Top 7 Ideas for Using Railway Sleepers in Landscaping Projects

Railway sleepers, garden sleepers, or even landscape timber – you might have heard them called any of these names. But what are they, and what do people most commonly use them for? Traditionally used for laying railway tracks, railway sleepers have found a new purpose in landscaping and gardening. Specifically chosen for their versatility, new railway sleepers, often made from treated softwood, are ideal for environmentally sensitive areas such as gardens, raised flowerbeds, and playgrounds.

Types of Railway Sleepers

New railway sleepers come in various forms, including treated or Tanalised options. Charred, brushed, and high-pressure treated sleepers offer a rustic appearance and can be the perfect railway sleepers in landscaping projects.

Typically made from softwood, these sleepers can last up to 10-15 years depending on the environment.

Common Uses in Landscaping Projects

The possibilities for using railway sleepers in landscaping are limitless, constrained only by your imagination. Here are the main areas of use:

  • Garden Paths – Use railway sleepers to define the edges of your garden path or use them as stepping “stones” to create a stable pathway across the garden. Mix in some pebbles for a unique, rural look.
  • Raised Flower Beds – Add controlled areas to your garden using sleepers to create raised flower beds. Mixing old and new sleepers to create some interesting colours and lines in your garden design
  • Retaining Walls – A retaining wall made from either vertical or horizontal wooden sleepers can terrace your garden, fence off a BBQ or pool area, and level out a sloping garden
  • Steps – Whether it’s a few simple steps or a whole flight of stairs, new or used railway sleepers can provide a unique solution
  • Decking & Patios – Create a relaxing, rustic-looking patio area by using railway sleepers as an innovative alternative to traditional decking boards.
  • Water Features – In the garden, sleepers can effectively create eye-catching water features.
  • Garden Tables & Furniture – Utilize railway sleepers to create a simple table and matching benches for garden tables and furniture. Cut three sleepers in half to make a table, using the cut-off wood for the legs. Craft benches from individual sleepers.

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