WHAT IS TRACK BALLAST? WHY CRUSHED STONES ARE USED ON RAILWAY TRACKS?
What is Railway Track Ballast?
Did you ever notice the stones lying between the sleepers or railway track? Have you ever thought about the stones why these stones are placed on the railway track? Let’s understand the concept behind the railway track.
The crushed stones around the railway track are termed track ballast. They form the ground for the sleepers and a trackbed for those sleepers to pack ballast around the railway tracks. The purpose of track ballast is to make the railway tracks more durable. The crushed stones which we used as a track ballast cannot be any kind of stones. Stones with rough edges like limestones are used on railway tracks as track ballast. These crushed stones are capable of holding the wooden cross ties in place which helps them to hold the trains in place.
Track ballast forms the trackbed upon which railroad ties are laid. It is packed between, below, and around the Sleepers. It is used to bear the load from the railroad Sleepers, to facilitate drainage of water, and also to keep down vegetation that might interfere with the railway track structure.
WHY CRUSHED STONES ARE USED ON RAILWAY TRACKS?
So, the purposes of crushed stones in the railway tracks are;
- Making the railway track more durable for soothing journeys for travelers.
- To hold the railway sleepers in place which are used to keep the railway track upright and properly spaced.
- Prevent heat expansion and contraction by train movement.
- Absorb the sound and vibrations created by the movement of the train.
- Stop the growth of plants near the railway track.
- To make a resistance between the rainwater (or any source of water) and the ground. It also facilitates proper drainage beneath and around the railway tracks.