Moroccan National Railway Company (ONCF) has placed two purchase orders for railway cross-ties (sleepers) made from Recycled Structural Composite (RSC) with American company Axion International.
ONCF operates more than 1100 miles (1900 kilometers) of track throughout Morocco (North Africa) and carried over 29 million passengers last year. ONCF also has plans for a TGV from Tangers to Casablanca and is currently undergoing major upgrades to its network.
James Kerstein, Axion CEO explains why Axion was chosen:
“ONCF’s selection of Axion RSC was driven by the fact that in virtually every conceivable situation RSC is less expensive than traditional solutions, it is easier to install, and it lasts much longer.”
More than 200,000 Axion RSC sleepers have been purchased and installed by freight and transit railroads to date. According to the company, the material is significantly more cost effective than concrete and wood over a 25 year period.
Axion plastics have a density of .029-.031 lb/cubic inch (depending upon the formula) which compares with Southern Pine: .021 lb/cubic inch (varies with moisture level) and steel: .283 lb/cubic inch. Axion products compare favourably with wood under sheer stress and creep is not an issue when designing to a maximum compressive stress of 600psi.