skip to content skip to search skip to navigation Listen Live skip to logon
Friday 26th August 2016
Max 25°C | Min 17°C

Why are there stones around train tracks?


On a train track, there are rocks and stones around the tracks. Why are they there?
Ian, Richmond


Name: Gary, Clapham
Qualification: Work for Network Rail
Answer: It’s there to stop the track moving. It’s called ballast and stops the tracks moving laterally when the trains are moving over it. Think about walking along a pebbly beach and the rocks support your weight – this works in a similar way. The stones act like a locking mechanism to keep the sleepers in place.

Is this answer wrong? Tell us what’s right in the box below…