I'm starting to ballast a small yard that comes off the mainline. The mainline ballast is gray limestone and I intended to use cinders in the yard. However, the color transition between the gray mainline and the black cinders is pretty abrupt. I'm considering using a dirty limestone ballast on the mainline near the yard and continuing it into the yard for a little way, but I'm curious as to what others do and am open to suggestions.

Thanks,

Jim

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River City 3 Railers use a 2:1 mix of gray and cinders for the mainlines. The yard area gets a mix of 1:2. For the transition a little 1:1 blends it right in.

I "sank" (sunk?)my Yard and siding track down to tie-top @ ground level. I did this by adding 5/16" foam core board "raise" the ground and then darkened the ballast. Really just trying to get the different, dirty look of much Yard/siding  track.

Raised Plywood temporarily replacing Yard service structures (Tower, Ash Dump etc), is where I laid my belly while working on the corner Denim Mill. Unfortunately never got to finish layout but did have power on and ran trains.

IMG_2029

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Jim,

 Here is a photo of the entrance to my small engine service yard. The main line is ballasted with primarily grey limestone and I have added a gradual transition of fine and coarse black cinders to the service yard, coaling and water facilities which are primarily covered with cinders.

Paullocomotive yard tracks 15

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Here are a few pictures of the ballasting job I did on my past layout and my current one.  

Ore stockpile start

20200429_144639Current layout has WS coarse cinders glued to a Styrofoam substrate. TABLE top is 1/2  inch MDF,  3/4 inch Styrofoam,  then a top layer of 1/4 inch Styrofoam cut out to inset the tracks.  This makes the tracks appear like they are sunk into the ground and also you use less ballast. 

DSC00211DSC00201

These 2 photos are of my previous layout.  If you live near a menards,  they sell a 50 lb bag of blasting sand. It's an abrasive  grit for stripping paint and rust from metal. I  bought a bag for $7.99 less my 11% rebate.  1 bag could cover several large layouts (a bag fills a 5 gallon bucket ). 

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