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How wide do you make your ladder roadbed? Since my ladder will be on the ground I was thinking 3.5" total width, basically the width of the ties. I was planning on putting weed mat over the top and stapling to the sides - to help with weed control and keep ballast from going into the dirt. The weed mat should allow water to get through.
 

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If your track is to be mostly at ground level where it can be stepped on it's probably a good idea to make the roadbed the same width as the ties. Someone or something stepping on the edge of the roadbed can more easily break off the tie ends or pull them from the rail if ties are hanging over.

If the track is elevated or otherwise safe from being stepped on then an overhang can make it easier to hide the roadbed with ballast especially when it settles or some is washed away due to rain.
 
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