The collection and transportation of ballasts can be done by either of the following methods.
• Collecting the ballast at ballast depots and transporting it to the site in ballast trains.
• Collecting the ballast along the cess and putting the same on the track directly. The mode of collection is decided taking into account the proximity of the quarry,
availability of good stone ballast, serving roads along side the railway line for the carriage of ballast, availability of ballast trains, turnround of ballast trains, and availability of traffic blocks for unloading.
8.7.1 Collection at Ballast Depots
The following procedure is adopted when ballasts are being collected at ballast depots.
(a) The space along side the railway line meant for stacking is divided into a convenient number of zones and demarcated.
(b) For each depot, a diagram indicating the site details of all the measured stacks is maintained.
(c) Each stack in each zone is serially numbered.
(d) Operations of collecting and training out materials should not be carried out at the same time in any zone.
(e) The ground on which the stacks are made should be selected and levelled.
(f) Measurements should be taken for complete stacks. The measured stack should be identified suitably by lime sprinkling or any other method.
(g) As soon as a stack is lifted, it should be recorded on the depot diagram, which should always be kept up-to-date. Challans should be prepared after loading the ballast into wagons.
8.7.2 Collection of Ballast Along the Cess
In case the ballast is collected along the side of the cess, the inspector in charge should maintain a separate register showing the measurement of stacks as well as its disposition (from km to km). The stacks should be serially numbered between successive posts. Entries should be made in a register whenever stacks are removed and ballast is put onto the track. The record should state the place where the removed ballast has been used as well as the date of removal of the stack. Materials passing through a 6-mm square mesh are classified as ‘dust’ (limited to 1%).