An 18-month Melbourne trial of 200 railway sleepers, made by Integrated Recycling of Mildura, began today.
AAP reports that the Duratrack sleepers have been installed near Richmond station. They have an estimated lifespan of up to 50 years, are half the price of timber sleepers, and require less maintenance.
“The ground-breaking product is the result of more than two years of research and product development led by Integrated Recycling and Monash University, with the sleepers already up and running at four Victorian tourist railways including the iconic Puffing Billy,” according to a statement from Victorian environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio.
“The introduction of the new sleepers, which are approved for use on Melbourne’s metropolitan rail network, are in relation to environmental requirements included in the Labor Government’s current contract with Metro Trains.”
A kilometre worth of track would use 64 tonnes of plastic that would ordinarily be destined for landfill. The state government contributed $630,000 in funding through grants to develop Duratrack, through grants administered by Sustainability Victoria.