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Ballast bridge track?

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  • Member since
    February 2008
  • 1,730 posts
Ballast bridge track?
Posted by kasskaboose on Tuesday, June 21, 2016 10:05 PM

Should I bother ballasting track over a bridge?  I got a bridge from a friend that looks similar to the below pic: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/67/04/37/670437e663787fff57604a90ade23266.jpg

Should I bother to ballast this area of track?  To do that, I would need to put stryene under the track to prevent the ballast from falling through the bridge.  Based on a search online, it appears that ballasting track on this structure isn't common.

  • Member since
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  • From: Canada, eh?
  • 11,702 posts
Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:00 AM

On a bridge of that type, the track would not normally be ballasted, although some railways do alter the bridge by adding a deck under the track.  The photos which I've seen show concrete, and it's done as a trough in order to contain the ballast.  On such bridges, the more closely-spaced bridge ties would not be used, as the track functions in the same manner as regular track.

Here's a bridge similar to that in your photo.  The closely-spaced bridge ties require no ballast (and there's little under them to support ballast).

Here's a link to some photos of ballasted-deck bridges.

Wayne 

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
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Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:02 AM

You're correct that a steel truss bridge wouldn't have a ballasted deck. A through girder or plate girder type bridge might be designed to have a ballasted deck.

https://www.arema.org/publications/pgre/Practical_Guide/PGChapter8.pdf

 

There was normally blocking or part of the abutment was formed to keep the ballast held back at the approaches to either end of the bridge.

Have Fun! Ed

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 9:46 AM

Thanks all for this useful information.  I didn't know so much about railroad bridges until exploring this topic further.  Given that the bridge is in the back, I still wanted to replicate a protypical scene. 

  • Member since
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  • From: US
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Posted by wp8thsub on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:19 PM

gmpullman
You're correct that a steel truss bridge wouldn't have a ballasted deck.

Lots of steel truss bridges have ballast pans.

This one's on the UP in Utah's Weber Canyon.

This one's on the former Santa Fe http://okbridges.wkinsler.com/railroad/saltfork1.html .

This modern example is on the BNSF http://www.hanson-inc.com/projects.aspx?projectid=99rr039 .

As is this one http://prr4ever.blogspot.com/2012/06/12-06-15-photos-iowa.html .

Rob Spangler

  • Member since
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  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 12,379 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 2:32 PM

wp8thsub
Lots of steel truss bridges have ballast pans.

I stand corrected. I should not have been so quick to make that assertion!

I was going by the most recent one I rode across...

Regards, Ed

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