Rail on Track
Stevenson railway ballast plays a critical role in Auckland's rail network to ensure rail tracks behave correctly under load and hold their alignment.
Stevenson Technical Services & Laboratory provide ongoing testing for ballast supplied by Stevenson Resources to KiwiRail in Auckland. Working to the national rail ballast standards Stevenson laboratory carries out continual tests for product compliance with the new KiwiRail T140 Track Specification 2011.
Stevenson technical engineers collaborated with KiwiRail (formerly ONTRACK) in 2005 to upgrade the technical specifications for rail ballast. This improved the consistency and quality of ballast being produced by all aggregate suppliers, and set a new national standard for ballast supplied to KiwiRail by any quarry. The specification has been upgraded again in 2011 with input from the AQA (Aggregate and Quarry Association) Technical Committee. Stevenson is represented on this committee by Jayden Ellis, General Manager Technical Services & Laboratory.
A $27 million KiwiRail ballast train is used to compact the track ballast under the railway tracks to make them more robust. The ballast tamper machine also corrects track rail alignment to ensure rails are level and parallel. This work is part of KiwiRail’s track renewal and replacement programme.
In the 2010 Budget the New Zealand Government committed to investing $750 million in KiwiRail over three years to support the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan to help increase New Zealand’s economic productivity and growth. In recent years considerable ballast material has been consumed during the upgrading of the Auckland metropolitan network.
Grafton Railway Station, Auckland
Ballast plays a critical role in railway construction to ensure that the rail tracks behave correctly under load and hold their alignment, so supplies of the correct specification and cleanness are important to KiwiRail,’ says KiwiRail’s Northern Interface Manager, James Brailsford. ‘Stevenson supplies us with good quality aggregate to the correct specification. Supply is always fast and efficient – even at short notice for large orders. Stevenson always maintains good communication with our field engineers to ensure that we are kept up-to-speed on the current status of deliveries. Stevenson’s transport division are a pleasure to deal with and always have a can-do attitude.