fix ballast in place.

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  • Member since
    February 2002
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fix ballast in place.
Posted by andychandler on Sunday, May 3, 2020 3:03 PM

gang: building my first garden rairoad.  1. Do I need to fix ballast in place? 2.  the only spot I have slopes about 8 inches from highest to lowest side. Have made a cut on high side and fill on other side.  Using concrete paying bricks to elevate track on the fill side.  Do I use soil and ballast or soil, gravel then ballast on fill side?  3.  How do I fix the fill side in place?  Should I adhere the pavers to each other?  Thanks  Andy

Andrew D. Chandler
  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 606 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Monday, May 4, 2020 12:24 AM

Andy,

Any chance you could post a photo to better illustrate your issue? Absent that, we, too, have a short stretch of track that sits on hollowtile as it rises a short distance (~6"). To date, I have found the rails and ties serve to hold the ballast in place.

 

You can see the area in question below, shortly after we installed this grade:

My daughter and her friend disguised the hollowtile by using construction cement to glue rocks to the side facing the lower track.  The opposite side is all dirt, until it meets a rock and composite wood retaining wall on the other side.  Note that we do have to occassionally remound and replace ballast, but this has worked to date.

 

Eric

  • Member since
    February 2002
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Posted by andychandler on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 9:24 AM

thanks Eric will post a picture.  My impression is that the track floats on the ballast, just like the real thing, as long as it does not wash away.  Will post picutre

Andrew D. Chandler
  • Member since
    February 2013
  • 606 posts
Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, May 7, 2020 1:23 AM

Andy,

I am no expert, but there seem to be as many opinions on how to lay track and emplace ballast as there are garden railroaders!  In my case, a miscommunication with my contractor left my entire garden filled about 6" deep with gravel, so, yes, my track "floats" on the ballast, which is effectively the whole garden, anyway!  Even as things settled, and I replaced rocks for dirt to allow planting, I am finding that at least for me, in my climate, that I only need to touch things up here and there monthly or so.  The touch up usually involves taking a plumbers level and shoveling gravel into low spots.The photo below from March of this year might give you a sense of things, as you can see where gravel has settled over the years and requires some mounding from time to time under the tracks:

I've made no attempt to fix the ballast in these areas, though, going forward, I have considered any of a number of ideas to affix more "scale" ballast stones under and around the tracks.  For now, this works for us.

The only exception to the "floating areas" are in the picture above, which I think approximates your track on paving stone approach.  The ties and rails seem to work OK in holding the ballast in place.

 

Aloha,

Eric

 

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