Bamboo ties/sleepers promoted by a US registered startup, 27 May 2020


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Well, the article isn't dated April 1.
And Railway Gazette is a long respected international trade journal.
So, apparently so.
I'm calling this, definitely one for the truth is stranger than fiction category!

News Bamboo sleepers aimed at Middle Eastern railways

27 May 2020

A start-up branded TieBam is targeting Asian rail enhancement projects with a novel sleeper design produced from bamboo.

Following more than five years of research and development activity, US-registered TieBam plans to open a manufacturing facility in Taiwan through a wholly-owned subsidiary later this year.
According to Founder & CEO Jason Avraham, TieBam has patented a manufacturing process that ‘densifies bamboo to provide an eco-friendly alternative to traditional wooden sleepers’. Because of its rapid growth and distinctive mechanical properties, bamboo can be ‘stronger, more durable, longer lasting, and more environmentally-friendly than wood’.

The properties of its bamboo sleeper have been validated by a series of tests carried out at the University of Delaware, which runs a course on railway engineering and safety. These confirmed the sleeper’s durability, flexibility and strength, the company says.
Interesting. The article only compared them to traditional wood ties -- I wonder how they stack up against concrete?
Interesting concept. I don't claim to be an expert in wood or the physics thereof, but I'd venture to guess bamboo would offer a bit of a middle ground between concrete and traditional hardwood ties. A little bit of the strength and durability of the concrete along with the pliability and shock absorption of the hardwood. Just my two cents.