The ballast takes an important role in railway track construction. Ballast holds sleepers and loads coming from sleepers are transferred thoroughly into the sub-grade. Ballast train is nothing but ordinary wagons used for carrying ballast and unloading into heaps.
The spreading of the railway ballast on a new railway track starts after the final settlement of the subgrade layer. To fulfill this purpose, ballast trains are used to carry ballast and unload it at a suitable interval near the track.
After that, the worker spread the ballast over the track by using some hand tools like – shovels, spreaders, etc. The ballast should be spread properly under the sleeper, and around the sleepers until a hard foundation is obtained.
Sometimes, this spreading operation is carried out by ballast trains instead of workers. For this objective, an engine with a break van is attached to a number of ballast-filled wagons. This setup is arranged in such a way that the wagons can discharge the ballast directly onto the track through the opening on their floors.
In the front of the break van, a plow is fixed to spread the ballast throughout the track. As the engine slowly moves the ballast-filled wagons, the plow spreads the ballast which is discharged through the wagons. After that, the packing of the ballast is carried out by the workers.