Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wordless Wednesday #206 - Ballast, Opinions?

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8 comments:

  1. I like #2 and #5 the best.

    I have a board (about 1'x2') that I glued multiple rows of flextrack to. I then ballasted short (2-3") segments with various types of ballast, and secured it with the glue I use. I have a key that lists all the brands (WS, Scenic Express, Arizona Rock and Mineral, etc.) and item numbers of the ballast that I have. I find that once it is glued down, the color changes so I don't like to look at ballast "dry".

    Many places sell samples or give them away for free, so instead of losing them I glued them to this board to keep track of them.

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    1. That's a great idea and something I've considered doing myself - though your point about the ballast looking different when "affixed" versus dry isn't something I'd thought about and shouldn't have missed. Thanks for that reminder - which prompts me even more to do these "test tracks" rather than just lay dry ballast on the actual layout... Thanks again for stopping by - hope you're enjoying the site!

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    2. You are welcome. Just don't do all the colors at once. If I do more than 3-4 samples at a time, I risk bumping the board and sending it all everywhere...

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  2. Brown ballast! Really?? Ballast is crushed rock, but brown rock is found mostly in the West, isn't it?

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    1. Very good observation! But the New Haven used locally mined/sourced traprock as ballast for many of its lines. I don't know many of the details (yet!) but I'm pretty sure it mostly came from pits in/around Branford/Wallingford. And no surprise it's brown - think Portland (CT) Brownstone :^)

      But watch this space - as part of my experimentation/research I plan to post some color photos from my era and general locale...

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    2. I figured you wouldn't had included brown ballast unless it was prototypical. I too would like to see some color photos to better judge the ballast.

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    3. Thanks Chris - being a bit colorblind, I always appreciate the extra help. And to crib off "DandH..."'s idea, it'd probably be a good idea to set up a more scientific test with actual affixed (wet/glued/dried) ballast since the color is bound to change.

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  3. 14’s in the ballpark if you’re modeling the Valley south of Middletown. Mix in a bit of black cinder, and keep it very fine. The ballast was strait sand after all. There was very little in the way of heavy track work like you’d see on a mainline. If a culvert was replaced in the 1940’s, you’d have a galvanized pipe replace a browstone box culvert. Above it you might find a 100’ of traprock ballast with some fresh ties. Again, patchwork and bailing wire. Especially in the latter years. Lots of defered maintenance. I’m not much of a modeler, but what about using the real thing? -Seth Erazmus “track rat”

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