Several decades ago, rail travel in the U.S. was much more common and the development of the coast-to-coast railroad was instrumental in the industrial revolution, westward expansion, and the Union victory in the Civil War.
These days, most people use the automobile to get where they are going, and the airplane if they need to get to a far away destination in a matter of hours. But that shouldn’t suggest that the railroad isn’t still in widespread use. At Arkansas Aggregates, we are proud to be the leading supplier of railroad ballast stones, and concrete stone in the southeast, and each year we produce and ship over two million tons of premium quality construction aggregates.
All of our rock products are mined from our Little Rock Quarry, and composed of Nepheline Syenite, which is a hard gray colored rock formation with visible characteristics of Granite and is the predominant material used in the region.
Our ballast products serve three important purposes. For starters, the jagged edges of the rocks interlock tightly to anchor sunken railroad ties, but allow enough give to redistribute the weight of a fully loaded freight train pulling more than 100 cars. They also serve as a solid base that won’t be carried away by rainwater when Mother Nature does her worst. Hundreds of miles of railroad track run parallel to rivers and waterways, which is why it is so important to be prepared for rising water levels. Finally, ballast keeps vegetation from growing in the tracks. If woody shrubbery is allowed to develop a deep root structure, it can force track out of alignment, and potentially lead to brush fires during the drought season.
If you have any questions about ballast, or are ready to place an order, contact us online, or at 501-545-6977.