Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ballasted the Track at Scotch Run

Today I took on one of my least favorite tasks, ballasting track. It never goes smoothly. When I ballast track, I pour some on the track and then use a paint brush to spread it out. Next, I wet it down with wet water (water with some denatured alcohol added to it). This allows the glue to soak into the ballast. For glue I use two parts water to one part Liquitex fluid matte medium.

The problem is not all of it sticks. I fund that out the hard way after the glue dried and I went to vacuum up what didn't stick and large chunks stared coming up. So I ended up have to touch up several spots.

I opted for Woodland Scenics fine gray ballast. It's a very close match for what is used on the former PRR main line. Now, you may be wondering about the black ballast along either side of the right-of-way. Well, during steam days railroad main lines looked quite different than they do today. On a busy main line such as the Pennsylvania, the passage of hundreds of steam locomotives each day would leave a layer of cinders that grass simply wouldn't grow on.

As you can see, I also started with the blended turf.

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