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One of the things that’s been daunting about working on my Windsor St Yard layout has been the sheer amount of track that needed to be ballasted: lots of mainline, and even more yard trackage.

I’ve been progressing on the mains, but last night I dove into the actual yard trackage.

This was a big step, because I’ve been agonizing over the ballast color for it since I started on it. I’ve tried looking for good reference photos, but it’s been tough (since it seems like railfans took a break in the 80s).  This is one of my favorites, however, being of an old haunt, and has just about the look I was going for: http://thecrhs.org/Images/CR-4373-Abrams-PA-5-25-1979, but I was still apprehensive.

I tried a few different combinations of grout to get a color I liked, but eventually settled on four parts of Midnight Black (Spetralock 1222), and one part Platinum (Spectralock 1242).

Once I had a blend I liked, ballasting commenced. I really love working with grout, because it applies so easily and lays perfectly. I basically just sifted it on the yard tracks, then came back with an acid brush and brushed it off the ties. Because the color is very similar to the underlaying dirt, I didn’t worry about being neat.

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Of course, I had to see how it looks with with some equipment, so I trotted out one of my favorite boxcars.

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I’m pretty happy with it.

Since I was on a roll, I decided to finish up the mains to the bridge, as well. And while I was doing that, I did the yard runners as well.

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Of course, this was all cheating for now, since I haven’t actually glued it down yet, but I’m pretty happy.

There’s a good bit of cleanup and detailing to do too, but I’m happy with the way it looks so far.

Some close-ups of the ballast:

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