Ballast and Plant Options?

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wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hi Guys,

I am at the point where I am "about" to lay out the track work and was wondering what the best thing to use for Ballast was. I think some people have mentioned #5 Arizona Rock (?) but for the amount I am going to need (about a cubic yard I believe) that is going to get ridiculously expensive. What other crushed stone have people used to replicate ballast (1:29)?

Also, can anyone give me suggestions for "dwarf plants" to use around the layout? I am "hoping" to replicate tree's so something that doesn't grow any taller than probably 12" and might be able to be trimmed to give the appearance of a tree rather than a bush. By the way, I am in Up State New York.

Thanks in advance guys, look forward to your suggestions.
 

Rico

BN Modeller
You should look into some landscape fabric for under the track to control weeds, if you haven't already?
I'm planning on using "Turkey grit" for ballast, basically granite chips used to feed turkeys.
It's not too expensive if you have a feed mill nearby.
 

MikeOwnby

Active Member
Not sure it would scale down as small as you need it, but I've had an evergreen tree that I've kept trimmed to about 7 feet tall for years. It's very slow-growing, so the trunk isn't expanding at too high a rate, and it doesn't seem to mind having the foliage trimmed back. I'm betting there are even tree-like evergreens and such that are actually dwarfs and don't grow very large to begin with, or bushes that could be trimmed to make them resemble trees. Don't know if that's helpful at all, but just a thought off the top of my head.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Thanks guys, appreciate the input. A little out of my depth when it comes to "real" tree's etc :)
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Hey Guys,

Just been re reading some of the posts and realized I missed a couple of things.

First - Rico, my plan was to put a layer of 6 mm plastic down beneath where the layout was going, once I'd cleared the area, then drop the fill on top of that. Unfortunately, and despite buying the plastic, I didn't get the chance to put the plastic down. That being said, I will put it down to at least cover the area beneath the actual track work, and put the road bed on top of it.

The Turkey Grit looks to be perfect for size,cost and, being crushed granite, should be the right color as well ... thanks for the suggestion.

Toot'n, never thought about Bonsai plants. That could be an option.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
I am at the point where I am "about" to lay out the track work and was wondering what the best thing to use for Ballast was. I think some people have mentioned #5 Arizona Rock (?) but for the amount I am going to need (about a cubic yard I believe) that is going to get ridiculously expensive. What other crushed stone have people used to replicate ballast (1:29)?
.
The last thing I used for ballast on an outside railroad was white/grey chad. Chad is the rock gravel they spread over freshly oiled roads and is also used for the last covering of built up flat roofs.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Horseman,

I have never heard of the stuff but will take a look at it. I did go out and buy some Turkey Grit today and, so far as the scale goes, it looks great. Unfortunately it ended up being a purple sort of color and that doesn't look great.
 




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