The Effects of Walking on Railroad Ballast

Hoey & Farina encourages our Straight Track subscribers to read the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Railroad Policy & Development’s March 2011 publication entitled:

“Joint Loading And Muscle Activity In The Lower Body While Walking On Ballast.”

The article discusses two projects (2005 and 2010) examining the biomechanics of walking on common railroad yard surfaces. The results suggest that increased efforts to place walking ballast in locations where railroad employees must walk as part of their jobs will increase safety and decrease demands on ankles, hips and knees.