UK rail operator Network Rail has received the government’s approval to build a new track materials recycling centre in Westbury.

The £8 million centre will recycle nearly 25% of disused track materials from Britain’s rail network, including 110,000 concrete sleepers and 30,000 tonnes of rail and fixtures.

The recycled concrete sleepers will either be reused on the railway across the western route or sold on to industries for such works as paving roads and building bunds, and the scrap metal obtained from rails and fittings processing will be used in steel manufacturing.

Most of the concrete sleepers to be recycled will be moved by rail, saving nearly 1,200 unnecessary lorry journeys on the roads per year, the operator said.

The centre will be equipped with 1km of sidings and 5 acres of concrete pavement to store and handle the track materials.

Construction will begin shortly and the opening of the centre is expected in spring 2010.