Rail sleepers, or ties, manufactured using recycled tyre rubber have been available for some years. One of the main producers is Italian firm Greenrail.
Greenrail has partnered with Spanish firm Indra, to develop smart sleepers capable of collecting, processing and transmitting real-time data on the status of infrastructure and rolling stock.
The project will consider the technical and economic viability of the project, which they believe could offer rail operators real time management of track and rolling stock.
The Greenrail sleepers consist of a steel core embedded in a durable shell of recycled rubber and plastics: Up to 35 tonnes of ELT and plastics can be reused in 1km of track (1670 sleepers).