It is generally agreed that the ideal ballast is hard stone broken to suitable sizes. The main characteristics of good ballast are that it should be hard, heavy, resistant to crushing, shock abrasion and weathering -- especially due to frost -- clean, and reasonably binding but loose enough to permit of free drainage. Crushed stone such as granite, quartzite, igneous rock, or trap, has the advantage of being very hard and angular, and even broken limestone and sandstone may also be reasonably hard. Crushed slag has the characteristics of rock, but it induces dry rot in wooden sleepers. Cinders or ashes are the cheapest form of ballast; they provide good drainage, but powder and cake too easily for other than yard or unimportant branches. Their greatest fault is that they quickly corrode the feet of rails and steel sleepers in contact with them. Sand, as well as being cheap, makes a stable lower ballast.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Temple Press Limited

    161-166 Fleet Street
    Longon EC4,   England 
  • Publication Date: 1954-8-27

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00039576
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 4 1994 12:00AM