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After a LONG search, I FINALLY located a local source for ballast material!:D

- I had originally tried looking for “crusher fines” or “decomposed granite”; when I walked into the garden center of Home Depot & asked for either of the former, the sales people looked at me as if I was from another planet.:confused:/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/angry.gif I then noticed an ad for a local (@ 1 mile from our house!) building material supplier this past winter for something called “blue stone dust”; it looked a PERFECT “ballast grey” to me!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif
It also had a rough “toothy” texture to it, so it tends to stay put (a BIG consideration on an elevated layout!). I had thought I might have to actually “glue” it down somehow, but so far just wetting it down with a garden house after applying it seems to work fine; it seems to be staying in place so far, even after several heavy downpours this past week./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/satisfied.gif

- The first area to be done was the passing track area in front of the mine complex; last fall, in preparation for adding ballast, I had temporarily removed the screws holding the track to the HDPE roadbed, lifted the track a bit (with everything still fastened together), & slipped some porous plastic “weedblock” cloth underneath the track. The track was then screwed back down in place. (It sat like that all winter while I tried to find a ballast source). This picture shows that area just before the addition of the weedblock cloth…/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/ermm.gif

- And as the saying goes, “That was THEN, this is NOW!”/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif


- Happily, it’s also CHEAP!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif I didn’t want to “bust my hump” hauling it (or mess up my minivan’s nice interior), so I’ve been using a 40-lb. capacity cat litter bucket to pick it up; just go over to the bin they store it in, & shovel the bucket full. It’s cost me the grand sum of $1.58 per bucket; so far I’ve used 3 buckets, plan to pick up a 4th in the next couple of days. A little seems to go a LONG way; from what I’ve seen so far, I think it’s going to take only a total of 5 ~ 6 buckets to cover the ENTIRE railroad. This is still a “work-in-progress” at this point. (But it’s already made a HUGE difference in the railroad’s appearance).:cool:
- Of course, the “Bridge Inspector” had to check it out…/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif

- I’m hoping she DOESN’T confuse this with regular cat litter!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif

(Else I might have to haul out the Aristo snow plow for moving something a LOT more disagreeable than snow!)./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif So far, she seems to understand that it’s NOT the same!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif

/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gifTom
 

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Fantastic Tom! I think the fine dust in your ballast may be acting as something of a glue.

What did you put between your rail lines? In the early photos (no ballast) it looks like large gaps between the lines?

Nice bridge inspector, it does look like she's giving your ballast work a real close inspection :)
 

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Hi Tom,
The pictures of the layout and the Track Inspector are GREAT.
The next time you are in need of Crusher Fines also known as Stone Dust here in New England or any other stone products go to Accushnet Sand and Gravel, Thay have it all.
Good Luck,
Ron
Cape Cod
 

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Tom the crusher fines work great!!!! :cool:

But!! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif

It tends to dissapear like the mulch and socks. /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/whistling.gif

It's good to keep a small pile covered so when you need to touch up and the place closes
 

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Looking really good there!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the nice comments, guys!:D
-jimtyp, in answer to your question, look at the very first photo; directly in front of the mine building, you can see some of the black "weedblock" cloth I haven't covered up yet./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blush.gif It's actually a thin perforated plastic material (to let rain seep through); it you look carefully, it's possible to see shadows of the pressure-treated lumber framework supporting the mine building through it.
- Ron, the place I bought the "blue stone dust" is "Building Materials", only about a mile from my house. (I've been stopping there before heading down to the nearby Boy's Club for my 3 ~ 4 times a week swim workout; it's just a couple of blocks away from the gym).:)
Another area that's benefiting appearance-wise as well is "Watuppa Station", shown here...

(By the way, the reason the station platform isn't parallel to the rails here is that this is one of my 3% mainline grade stretches. ;)). Here's an overhead view of the same spot...

-This area is still "under development!"/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/hehe.gif
-And here's why I refer to the cat (her actual name is "Skippy":) )as the "Bridge Inspector".../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif

- And here's she's "inspecting"/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif the Watuppa grade crossing; the plastic tote & styrofoam box on the ground are used to protect the station & house in back from weather when the railroad's not in use...

-She was also fascinated by this "itty-bitty kitty"/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif (a Preiser figure) atop the porch roof!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif

/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/wow.gif Tom
 

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Our cat Bailey, likes to use the frshly ballasted areas for his litter box /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif
 
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