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Just joined today, and this is my first post. Have been looking at my many boxes of train stuff, for many years, and have finally decided to get something started.

I have quite a bit of 'old school' Tru Scale roadbed, with rails, and would like to use it for a layout. Made a few attempts on carpet to get a feel for what might be possible. Took the plunge and built a 5'x10' decking. I've attached a photo of my 'work in progress'.

Tru Scale is cool, I think, and since i'm kinda an 'old school' guy, i'd like to use it for my layout. Difficulty is the 24" radius pieces make it difficult to finalize plan. In either case, my question it whether i need to ballast the track. I've attached a close-up of a section for reference. The ties are real wood, and base has some texture. I'd like to insure you can see the wooden ties, yet the base doesn't really appear very 'ballasty'.

BTW: Even though layout pic is on an entirely flat surface, my plan is to try and raise areas for a more interesting look. Hopefully some folks have some thoughts here as well.

Thx
 

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Tru Scale roadbed/track was actually very good stuff.
Your 5x10 setup looks fine as well (some tight turns there!).
IMO, ballasting would only be necessary if you think it is. I personally don't think it'd be worth the effort.
But it'd be a shame to waste all that Tru Scale track.
 

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Your railroad. your rules

Just joined today, and this is my first post. Have been looking at my many boxes of train stuff, for many years, and have finally decided to get something started.

I have quite a bit of 'old school' Tru Scale roadbed, with rails, and would like to use it for a layout. Made a few attempts on carpet to get a feel for what might be possible. Took the plunge and built a 5'x10' decking. I've attached a photo of my 'work in progress'.

Tru Scale is cool, I think, and since i'm kinda an 'old school' guy, i'd like to use it for my layout. Difficulty is the 24" radius pieces make it difficult to finalize plan. In either case, my question it whether i need to ballast the track. I've attached a close-up of a section for reference. The ties are real wood, and base has some texture. I'd like to insure you can see the wooden ties, yet the base doesn't really appear very 'ballasty'.

BTW: Even though layout pic is on an entirely flat surface, my plan is to try and raise areas for a more interesting look. Hopefully some folks have some thoughts here as well.

Thx
Lji221;


Of course you don't NEED to add ballast. Whether you add ballast to your Tru Scale roadbed, or not, is strictly up to you. It looks good as is. Remember a lot of folks use "roadbed track" like Kato Unitrack, or Bachmann EZ-Track. It doesn't necessarily need further ballasting, though some modelers who use it on their permanent layouts, do add ballast over the plastic roadbed piece.
If you want to be strict about the appearance, prototype track, at least when it's recently been ballasted, will have ballast up to the tops of the ties, or even a few little bits on top of the ties here and there, However, it doesn't stay that high forever. over time, rain, and settling of the ballast and dirt under it, will lower it a bit. Older track, and little used sidings, can have very little ballast. So do what looks right to you.

have fun;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Don is absolutely right: you don't NEED to do anything unless it makes your layout more pleasing for you. Your layout, your rules.

If you really do want to ballast that track bed, I would get a package of fine HO ballast. Paint the sides and top of the ballast with matte medium or thinned white glue and sprinkle the ballast into it. You won't need much because the trackbed already has the correct profile. You could also use a more typical ballasting technique -- my son and I did this on his Atlas True-Track and it greatly improved the appearance.
 

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Don???

Don is absolutely right: you don't NEED to do anything unless it makes your layout more pleasing for you. Your layout, your rules.

If you really do want to ballast that track bed, I would get a package of fine HO ballast. Paint the sides and top of the ballast with matte medium or thinned white glue and sprinkle the ballast into it. You won't need much because the trackbed already has the correct profile. You could also use a more typical ballasting technique -- my son and I did this on his Atlas True-Track and it greatly improved the appearance.
CTValley;

I wrote that reply, not Don. :eek:

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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First layout I made in the 60's used Tru Scale roadbed. You just spiked rail to it. Made for a nice look! Mine was never painted or ballasted. Now I use CV ties on milled Homasote roadbed and just glue the rail to the ties! And still not painted or ballasted, never seem to get to that point!
 

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