Saturday, February 29, 2020

New Haven Ballast

This is the ballast chart for the NH Railroad, the NHRHTA forum requires me to pay for a VIP account to post the high resolution version...

The ballast is different over different parts of the system. On the Highland it appears a fairly dark gray as I documented in this post.

In this post, I covered my latest approach in ballasting the layout, using real stone ballast from the same ridge in Plainville that the New Haven used. I think it's a very good match. There is a little brown. It's magnetic, so there's some iron in in, and I think that's what gives it the brownish tinge over time. I might experiment with a brownish wash for that effect.

In photos of the Shoreline, there is more brown in the color of the ballast. So when we do Chris' layout I'd like to go sift ballast from the Saybrook Tilcon quarry instead.

Here's the New Haven Railroad Ballast Chart from 1917, updated through 1921:

And this one is updated through 1959:

They are too large for my scanner, so I just had to take photos, so sorry for the quality of the photos.


  1. If these maps are to be believed, New Britian didn't even have stone ballast, only gravel. In this modern age I'm not sure I've ever even seen tracks ballasted with only gravel. What did they look like and how was it different than today's crushed stone?

  2. Actually, if you look closely at the 1959 map, there’s a #1 next to New Britain, indicating stone ballast.

    As for what gravel looks like? I’m not sure myself. Although I suppose I could start comparing photos to the locations noted on the map.