Trains in Wiltshire are now running on top of old bottles, food packaging and other unwanted plastics, with the introduction of composite railway sleepers on Network Rail’s main line tracks.
Engineers recently installed the environmentally-friendly technology across the weight-restricted Sherrington Viaduct, between Salisbury and Warminster.
The sleepers are manufactured by Sicut Ltd in the UK using a blend of locally-sourced plastic waste.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Not only are these sleepers made from locally-sourced plastic waste, they need less maintenance and will last longer, underlining our commitment to create a greener, cleaner and more efficient rail network.”
Unlike traditional wooden sleepers, composite sleepers do not split, rot or degrade over time and can resist water, oil, chemicals and fungi.
Designed for over 50 years of use, when they are eventually replaced, they can be re-used, re-purposed or recycled to make new sleepers or other composite products.