London-based Network Rail will test a new form of rail tie made from recycled plastic.
The trial will use approximately 20 tons of recycled waste material to form the new ties, which will replace timber ties along some of the rural lines on the network. During the trial, Network Rail will test whether they can withstand the rigors of a running railway, and, once proven, will look to progressively roll them out across parts of the network.
The ties are being developed and supplied by i-plas, a plastic waste recycling company based in Halifax, England.
Each year Network Rail replaces around 185,000 timber ties, which are a feature on some slower lines, as well as depots, sidings and points at junctions.