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I finished installing a basic loop in the yard. I set up the track on pressure treated deck boards sitting on #57 crushed stone. I put weed block fabric under the stone. I leveled the track in both directions.
Engine is from Lehman Toy Train set I bought in the 90s when my son was younger.

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Nice job on the deck boards.

You'll find over time that the ground shifts and the boards become out-of-level. Some of us put the track directly on #9 crusher fines (rock dust) on top of the drainage rocks in the trench, but we still end up re-packing and levelling the RR every spring after the frost and storms have done with it.
 

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If you ballast, you will find that the fines will work their way between the track and your boards and the track will rise. Not a bad thing, but inevitable, unless you screw down the track every foot or so (and that causes other issues).

So, I'd leave it unballasted or ballast and let the track find it's level.

Greg
 

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Thanks for sharing! Nice to see a layout in its infancy. Please keep us up to date as you do more landscaping and gardening.
 

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I finished installing a basic loop in the yard. I set up the track on pressure treated deck boards sitting on #57 crushed stone. I put weed block fabric under the stone. I leveled the track in both directions.
Engine is from Lehman Toy Train set I bought in the 90s when my son was younger.

View attachment 60947
I started by digging trenches that were about six inches below rail height, and at the same time using a level to pitch the trenches downward toward the lowest part of the lawn. The soils in the area are from glacial times and contain a lot of clay so water will not permeate quickly and will tend to heave track in winter. Non-woven garden fabric was then placed with 1a stone on top. Hopefully the slope is enough so water never pools under the track. Small blocks of pink insulation foam were placed on top of the stone about eighteen inches apart. Minimal leveling of the blocks were done and then ladder sub road bed was put on top of the blocks. that's when the real precise leveling was done. Finally the the track was put on top of the sub roadbed and anchored with a screw every foot and a half.
I finished installing a basic loop in the yard. I set up the track on pressure treated deck boards sitting on #57 crushed stone. I put weed block fabric under the stone. I leveled the track in both directions.
Engine is from Lehman Toy Train set I bought in the 90s when my son was younger.

View attachment 60947
 
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