Sleepers are the primary structural components that provide the necessary gauge width and the structural stability to the ballasted railway track. High performance prestressed concrete sleepers of high-speed railways have strict design and production requirements to provide a safe, serviceable and a reliable railway superstructure. The production dimensions of a contemporary prestressed high performance concrete sleeper are within low tolerance values on the scale of a millimeter that is uncommon for ordinary structural concrete elements. Railways are within climatic conditions that could become effective in the dimensional stability of their sleepers. Within regions of low humidity levels, in addition to the elastic shortening of the prestressed sleepers, the effects of concrete creep and shrinkage could lead to total contraction values in excess of the allowed tolerances for the shoulder width of the sleepers. Therefore the dimensional design of a high performance prestressed concrete sleeper must include the effects of time dependent dimensional changes. This paper presents the possibility of falling out of dimensional tolerance for pre-stressed high performance sleepers and ways to mitigate those possibilities for railways in arid climatic conditions or within climatic zones undergoing a climate change. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.