Sleepers are a critical component of the track infrastructure and are essential to safe train operations. Concrete sleepers are the most common sleeper types found in heavy haul networks due to their long life, excellent reliability, high track stability and easy to resurface using track machines

Many concrete sleepers have been in-track and successfully operating for over 40 years and may last much longer than the original expectation of 50 years.

Questions remain about how long that may be and what will be the early signs of failure.

This research will involve a series of destructive tests performed on a range of sleeper categories in order to estimate the remaining service life of concrete sleepers with consideration of a range of design, environmental and operating conditions.