When used effectively i.e. in the right place for the right application, old railways sleepers can be a strong ornamental feature for creating vegetable beds or formal plants and shrub borders or even, perhaps, as the boundaries to lawns or to create terraces to make use of a sloped and otherwise unusable piece of ground.
Jane asked this question in the 'Cowboys from the wild west' thread but I feel it's appropriate that the question is asked independently of that thread as I'm sure there could be some real positive knowledge and experiences shared.
Jane said: "I need to design a retaining wall to level up a kitchen garden. This would be about 900mm high and 24m long. Is this possible with sleepers laid on their back? How often should the reinforcement tying sleepers go in? Is this the most cost effective way of retaining this or could it be done more cheaply? The wall is not going to be visible from anywhere."