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Ballast track

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I am just wondering what is the easiest way to ballast the track the old fashioned way using 50/50 glue water washing liquid or try ballast magic by deluxe material as I never ballast track before and which type of ballast is the best to use


Hi B Houlihan. It's a long time since I ballasted track so I was wondering the same myself back in February. If its of any use the link below is some of my experiments with different ballasts and different track bed materials, but all were ballasted with 50/50 water/PVA mix. I've decided against copydex for gluing the ballast (i.e. for noise insulation), but think I may use copydex to glue track bed (i.e. foam or cork) to baseboard instead of PVA, but use PVA/water mix for fixing the actual ballast itself (i.e. for some degree of sound proofing). Noel





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Done more ballasting than I care to remember, B, but it pays to take your time and go carefully. The best ballast for me is Woodlands Scenics. Fairly light in weight & nicely graded, it takes well to the diluted PVA with a drop of washing up liquid method.

Re size, I'd always advise using a grade smaller than the scale suggested. So fine, rather than medium for 4mm scale. That said, current track ballast seems to be a bit larger than in steam days and it really does pay to refer to photos of what you are trying to portray. Likewise colour - study your prototype and don't be afraid to mix things a little.

Once the ballasting is dry, don't forget to then weather the track accordingly. Where tracks approach platforms, there will be a build up of brake dust. Where locos are stationary, a built up of oily deposits.

Don't forget to paint the rails and sleepers too, it really will make a difference to how your track looks.

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