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Your Committee on Ballast reports on the following subjects:

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In Appendix "A" are given the proposed changes in the Manual.

2. Application of Ballast

In Appendix "B" the Committee submits data received from various railroad systems compiled as far as practicable in uniform statements; also diagrams showing proposed organization and distribution of men in a small emergency ballast raising gang: (1) for stone ballast; (2) for gravel ballast.

3. Ballast Tools

In Appendix "C" are given proposed specifications for track shovels and suggested plans for different types of shovel handles. There is shown also plan for "Spot Board."

4. Review of Previous Reports

The result of the study of this subject is given in Appendix "D."


1. The Committee recommends that there be added to the Manual the following definition:

SPOT BOARD-A sighting board laid across the rails in advance of a raising gang to govern the amount of raise and insure uniform grade line.

2. The Committee recommends:

(a) That the diagrams in Appendix "B," showing the "Organization and Distribution of a Small Emergency Ballast Gang, Stone Ballast," and the "Organization and Distribution of a Small Emergency Ballast Raising Gang, Gravel or Cinders," be approved as recommended practice and printed in the Manual;

(b) That the matter in Appendix “B” referring to cost of ballast be accepted as information and the subject continued.

3. The Committee recommends:

(a) That the specifications for ballast shovels shown in Appendix "C" be approved as recommended practice and printed in the Manual. (b) That the plans of track shovels as shown in Appendix “C” be accepted as suggestions for trial and that the subject of the design of track shovel be continued.

(c) That the plan of Spot Board as shown in Appendix "C" be approved as recommended practice and printed in the Manual.

4. The Committee recommends that for reasons given in Appendix "D" this subject be closed without further action.

Recommendations for Future Work

The Committee recommends that in addition to continuing subjects 2 and 3 the following subjects be added:

1. Revision with reference to size of stone of the Specifications for Stone Ballast.

2. Concrete foundations for crossings and tracks.

3. Mechanical tampers, with special reference to care and handling of machines.

4. Ballasting by contract.

5. Cross-section outline for gravel ballast roadbed.

Respectfully submitted,


F. J. STIMSON, Chairman.


O. F. BARNES, Chairman;



The subject matter of the Manual was gone over carefully last year and a number of revisions submitted. The Committee, therefore, offers no revisions at this time.

However, inasmuch as the Manual does not contain a definition of a Spot Board, the following is submitted for inclusion:

"SPOT BOARD-A sighting board laid across the rails in advance of a raising gang to govern the amount of raise and insure uniform grade

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The subject assigned to the Committee reads: "Make final report, if practicable, on time and cost studies covering the application of ballast, giving particular attention to the organization of the ballast gang and particular reference to the organization of small emergency ballast gangs."

Small Ballast Gangs

From time studies of raising track on ballast, both stone and gravel, which were made available by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, diagrams were prepared showing the organization and distribution of small ballast gangs for the two classes of ballast, stone and cinders or gravel. It is considered that so far as application is concerned cinders and gravel will require the same kind of gangs. The diagrams as presented are recommended for adoption as recommended practice.

Cost of Ballasting

A form which was prepared and sent out the early part of last year, asking for reports of the costs of ballasting in detail, brought replies from four railways.

The forms were made up under the letters A, B, C, D and E, form A being designed to show details of the cost of skeletonizing track preparatory to applying new ballast, cost to be shown in average time required to remove one cubic yard of old material.

Form B was designed to show the cost of unloading and spreading new ballast. The intent of the Committee was to have this cost reduced to cost per cubic yard basis, but this intent was evidently not made clear in the forms sent out, with the result that some of the replies showed the cost per car load and some by train load, of material handled and others by the amount of material used per mile.

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However, sufficient data was given in each case to permit of the costs given being worked into cost per car of material handled and cost per mile ballasted with reasonable accuracy.

Form C shows the cost of placing ballast, that is, the cost in manhours, per linear foot of track, of raising the track and inserting the ballast under ties. Form D shows the cost, per linear foot of track, of dressing ballast.

Form E carries a recapitulation of the preceding forms and shows the entire cost of ballasting, per mile of track, expressed in payroll hours. The Committee consider all figures supplied to them to be very creditable and would like to give credit to those who have gone to considerable trouble to aid the Committee and the Association in furnishing cost data, by publishing their names, but it seems to be customary not to do so, therefore the Committee bow to custom and designate the roads by arbitrary numbers assigned to identify the figures submitted by each.

In the tabulation shown below, the figures submitted by road No. 6 proved to be the cost of cleaning of stone ballast, and re-using the old stone with some additional new stone. The figures submitted by other roads, so far as could be determined, are for ballasting where the original material above the tie bed was discarded and new material supplied for the full lift which was given to the track.

Table No. I-A, B, C, D and E, give the figures taken from the reports which were returned in the form asked for by the Committee. Other reports which were not worked up in that form were received and are shown in the tables Nos. II, III, IV, V and VI. The costs shown in tables II, III and IV being shown in dollars and cents, while in tables V and VI the costs are shown in time.


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