APR supply the crushing solution for Network Rail.

APR supply the crushing solution for Network Rail.

As part of their infrastructure investment and commitments for the future to renew, maintain and enhance the rail infrastructure, Network Rail generates c650k used concrete railway sleepers per annum.

Network Rail's dedicated recycling team had the enviable task of seeking economical and environmentally friendly disposal methods for all concrete sleepers no longer meeting specifications for reintroduction back into the railway infrastructure.

After some considerable market research and close scrutiny of all available crushing systems, Network Rail made the decision to invest in GIPO mobile crushing and screening technology.

Aggregate Processing and Recycling (APR) - as the UK and Ireland agent for GIPO - supplied a GipoREC R150C (c/w special modifications) high performance, heavy-duty tracked impact crusher, and a mobile GipoSCREEN S2045DR for the project.

With a current stockpile of 16,000 sleepers at Network Rail's Newport, South Wales site, the two machines were delivered to primarily crush the concrete railway sleepers of F19, F23 and F27 type with an average weight of 275Kg each.

With over 30 years of experience in the construction industry, APR worked closely with Network Rail to supply a machine that addressed all the issues that were raised; including effective transportation of the sleepers into the crusher, crushing and separation of pre-tensioned wire, screened material into 1 or 2 grades, closed circuit oversize crushing, and mobility.

Where as the GipoSCREEN supplied is comparatively standard, the GipoREC R150C included several modifications:-

  • To accommodate the length of the sleepers, the angle of the feed channel is raised and incorporates a steeper drop to the rotor ‘nip' point.


  • With a crusher inlet fixed at 1500 mm wide x 1200 mm high the crusher outlet to the discharge channel was also raised an additional 300mm to allow for better clearance of the crushed concrete & steel.


  • A short crusher reciprocating discharge conveyor is also incorporated which allows movement of the entire conveyor to give a 1 metre clearance to help with potential blockage removal.


  • To resolve the separation of pre-tensioned wire an extra heavy-duty overband 2 pole magnet is positioned to remove the extracted steel wire forwards from the discharge conveyor (as opposed to normal 90° removal of lighter rebar, scrap steel etc.)


  • To complete the GipoREC R150C machine modifications, the main discharge conveyor is radial through 180 degrees allowing for easier positioning of the GipoSCREEN, or alternatively for radial crushed concrete stockpiles.

In Network Rail's normal operational position, the crushers' main discharge conveyor feeds into the feed boot of the screen. 

The GipoSCREEN features radial stockpile conveyors all with remote control hydraulic positioning, with the oversize (from the top deck of the screen) conveyor positioned to feed back into the crusher's feeder.

The Gipo machines supplied have been extremely effective, Nigel Bownes - Senior Recycling & Sales Specialist, commented, "We have finally found a solution to the age old problem of disposing of the used concrete sleepers that return from Network Rail's renewals sites, most of which were sent to landfill." 

"After various crushing trials over the years we have found that the Gipo allows us to recycle the sleepers into usable products with the clean steel strand being sold and, by using the Giposcreen, we can produce a Type 1 stone that can be recycled back into the infrastructure, thus moving the material further up the value chain."

Author JVMS Ltd

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Aggregate Processing and Recycling Ltd (AGG-PRO)
Aggregate Processing and Recycling Ltd (AGG-PRO) , Hedging Lane , Staffordshire

AGG-PRO are APPROVED DISTRIBUTORS for the GIPO and McCLOSKEY range of crushing and screening equipment, with operations and facilities throughout the Middle East, West Africa and the UK AGG-PRO...View Profile