A Ballast Of A Different Color

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jul 12 23:02:55 EDT 2007

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm a member of both the N&W, and
C&NW Historical Societies because I have an interest in both.

When it came time to choose a ballast for our 7-1/2" gauge railroad,
we decided to go with C&NW as a prototype. The C&NW (now UP) uses a
pink quartzite for ballast. We found a local landscaping materials
company that sold a pink quartzite that was about 3/8" to 1/2" in
size. They usually sell this in 40 lb bags; we asked the price for a
semi full. It cost about $1800 for a 23 ton load of pink quartzite
in 2004.

That is still rather expensive, so we use a gravel called CA-6 ($380
for the 24 tons I just bought) as a base, and only use the pink stuff
for the upper half of the 2x4 tie. We only have about 300 feet of
track of our planed 3000 feet down, so I have this big pile of pink
stone sitting out in my front yard since 2004. It certainly makes an
unusual looking track.

Ron Peisker

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