Posted: 31/03/2013 at 18:20
We have raised beds made from reclaimed railway sleepers - creosote-impregnated. They aren't too smelly as they're pretty well-seasoned. The plants grew well inside the beds and none were actually touching the sleepers as we planted them a few inches inside.
The question I now have is whether enough creosote or chemicals from the creosote could "leak" into the soil over time, and into the plants, to actually have any poisonous effects on us? I'd hate to look back after years of enjoying our own rocket, carrots, lettuce and tomatoes (although they're all green so maybe not) and find that we've also been slowly poisoning ourselves!
I have just retired from Irish rail so what I am going to say is true and fact , this also applies to the UK and Europe .up until very recently trains unloaded human excrement on to the tracks and on to the sleepers , so along with creosote you also human shit , piss , engine oil, grease, Diesel fuel oil, and any other substances carried by rail ,Irish rail Banned the sale to the general public off rail sleepers because they are still responsible for any injury that may be caused to the buyer "E,U" Law .So if you are thinking of raised beds I implore you all do NOT use sleepers
Derek ex train fitter irishrail