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Economics/Track Ballast - Alternative Materials.


QUESTION: Dear Prof Michael

Which could be the alternative materials which can be used / tried out instead of Ballast or crushing stones ?. viz Cement, plaster of Paris, sand, metal, non metals etc for railway tracks ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: I'm afraid I don't have much knowledge in this area, but I contacted a company that sells track ballast, and they said that crushing stones is all that's ever used.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Prof Michael

Thank you.

If we create a Word document with four columns viz. Material, Advantage, Disadvantage and Conclusion, will this be a good reference for Materials evaluation as a alternative to Crushing stones ?.

The Train should run more efficiently on the railway tracks with the New Material installed viz Cement, Sand, Plaster of Paris, Coal, Metal, Non Metal etc instead of the crushing stones. Maintenance has to be taken into picture.

I also feel Rutherford's periodic table could be a useful reference.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

I'm afraid I just don't know enough about this topic to be of any help.  This would require me to do research that is far more involved than I can offer for free.  You may want to get in touch with someone who works in the rail industry, in transportation infrastructure, or perhaps an engineer.


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Michael Taillard


Accepts most economic questions


Consulting with major corporations, government agencies, political organizations, small businesses, non-profits, start-ups, and even individual people. Teaching at universities around the world, and developing original coursework. Performing original research and analysis. Writing books and scientific studies.

American Economics Association

Publications You can also check Proquest for a small selection of my research.

PhD (Financial Economics; honors) -- MBA (International Business Finance; honors) -- Grad School Certificate (International Business Management; honors) -- BS (International Business Economics; honors) -- AA (Business Administration; honors) -- Certificate (Chinese Language and Culture) -- Trade School (Transportation Logistics; honors)

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