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Thursday 2nd October 2014
Max 21°C | Min 14°C

Why are there stones around train tracks?

Question

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

Answer

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.

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