Sleepers – Sleepers are transverse support for a railway track to give stiffness to it. Transverse sleepers were introduced on the railway track for the first time in 1835 and now they have been accepted universally. Functions of sleepers are as follows:
1. To hold the rails to correct gauge and alignment.
2. To give a firm and even support to the rail.
3. To transfer and distribute the axle load through rail over a sufficiently large area of ballast.
4. To act as an elastic medium between the rails and ballast to absorb vibrations and blows of the moving wheels.
5. To maintain the alignment of the track.
6. To provide insulation for the electrified track.
7. To provide a proper grade, longitudinal and lateral stability to the track.
8. To provide means for easy replacement of rail fastening without disturbing the traffic during the service life.
Also, read – Requirements of an ideal Sleeper
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