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Does anyone have any experience in adding a small amount of portland cement to your ballast material? I live near Atlanta and was worried that it may cause the track (I am using LGB) to not be able to expand as the temperature changes. Am I better off using gray fine material?
Thanks to all for your help.
 

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Does anyone have any experience in adding a small amount of portland cement to your ballast material? I live near Atlanta and was worried that it may cause the track (I am using LGB) to not be able to expand as the temperature changes. Am I better off using gray fine material?
Thanks to all for your help.
Jom,
My outdoor track was laid in 'crusher fines' (rock dust) which tended to wash away every year - I ended up re-ballasting every spring. It was suggested that Portland Cement would stop that from happening - it didn't.

The cemented blocks cracked under/around the ties (maybe due to temperature variations, expansion, etc.) The ballast underneath still washed away. It looked horrible. I have a photo around here somewhere . .




Whaddya know - two photos!

 

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waste of time when I tried it.
 

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Lots of reasons not to do it + no good reason to do it = dont do it! ;)

There was a recent "If I'd only known" article in Garden Railways magazine about this exact thing..I just tried looking through my back issues but couldnt find it..anyone know which issue it was?

Scot
 

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Reminds me of something I did in my HO days. Not a lot of freezing/expansion to blame - never reallys looked too good - a mess when I wanted to reroute the track a little bit.

We need some terms comparable to Mythbusters' "confirmed, plausible, busted". Maybe "good idea", "iffy at best" and "don't even think about it - ever". I think we know where this one falls.

JackM
 

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I added glue, looked great the first year but not so much the second year.
 

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I tried, but it never looked right.
A better hint is to lay a barrier cloth in your trench or between barriers to hold your rocks. Mine wander!
The big boys re-ballast, so what's more prototypical?

John
 

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Alternate to cement.

I don't use Portland cement, but rather a weak mix of small angular gravel and "Rapid Set" a product I've only found at (not a commercial) Home Depot. It's white dry and seems to disappear when wet, but it holds ties in place. I'll see if I can find a picture.
 
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