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Claude Green
CAD technician
Asked a question last year

What is the substitute material of ballast at railway track?

What is the substitute material of ballast at railway track?

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Terry Collins
Sustainability consultant

Ballast also holds the track in place as the trains roll over. It is typically consists of crushed stone, although other less suitable, materials have sometimes been used such as burnt clay.

Jacqueline Wade
Environmental engineer

Ballast can be substituted by any material which prevents settlement of the crossties, is prone to environmental conditions and is cheap to procure and transport.

A few substitute materials could be

Sand (river sand) : With a low cohesion and water retention, and good strength sand is very good as a ballast substitute. If it were cheaper, ballast might never be used. 

Robo sand : robo sand is nothing but mechanically manufactured sand by crushing rocks. It works the same way. 

Gravel : Gravel is Midway between sand and ballast stones in terms of size of particles. 

Rock : If nothing else, but rock is cheap, rock crushed into suitable size stones can be used.

Track ballast forms track Bad upon which railroad ties mean slippers are laid. Ballast can be replaced with non-biodegradable material. Geosynthetic reinforcement is one of the alternative substitutes for sub-ballast material on a railway track.

I hope it will help you. Thank You.