Yes you can lay railway sleepers on soil, it is recommended If you’re only creating a structure that’s one or two sleepers in height,you don’t necessarily need foundations, which means you can lay your railway sleepers onto the soil.
Although you should make sure you use some kind of waterproof membrane so that sleepers don’t soak up the water from the soil. It’s also worth mentioning that water pooling can occur around the sides of the sleepers, which can lead to the sleeper wood rotting much faster. If you don’t want the hassle of laying concrete foundations for your garden railway sleepers, the we advise using sand or gravel either materials will allow for water to drain away.
How do you fix railway sleepers to the ground?
There are multiple ways of fixing railway sleepers to the ground. If you are using a concrete base you can use metal rods that you can drill into the foundation and directly into the sleepers. If you are only one or two sleepers high in height you may not need to fix the sleepers to the ground as often the weight of the sleepers themselves is enough to keep them firmly in place.
How long do garden sleepers last?
The lifespan of garden railway sleepers depends on what type of timber the sleepers are made from and whether they are treated, It can also be determined by the exposure they’ve had to the elements.
Hardwood garden sleepers can be known to last up to 100 years, whereas an untreated softwood sleeper may last less than 5 years. The most popular garden sleepers these days tend to be the green tanalised or brown tanatone treated softwood and you can expect them to last somewhere in the region of 10 – 15 years if you look after them well. Just recently we have added green incised UC4 Sleepers which come with a class 4 treatment and a 15 year guarantee.