Hayes works cover, in all, an area of 19 acres. In the stacking yard there is accommodation for about 750,000 sleepers undergoing the seasoning process. Incidentally, it may be noted, almost all the sleepers employed to-day on the Home lines are of Empire-grown timber.