Many of us have seen those crushed stones alongside and in between railways tracks but have you ever wondered why they put those stones on tracks and what is the real fact behind that?
The reason behind the crushed stone on the railway tracks. The answer is quite very interesting.
The crushed stones with sharp edges alongside the railway tracks are called “Track ballast” which are mandatory to lay down before laying any railway tracks.
The main purpose of laying out these tracks ballast is to hold the sleepers (concrete regular slabs) at an equal distance between them which helps to hold the rails in place.
The sleepers are rectangular in shape and placed perpendicular to the tracks. these sleepers are made up of hardwood which is about 8 1/2 feet long, 9 inches wide, and 7 inches thick and weigh about 90 kg (200 pounds). The sharp edges of the Track ballast help sleepers cling to each other tightly and make it difficult to slide over.
Apart from holding the tracks in their place Track ballast also helps in avoiding the collection of water under and around the railway track, load distribution of tires, thermal expansion, stopping the plants to grow on the tracks, weight variance and more important is to keep holding the tracks strongly even in the case of heavily loaded trains.
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