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Economics/Track Ballast - Alternative Materials.

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Question
QUESTION: Dear Prof Michael

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_ballast

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.
http://www.vulcanmaterials.com/construction-materials/products-and-services/rail

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

QUESTION: Dear Prof Michael

Thank you.

http://www.lenntech.com/periodic/periodic-chart.htm

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

Answer
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

Expertise

Accepts most economic questions

Experience

Economic Consulting: American Red Cross; US Strategic Command -- Economics Lecturing: Bellevue University (Bellevue, NE) Huijia College (Beijing), OPII Schools (Omaha), Madonna University (Livonia), Schoolcraft College (Livonia), ZomBCon (Seattle), Zombiefest (Lincoln) -- Media Appearances: Dead Man Working (2012 Movie documentary), The Heartland News (Omaha local news outlet)

Organizations
American Economics Association, Business Networks International, Midwest Writer's Guild, Zombie Research Society

Publications
Economics and Modern Warfare: The Invisible Fist of the Market (Palgrave Macmillan) -- 101 Things Everyone Should Know about Global Economics (Adams Media) -- Corporate Finance for Dummies (Wiley) -- Psychology and Modern Warfare (Palgrave Macmillan) -- Analytics and Modern Warfare (Palgrave Macmillan)

Education/Credentials
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)

Awards and Honors
Philanthropy awards and nominations for the OPII Schools economic experiment

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