Do You Know Why You See Crushed Stones Alongside Railway Tracks? Here’s the Answer

Do You Know Why You See Crushed Stones Alongside Railway tracks?

Have you ever wondered why there are crushed stones alongside Railway Tracks? While crossing the railway tracks on foot, the stones lying between the tracks look quite fascinating, but there is a great science behind this.  Let’s solve this mystery for you and reveal an amazing fact. The crushed stones are called ballast. This ballast is really important to take hold of the wood cross ties in place which in turn helps to hold the rails in right place. 

In fact, the railway tracks are made of steel and are laid down for miles where they experience expansion and contraction due to heat, precipitation buildup from uneven weather, ground movement and vibration &  weed and plant growth from underneath.

So, in order to keep the tracks in right place and to make rail journey safer, the ballast is placed to keep the wooden rail ties in place. The crushed stones contains rough edges to avoid wooden beams misplace.

The wooden ties/ beams/ cross ties are especially made to bear the load of heavy trains on the tracks; this load is eventually passed on to the crushed stones which distributes it across the foundation.  This in turn allows ground movement, weight variance and thermal expansion and also let the snow and rain to drain through the tracks.

The ground is raised higher by building up a foundation in order to keep the tracks maintained and due to this raised foundation, the tracks doesn’t get flooded. Ballast is deposited on the foundation and after that the wooden beams are set in its place. So this is how a centuries-old process effectively facilitates the movement of millions of people and material over thousands of miles.

Now the question, “Do You Know Why You See Crushed Stones Alongside Railway Tracks?” has its answer. For more cool stuff, stay connected with us at

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