Modular Vs Railway Sleepers

Modular Vs Railway Sleepers

When considering the options for building raised beds, planters, benches and more, timber is often top of the list. Boards and planking can warp and bow over time, and cannot be guaranteed as strong or durable enough, so railway sleepers are often put forward as the only timber option. However, a modular timber system such as WoodBlocX has many advantages over timber:


  • Sleepers are expensive in themselves, and can also result in a lot of waste.
  • WoodBlocX supplies exactly what you need in pre-fabricated BlocX, at a fraction of the price.


  • Sleepers are heavy and awkward to handle. Their size can mean they are difficult to get on site, and they require more man power to build with.
  • The individual pieces of WoodBlocx are so light, small and easily carried a child could build with them.
  • Sleepers require cutting, drilling and bolting together, all processes that take time and create noise.
  • WoodBlocX are pre-cut, pre-mitred and pre-drilled, so are quick and easy to put together and require no power tools.


  • Sleepers come in limited sizes, all of which are big. Their size limits the flexibility of a design.
  • WoodBlocX are significantly smaller, and can therefore be used to create more detailed designs and a more flexible approach to the whole area. They can also be used to make curved and circular beds – impossible with sleepers.
  • The width of the sleepers takes up a lot of space that could potentially be put to other uses.
  • WoodBlocX are only 75mm wide, leaving plenty of space for planting or paths.
  • Sleepers – especially re-used ones – generally only come in one shade of dark brown.
  • WoodBlocX can be painted any colour of the rainbow, or even clad in metal, very easily.


  • The origin of the timber for some sleepers cannot be guaranteed.
  • All WoodBlocX timber is FSC certified, most of it is UK grown, and it is all processed in the UK (at Munro Sawmills).
  • Sleepers are treated with a range of chemicals (including creosote for some recycled ones) that can leach out into the soil or water and be taken up by plants or poison ponds.
  • WoodBlocX timber is pressure-treated with environmentally-friendly products and certified organic by the Soil Association.

The WoodBlocX modular timber system is a great option for any landscaping project, and can be used to build raised beds, planters, benches and seats, raised ponds, retaining walls and edging. They are cheaper, better to build with and more flexible than railway sleepers. To see how they have been used in landscaping projects, click here, or give our team a call on 0800 389 1420 to discuss how we can help with either our kits or a bespoke design.