Railway track ballast forms the bed on which sleepers are laid and is traditionally packed between, below and around the ties. The idea is that it is used to help drain water away, while also minimising the vegetation that could potentially impact the railway structure. It also helps to hold the track in place while trains roll by and so what many see as simply an aesthetic measure is actually one that offers numerous maintenance and safety advantages.
Generally, angular stones should be used ahead of rounded stones simply because they interlock with each other which can help to reduce track movement. Granite, such as Cloburn Red, is one of the best materials for the job as it will not degrade under load when wet. Few rock types meet the stringent criteria for modern high speed railway lines and Cloburn sets the standard for all the rest.
Premium track ballast must be strong, impervious to hydrocarbons and water and have a smooth hard-wearing surface. Cloburn track ballast meets all these criteria and has the added advantage of being cost-effective. This means that you can get the best possible ballast for your rail network without the need for massive expense