KLP® Main Track Sleeper successfully tested in Sweden

- December 2015 -

In May 2015 Jernhusen conducted a test project in Gävle, where wooden sleepers have been replaced in-track by plastic KLP® Main Track Sleepers. The most important criteria for this project were that the sleepers will last a long time and can be easily  installed in-track with existing tools. Jernhusen is satisfied about the performance of the plastic KLP® Main Track Sleeper in this trial

The wooden sleepers have been replaced by plastic KLP® Sleepers in track. KLP® Main Track Sleepers have the same damping characteristics as wooden sleepers. This makes them suitable for 1:1 replacement of wood and as a result, a constant stiffness of the track is ensured.

The replacement could be done on the spot in-track, because the KLP® Main Track Sleepers are manageable and easy to handle. The sleepers have been installed with standard fastening systems using the same tools  that are used for wooden sleepers.

With the KLP® Main Track Sleeper made out of 100% recycled plastics, Jernhusen has chosen a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative that does not splinter, rot or leach and that keeps these properties during its long expected lifespan of over 50 years.

Newsletter Royal Lankhorst Euronete - November 2015

Veenstra|Fritom and Lankhorst invest in their future together

Logistics service provider Veenstra|Fritom from Heeg and Lankhorst invest in their future together. This is reflected in the new trailer with Lankhorst curtains. The back of the trailer highlights the 60 year old successful partnership between the two companies.

Wessel Veenstra (General Manager Veenstra|Fritom) &
Sjouke Tjalsma (General Manager Lankhorst Engineered Products)

Innovative plastic sleepers for light rail network city of Amsterdam

= 24th of August 2015 =


railway sleeper rail sleepers plastic sleepers 


The recessed version of the KLP® Hybrid Plastic Sleeper is one of the innovations developed and produced by Lankhorst Engineered Products. High demands are placed on sustainability, lower Life Cycle Costs and high resistance to lateral forces. The hybrid plastic sleeper also achieves considerable sound reduction in addition to the long service life and substantial weight savings. For these reasons The City of Amsterdam has chosen the plastic sleepers of Lankhorst for the replacement of the light rail infrastructure on the section of the Madeweg - Overamstel.

As of July 28th this year GVB has been working  on the replacement of the light rail infrastructure on this section. Lankhorst supplied 1,800 KLP® Hybrid Plastic Sleepers  fortwo fly-overs which will guarantee the stability of the track, also at high loads. The section is already successfully in service.  

"With regard to maintenance projects we aim for sustainable replacement and cost-efficiency every time" says Bauke Hoogzaad of the City of Amsterdam to clarify their choice of the plastic sleeper. "Wooden sleepers last for a maximum of 15 years, whilst the life expectancy of plastic sleepers is at least 50 years." Besides that the plastic sleeper is fully recyclable after use. The new KLP® Hybrid Plastic Sleeper is a sustainable alternative to wooden sleepers and concrete sleepers, especially when these are too heavy for the underlying construction, which was the case with the two fly-overs in Amsterdam.

The innovative plastic sleeper has great lateral resistance due to the special relief on the bottom and it has a recessed design to be completely surrounded by ballast. This makes the construction "solid as a rock" and ideal for use at places where a large lateral pressure is exerted on the track or where the vertical load on civil works is subject to a maximum (e.g. bridges, viaducts or fly-overs). The infrastructure of the two fly-overs has been installed with a tight curve radius.  Passing subway trains run at high speed through this relatively sharp curve, leading to lateral forces on the rail that are very high.

Using these plastic sleepers results in considerable sound reduction. Sound measurements performed on recently completed bridges show a reduction of 3-5 dB! Additionally the high sound peak in the frequency range of hearing has also been drastically reduced; this means an extra reduction of noise pollution.  The strength and dimensional stability of the hybrid plastic sleeper makes it fit for use in all (weather) conditions. KLP® Hybrid Plastic Sleepers  can be processed in the same way as wooden sleepers.

Paper "Recycled plastic railway sleepers"

M.Sc Aran van Belkom has presented his Paper RECYCLED PLASTIC RAILWAY SLEEPERS - Analysis and comparison of sleeper parameters and the influence on track stiffness and performance- on the Railway engineering conference 2015 in Edinburgh.



In the last years, plastic railway sleepers have made their introduction. Amongst its characteristics, plastic sleepers have a good damping and a high design freedom. If used in the proper way, plastic sleepers can give improvements in the track. They should not be regarded as a substitute for wood or concrete, but use should be made of their own characteristics. Existing sleeper requirements are however applicable for wood or concrete and can hardly be seen as functional requirements suitable for the development of  

plastic sleepers.

The desired track stiffness is the first parameter to define in setting requirements. A good compromise between bending stresses in the rail versus noise and vibration seems to be a target track stiffness of 50 kN/mm. When making a comparison between the different sleeper materials, the target track stiffness can be reached with plastic sleepers, where concrete tends to be on the stiffer side and wood shows more variations. Knowing the track stiffness gives the possibility to calculate the distribution of forces over the sleepers. Especially at irregularities in the track, such as bridges or viaducts, forces on sleepers can become high. Special attention to sleeper stiffness parameters should be given at those locations, as well to bending stiffness as to compression stiffness.

The sleeper stiffness parameters are input in calculating the system stiffness. Effects of sleeper bending stiffness on track stiffness, railhead stability and ballast contact stresses are discussed. For a 2600 mm sleeper, a 150-250 kNm2 bending stiffness seems appropriate, where for a 2400 mm sleeper the minimum bending stiffness should be higher. The sleeper stiffness also has effects on the strength requirements, as has the sleeper length. Where it is clear that every situation will be different, calculations have been done to give a mean value as an example. Every specific situation can be calculated accordingly.

Click here to read the complete paper 'RECYCLED PLASTIC RAILWAY SLEEPERS'

Request for pdf of the paper