60 Years of Modern Ballast Cleaning Machines

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60 Years of Modern Ballast Cleaning Machines: Ballast Bed Behaviour and the Importance of Ballast Bed Cleaning, and Introduction of First Machines (Part 1 of 2) the Ballast Bed Is the Load-Bearing Element of a Railway Track.

Traffic loading subjects the ballast bed to static and dynamic stresses, causing ballast stone movement and wear that leads to fouling. Over time, this causes the ballast bed to significantly deviate from its original specifications -it can no longer adequately “fulfil’ its load-bearing function, thus jeopardising track stability. It was recognised early on that, by cleaning the ballast, the load-bearing function of the ballast bed can be restored. Initially, ballast cleaning was carried out manually, but soon this arduous manual task was mechanised -the first machines built for this purpose appeared about one hundred years ago. Part 1 of this two-part article looks at ballast bed behaviour and the importance of ballast bed cleaning, as well as the introduction of the first ballast cleaning machines.

By: Prof. Dr. Dipl.-lng. Klaus Riessberger, Emeritus Professor TU Graz; Eurail-lng. Rainer Wenty, Senior Track Technology Advisor; Dipl.-lng. Michael Zuzic, Former Director of Permanent Way at OBB, Austria. 

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