The Rail Accident Investigation Board is probing the incident which ijured two workers last month near Cholmondeston on the line between Crewe and Chester.
The ballast distributor included a hopper fed conveyor system that is used to distribute ballast onto the track.
It was equipped with both rubber wheels for road running and steel rail wheels for operation on the railway.
That night, it was intended to be used to distribute fresh ballast onto a section of track which was under possession.
The personnel carrier vehicle was an off-road utility vehicle that had been converted for use on and off the railway.
It was fitted with tip-up seats at the back to allow the transport of personnel and was carrying a team of track workers.
The ballast distributor was on its way owards the location where materials were required when it collided with the rear of the stationary personnel carrier.
Two track workers were injured, one of them sustaining serious leg and back injuries.
The other staff on the personnel carrier and the ballast regulator were unhurt.
The RAIB will be publishing a safety report following its investigation into the incident.