Earlier, wooden sleepers were used for laying the railway tracks but due to the depleting wooden resources and increasing concern of the ecological balance, the use of concrete sleepers was started and now it has completely replaced the wooden sleepers. Concrete ties have become more common mainly due to greater economy and better support of the rails under high speed and heavy traffic.
Ties are normally laid on top of track ballast, which supports and holds them in place, and provides drainage and flexibility. Heavy crushed stone is the normal material for the ballast, but on lines with lower speeds and weight, sand, gravel and even ash from the fires of coal-fired steam locomotives have been used.
Regarding the market potential of the railway sleepers, their demand totally varies with the installation of new railway lines. Increasing population results overcrowding in trains. To link almost every city and town with the other and to avoid the delay of trains because of "cross" on single lines, no. of new tracks is being installed. Tracks on high-density traffic routs with speed exceeding 100 kms per hour, are being strengthened and modernized adopting improved methods of track maintenance for safer and comfortable rail travel. As a whole it is a good project for new entrepreneurs to invest.
Few Indian Major Players are as under
· Bemco Sleepers Ltd.
· Dony Polo Udyog Ltd.
· G P T Infraprojects Ltd.
· Hindustan Prefab Ltd.
· Indian Hume Pipe Co. Ltd.