Size and Section of Ballast in Railway

Size and Section of Ballast in Railway

9th December 2019 0 By Malay Sautya

Size of Ballast

The size of the ballast used in railway track varies from 1.9 cm to 5.1 cm. The stone of size larger than 5.1 cm is not preferable due to poor interlocking property.

The best-recommended ballast is that which contains stones ranging in size from 1.9 cm to 5.1 cm.

Size and Section of Ballast in Railway

The size of the ballast mainly depends upon the type of sleeper used and the location of the rail track. The following sizes of ballast are used in Indian Railway:

Types of Sleepers and SectionSize of ballast
1. Wooden Sleepers51 mm
2. Steel Sleeper38 mm
3. For Point and Crossing25.4 mm

Section of Ballast

The section of the ballast layer consists of depth of ballast below the sleeper and the width of the ballast layer.

Depth of Ballast

The depth of the ballast section is an important factor as the load-carrying capacity and distribution of traffic load on formation depend much on it. The more the depth of ballast under the sleeper more will be the load-carrying capacity of the track.

For curves tracks, more ballast is required than straight tracks, because of providing superelevation. The minimum depth of ballast is calculated from the following equation:

Minimum Depth of Ballast =   D_{b} = \frac{(S-W)}{2}

Where S = Sleeper Spacing and, W = Width of Sleeper

The minimum depth of ballast prescribed on Indian Railway is 20 mm

Width of Ballast

The width of the ballast section is also an important factor as the lateral stability of the track depends partly on the quantity of ballast at the end of sleepers.

The lateral stability increases with the increase in width of the ballast section up to a certain limit(380 to 430mm from the end of sleeper).

Required Depth, Width and Quantity of Ballast For a Standard Ballast Section

ParticularsBroad GaugeMeter GaugeNarrow Gauge
1. Width of Ballast3.35 m2.251.83
2. Depth of Ballast20 to 25 cm15 to 20 cm15 cm
3. Quantity of Stone ballast per m Length1.036  m^{3}  0.71  m^{3}  0.53  m^{3}

Read More:

Moorum Ballast

Functions of Ballast

Types of Railway Gauge