railway sleepers- what size and weight are they?
railway sleeper track   The weight of sleepers varies enormously, according to the density, type, and age of the tree the wood came from. Pine is lightest (100-140 lbs) Oak is heavier (150-180 lbs) followed by Beech & Jarra. (170-200 lbs each) and Azobe (200 - 240lbs) See Facts table. Be careful lifting! Two people should be fine if you're sensible and bend your knees etc.. Normally the worst casualty with sleepers is trapped fingers (when one person lifts and the other doesn't) or dropping on legs & toes (see gruesome picture) I speak from experience ! Thick gloves and boots are recommended. Not sandles ! Likewise it is unwise to move sleepers after (or during) a pub crawl.

The most common length for a railway sleeper is 8' 6" or 2.6 metres. We do have sleepers that are 10' 0", 8' 0", and 6' 6" and crossing timbers which range from 9' to 14'.
The most common width
for a railway sleeper is 10" or 250mm,with crossing timbers sometimes being 12"/30cm.
The most common depth
of a railway sleeper is between 5" and 6". Generally British pine sleepers are 5" or 125mm thick and European sleepers are 6" or 150mm
for all the different sleeper dimensions on one page

Our selection of sleepers is now so varied that you will certainly find something that suits your plans and pocket. Light or dark coloured, square edged or rounded, new or weathered modern or 'olde worlde'...it all depends on the visual effect you want, and the type of garden or house you live in. Don't expect reclaimed sleepers to be all the same. They all vary in their own unique way !

Railways, Romans, & horses bottoms !

Railway sleepers: selection & PRICES ~ ideas ~ size and weight ~ cutting & delivery service. .comparison table

More about rail guages..There have been many rail gauges over the years. 4 feet 8.5 inches is widely used and is usually called standard, but there are many others still in widespread use. 1 Metre gauge can be found in many countries. 3feet 6inches for southern Africa and most of the Japanese network (Shinkanzen lines are standard). Russia and its old empire are 5 feet. Ireland is 5 feet 3 inches. Spain and Portugal mostly 5 feet 5inches. India and Argentina are mostly 5 feet 6inches as is the B.A.R.T. system in San Francisco. And let's not forget dear IKB's 7 feet and a quarter inch. Thanks for information from B.Holland

Railways, Romans & horses bottoms !
Did you know that the US shuttle design was determined by
the width of a Roman horse's bottom ?
- The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet 8.5 inches.
- That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used?
- Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.
- Why did the English build them like that?
- Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.
- Why did "they" use that gauge then?
- Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.
- Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing ?
- Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.
- So who built those old rutted roads?
- Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.
- And the ruts in the roads?
- Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever. The Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

Now the twist to the story... When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses' behinds. So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's bottom
....Source unknown