Why are there Crushed Stones on Railway Tracks? | Track Ballast

Why are there Crushed Stones on Railway Tracks? | Track Ballast

Why there are always stones alongside a Railway Track?

A train journey may be a really soothing and marvelous travel experience. However, most people should have questioned at least once in our lives why there are stones on railway tracks. These crushed stones are known as track ballast and they help keep the train tracks in place.

What is Track Ballast?

Track ballast is the collective term for the crushed stones on railway tracks. They type the trackbed and are packed around railway tracks. They form the bottom for the railway sleepers that are wont to keep the railway tracks upright and properly spaced.

The ballast additionally holds the track in place because the trains roll over it. It usually consists of crushed stone, although different, less appropriate, materials have generally been used like burnt clay. The term "ballast" comes from a nautical term for the stones used to stabilize a ship.

Railway sleepers are the rectangular support piece unbroken perpendicular to the tracks. A railway sleeper is additionally known as a railroad tie or a crosstie. Sleepers wont to be made from wood earlier however currently they're primarily created with pre-stressed concrete.

Why are there Crushed Stones on Railway Tracks? | Track Ballast

Why is only a Particular kind of Stone used on Railway Tracks?

Track ballast can not be created with any type of stone. If smooth, spherical pebbles just like the ones on river beds or used for decoration were used on railway tracks, they may roll over or slide against each other once a train passed on the railway lines.

Thus, the incorrect kind of stone wouldn’t fulfill the most function of track ballast to produce support to the railway tracks. only stones that wouldn’t move around a lot of would suit the task.

That is why sharp edges stones are used on railway tracks for track ballast.

Crushed igneous and metamorphic rocks like granite, gneiss, and volcanic rock may be smart track ballast as an alternative durable rock type. However, the scale, durability, and other properties of rock samples should be tested to assure they meet the specifications.


The crushed stones you see alongside railroad tracks are what's referred to as ballast. Their purpose is to carry the wooden cross ties in place, which successively hold the Trains in place.