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I use sanded grout with N scale ballast on spurs, sidings, ground-level track, terminal tracks, etc.
Sanded grout is powder-like stuff you can get at HomeDepot, Lowes, etc. It has a binder in it that keeps it in place instead of floating.
It comes in various colors, so you can mix to get one you like. I generally disregard the color, and tint with dry-earth colors.
If you Google "sanded grout for ballast" you'll get a lot of hits.
Here's a start:
(touch all the links in the first response).
Grout as ballast? (Grout for dirt roads & parking lots) | Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine
Thank you fit the reading material. Looks like is the way to go. I'm going to put off doing my roads until I can test this out.

Any issues with cracking? As a former tile layer, I know thin grout can crack easily.

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Discussion Starter · #262 ·
Any issues with cracking? As a former tile layer, I know thin grout can crack easily.
Not that I can see, but I've only had it place for a few months at the longest.
Besides, I haven't heard of any cracking issues from others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #263 ·
A cherished possession
Rapido RDC (SP #10).


This one's impossible to find now.
RapidoRDC10_009.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #265 ·
Balboa Cab Forward
DCC converted.


A real frog hopper!
(does not play well with turnouts).
Superbly detailed.
BalboaCF_004.jpg
BalboaCF_007.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #267 ·
The "Birdstone Gap"
Just west of the "Birdstone Balcony".

(a prehistorically tectonic area, where abundant limestone, granite, and shale were heaved to the surface).


Expanded perspective...
The backdrop is only about 18 inches from the camera.
Lots of ground cover (e.g., pulled-apart JTT Boxwood shrubs) that I bought at shows where I could hand-pick specific shades of green.
Eventually, a Rte 6 overpass will be added here (lots of Greyhound & Trailways bus traffic).
BirdstoneGap_009.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #268 ·
Bachmann 2-8-0
(with sound).
Long wait!

[Bachmann makes pretty nice steam locomotives... much better than their rolling stock].


Been hunting this for quite a while...
The SP issue has been M.I.A. in these parts.
Saw it at an online dealer, but they hadn't updated their inventory list, so I got an apology and a refund.
Finally found it at an LHS.
It wasn't cheap, but it was $50 less than the BLI, which doesn't generally get discounted around here.
At least it runs good, and the decoder works... knock on wood.
I love the Vandy tender.
Bachmann2-8-0#720_004~2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #278 ·
"The Washboard" today
(June, 2021).


This is what's left of the tracks to Shapiro's Salvage.
Not much left these days.
The wavy "washboard" part is completely gone and overgrown.
The entire Shapiro's complex is now a shopping mall and a little league park.
The bottom photo is along an asphalt road by a condo neighborhood.
The''Washboard'2018_001.jpg
The''Washboard'2018_003.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #280 ·
Snapshot
Worlee Track-B.


Preiser made a bundle on me here...
Only two of these were un-painted.
This entire scene is a train without a station... only a foot and a half of ballasted track, and nothing else.
WorleeTrackB_019.jpg
 
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