When it comes to physical distribution, we ship by rail more than we ever have in history! It might not be quite as fast as air travel or as local as trucks, but it continues to be the most cost-effective way to transport large quantities of raw materials and finished goods across the country. Each year, billions of dollars’ worth of freight is shipped by rail, and it’s extremely important that the trains arrive at their destinations safely, and on time!
Arkansas Aggregates is the southeast’s leading supplier of Granufill and concrete stone, and each year we mine and ship over two million tons of construction aggregate materials. We are proud to also be one of the top suppliers of railroad ballast, and our team is a mouse click or phone call away when you are ready to place an order. Here are just a few of the reasons that ballast stones are important for the rail industry:
Track Stabilization-Fully loaded trains often pull more than a hundred cars, and can weigh hundreds of tons. This creates an engineering problem if the tracks are rigidly mounted to the earth, which has been solved by mounting the track to rigid cross ties buried in deep beds of rock. The ballast stones distribute the weight more evenly, and have the flexibility to bend under the weight of the train, while providing sufficient rigidity to keep the tracks safely in place.
Erosion Control-It’s no coincidence that rails often run alongside of waterways, because both are ways to facilitate transportation. But this increases the risk of erosion. The good news is that a large pile of ballast stones will direct rainwater away harmlessly, and will also make the tracks less susceptible to damage by settling or ground movement.
Vegetation Control-There are thousands of miles of track criss-crossing the USA, and there is no feasible way to monitor them all for the spread of weeds and shrubbery. A deep root system can force tracks out of alignment, and the shrubbery presents a fire hazard during the dry season. A deep layer of ballast is one of the best defenses against the spread of unwanted shrubs and vegetation.
If you have any questions about our gravel or Granufill products, or if you’re ready to place an order, contact us online, or at 501-238-1118.