11-16-08 Ballast

I ballasted the track on the end loop module that I have been working on.

I focused on short track sections instead of ballasting the whole track at once. I have had track come unglued when working on large sections since I had used white glue to secure the track. I have also had an experience where I had to sneeze, but forgot to look away. The whole section of ballast that I had laid, but not glued was blown apart.

I first laid ballast on the outside of the rails. I used an old mustard container to pour the ballast exactly where I wanted it. Using a stiff brush I shaped the ballast so it was level at the ties and sloped downward going away from the ties. I then poured ballast between the rails. I used the brush to level the ballast between the ties. I carefully added drops of alcohol with a dropper to the ballasted section to wet it and help secure it. I then added drops of diluted white glue to the section.

I let the ballasted sections dry before I filled in the unballasted sections. I had to be careful around turnouts. Ballast in the wrong areas could prevent the turnouts from working properly. I laid down a shallow layer of ballast around the connecting tracks, so they could still be removable.

I vacuumed up any loose ballast after everything had dried. I had a few areas that I had to go back and patch with a little more ballast. Once that was dried, I cleaned ballast off the sides of the rails with a pick and vacuumed up the loose pieces. I cleaned the tops of the rails with an abrasive eraser. I used a test car to make sure there were no ballast pieces interfering with its operation especially at turnouts.

At some point I need to still add trees and other details to this area. I think I may take a break from scenery and go back to build another building for the brewery.

• 11-16-08 Ballast