Track Construction: Ballasting

Once the track is constructed, stone ballast is added to hold and support the ties and maintain good drainage to prevent the ties from deteriorating. Since we were using all new ties, we decided it would be foolish to skimp on ballast, so high-quality, coarse stone was used, which should give excellent drainage.

Once bolted and spiked, ballast is dumped on the fresh track.

Two hi-rail swing-dump trucks made continuous relay trips for several days to bring more than 2100 tons of clean, new "3A" limestone ballast to support the track. >>

<< The trucks really can swing to the side to dump stone along the ends of the ties.
May 28, 2001:
The first right curve after the former end of track.

At this point the track is actually over-ballasted. Once tamping is complete, much of stone will be under the ties. Excess ballast will be shaped with a ballast regulator.

At the new end of line. Dead ahead is Reese's tamper; switch timbers show where the siding will depart the main.

<< The truck occupies what will be the siding at the end of line. A very tight custom switch frog--fabricated in our shop--is just visible in the ballast.

Looking inbound a short distance from the end of line.

The sun emphasizes ripples in the rail and ballast, showing final tamping, leveling, and alignment of track is not quite complete. >>