Grade: New oak railway sleepers are classified as landscaping grade, as opposed to furniture or beam grade. That means that although they are mainly square cut, they may have some rounded or waney edges, or cracks or imperfections. Like all freshly cut landscaping railway sleepers they have been cut in the last 6 months and are still seasoning or drying out , as opposed to kiln dried oak furniture oak which is slowly heated in driers over weeks, and would require a second mortgage at the very least! See description below.
Colour: Ranging from yellowy gold to silver grey. The pictures above show how the new oak railway sleepers change from a gold colour, to a blotchy, darker, 'stained' look, & finally to a silver grey as it seasons. This natural cycle of seasoning will take 4 - 12 months, depending on sunlight & location of the new oak railway sleepers. Picture no. 7 shows the difference between a replacement 'fresh cut' railway sleeper, and one that was installed 6 months before.
Weight: Can be heavy to lift, especially the 2.6m x 250mm x 150mm size new oak railway sleepers which can weigh as much as 100 kilos. Bear this in mind when you are ordering your particular size of railway sleeper. How do I plan to carry the new oak railway sleepers into position? (e.g. the back of a garden). You'll need at least two willing people, and the possibility of bribery or cohersion.
Treatment: Untreated oak
Description: These new oak railway sleepers are unseasoned or 'green' (meaning they have been freshly cut in the last 6 months) and untreated. New oak railway sleepers are normally square edged on one face, with some rounded edges (scallops) on the opposite face, where the oak has been cut from the outside of the tree. See pictures above. The oak can also have splits, knots & blemishes. Sometimes the ends of the new oak railway sleepers can be cut slightly off square, where the sawmill operator seems to have had a glass of wine or two too many at lunchtime!
Cutting: Quite hard. You'll need a circular saw / chainsaw / powered saw to cut these new oak railway sleepers. Occasionally people try by handsaw, but you have to be very determined or fit. As with any project, it makes sense to try and limit the amount of cuts you need to do. Try and plan a design that fits with the size of our railway sleepers!
Attaching / Fixing: Timberlok will probably not screw through these new oak railway sleepers without a pilot hole, even if the drill is powerful, so it makes sense to pre-drill, to avoid the Timberloks getting half way through and then stopping, or your drill emitting strange noises or worrying smoke.
Sizes: IMPORTANT. All sizes below are approximate. That means that although a railway sleeper is described as 2600mm in length,depth or width it may in fact be several centimetres longer or shorter. This is due to the fact that when sawmills cut new oak railway sleepers, they don't see them as having to be milimetre accurate in dimension. See point above about sawmill operator's lunchtime drinks. As it happens, most landscaping projects have an element of flexibility or tolerance in them and can cope with this. If your project needs exact accuracy in length, width or depth, then you may to cut them to your precise specifications yourself, or think of using a different railway sleeper.
These new oak railway sleepers are the most popular of our new hardwood sleepers. They will age and season gracefully, eventually weathering to a silver grey. They are suitable for furniture (e.g. tables, benches and fireplaces, so long as you allow for potential movement, shrinkage, and cracks as they dry out), as well as lintels, steps, decking, retaining walls and other landscaping projects. See project photos and photo examples above of these new oak sleepers in use. Like many durable hardwoods, they are not treated with any preservative, however there are some gardeners who chose to apply some wood preserver to further protect them from the wet, and avoid the possibility of fungal growth or decay.
You have two options, depending on which delivery option you chose at the checkout stage online, or when you telephone the office.
1) THE CHEAPEST OPTION - CUSTOMER TO OFFLOAD NEW OAK RAILWAY SLEEPERS
This is the cheapest, most popular & efficient means of delivery that covers 100% of the UK.
* YOU can chose any delivery day you want in advance within 2- 4 working days, Mon - Fri, between 9am & 5pm.
* YOU can chose, for a surcharge, a next day delivery, timed delivery or saturday delivery.
* YOU are responsible for offloading the new oak railway sleepers from the vehicle. The vehicle does NOT have a crane offload. If you do not have a forklift, you MUST have at least 2 or more strong people to manally offload. These new oak railway sleepers are too heavy for one person. The driver is not able to help you offload or carry railway sleepers into your house or garden.
One exception! If the new oak railway sleepers are 1.2m or less in length, the lorry driver CAN place the railway sleepers onto the pavement or road using the lorry tail lift and hand palletruck.
The vehicle is normally a non-artic rigid lorry (carrying approx 10 - 15 tons)
2) THE MORE EXPENSIVE OPTION - LORRY OFFLOADS NEW OAK RAILWA SLEEPERS WITH CRANE OR FORKLIFT
This delivery charge is usually more expensive than the Pallet system, but is essential if you order some heavy oak railway sleepers, without any forklift, or sufficient people to help you offload.
* Your railway sleepers can be crane-offloaded so long as there is sufficient space for the crane or forklift to operate without lifting over vehicles etc...
You must ensure in advance that a lorry has clear access to your property. It is crucial to tell us, when we contact you to arrange delivery, whether there are any delivery problems - e.g. a narrow road, cul de sac, cars parked in front of the property etc... An unsuccesful delivery will incur a further charge, often equal to the original.
IS THERE A MINIMUM ORDER ?
No. It makes no difference. The cost to you is the same whether we deliver 1 railway sleeper or 10 railway sleepers... e.g. if the delivery cost to somewhere in the UK for 20 railway sleepers was for example £99 + Vat, then the delivery for 1 railway sleeper would cost the same. That's because our hauliers charge us according to how many pallets the order takes up, so whether there is 1 sleeper on a pallet, or 20 sleepers on it, it makes no difference!
HOW DO WE WORK OUT THE DELIVERY COST ?
The cost depends on the postcode of where you live, the number, size and weight of your railway sleepers, how quickly you want it, and whether you can offload or not. Lots of different variables! If you order online, the delivery cost will be worked out automatically by a computer brain. If you order by telephone, the delivery cost will be calculated by a mere human being, who will chat with you whilst working it all out!
Dense, tight grained, hardwood oak railway sleepers, are completely different to light, softwood railway sleepers which have to be treated with either creosote or pressure treatment to prevent them rotting and collapsing. Hardwood railway sleepers are generally much more durable and naturally longer lasting.
African Azobe railway sleepers, for example, are often used untreated by British Waterways under water, due to their natural preservative qualities. Jarra, Karri, Mora, and Greenheart are likewise placed untreated on the railway track by Network Rail, and are expected to last for up to 100 years.
So, untreated railway sleepers are popular with those wanting to keep clear of chemical treatments, or contamination, and wanting to use something that is naturally longer lasting.