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Switch Stands and Ballast color


Chris Jessee
 

Does anyone know what type & size of switch stands were used on the ET?  
Any suggestions for sources for HO scale switch stands?  I plan on using PECO switches with no motors and just hand flip them as most switches will be accessible. 

What color and coarseness of ballast would be appropriate for the ET? 
Any suggestions of manufacturer that makes a good match?

Thank you, 
Chris Jessee


Chris Ford
 

The ET had ballast?    :)

Kidding, of course. I'd say most of the ballast we've seen on hikes is tailings from the mine...which included a lot of black. But it also seemed to be on the small side compared to ballast we'd see on a "standardl" railroad. Some medium and dark gray mixed in with the black. Think of the rock colors you see over at Cranberry and that's the color of the ballast. I suspect they used that for ballast almost from the get-go once the ROW made it over to Cranberry. After the mine shut down in 1930 they may not have done a lot of ballast work on the RR, but there were plenty of tailings to be had even after the mine was closed for the RR and for the highways.

Don't know anything about brands and types of switch stands, but here's a great photo of one on the cover of a Stemwinder here...

cfordart.com/stemwinders/10-2Stemwinder1997.pdf

This photo was from 1950, so someone much more knowledgeable about such matters may know if they used a different type in the early days. The one in this photo at Elk Park scales out to be right at 6 ft tall. Once again, there may have been other stands that were different....don't know.

Have a good weekend!



Chris

 
------------------------
Chris Ford
President - ET&WNC Railroad Historical Society
www.etwncrrhs.org
chris@...
901-497-0809
------------------------
www.cfordart.com

On Fri, 10 Jul 2020 07:49:48 -0700, "Chris Jessee via groups.io" <cj8n@...> wrote:
 
Does anyone know what type & size of switch stands were used on the ET?  
Any suggestions for sources for HO scale switch stands?  I plan on using PECO switches with no motors and just hand flip them as most switches will be accessible. 

What color and coarseness of ballast would be appropriate for the ET? 
Any suggestions of manufacturer that makes a good match?

Thank you, 
Chris Jessee


Dean Smith
 

For what it's worth, here is the "recipe" I use on my HOn3 layout for mainline ballast (all are Woodland Scenics ballasts):  1 part fine light gray, 2 parts fine gray, and 2 parts medium gray.  I also plan to use this basic recipe for all of Cranberry as well.   For spurs I add in fine dirt, and the logging spurs are all dirt. I lightly weather everything with an India Ink/alcohol wash. I am considering using cinders at Johnson City and would appreciate feedback on this idea. Overall, I like to keep my colors on the light side, and these ballasts reflect the colors in the Gorge and the tailing piles at Cranberry.   

 


Dean Smith
 

Here is a photo of my ballast in the Gorge.


William Uffelman
 

Looks great. Thanks for sharing your formula.

Bill Uffelman


On Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 11:23 PM, Dean Smith
<smithfive@...> wrote:
Here is a photo of my ballast in the Gorge.


Brian Kopp
 

One trick to get ballast (gravel, talus, etc.) color just right is to steal your kids or grandkids sidewalk chalk collection and shave some chalk dust into the Woodland Scenics or JTT ballast with a sharp knife. You can also buy the chalk at Staples in the children's school supplies section. To mute the ballast color use white chalk.  A squeeze bottle of white carpenters chalk powder also works and saves time since the shaving is already done.

Here is a color match I did for some desert dirt ground cover I was about to put down on my HOn3 layout. I started with buff fine ballast and added red and white chalk shavings until I was happy.

Not ETWNC colors but you get the idea.....
--
Brian Kopp
Jacksonville, Florida


Curtis Brookshire
 

There's a photo on page 78 of Lucius Beebe's Mixed Train Daily showing stored switch stands salvaged from the post-flood Linville River Ry. They're high stands with a circle indicating the normal route and an arrow target indicating switch thrown for the diverted route. On the same page is the 3 rail switch at the Johnson City yard office (the current ET Ry office BTW) with a low diagonal target. So I expect low targets in the yards and high targets on the main and at industries.

Curtis Brookshire
Pine Level, NC


Chris Jessee
 

Thanks Dean!

Chris Jessee



Chris Jessee
 

Can anyone share a close up photo of ET ballast or tailings you've picked up along the ROW? 

Thanks, 

Chris Jessee


Chris Ford
 

Here's a shot of a piece of coal and a piece of good magnetite that I found in Cranberry at the site of the old enginehouse. The magnetite has a magnet stuck to it. I don't think it is indicative of the size of what would have been used for ballast...ballast I've seen on the ROW is usually much smaller, maybe in the 1"-2" range...

http://cfordart.com/stuff/magnetite.jpg



And links to some shots from back in the day...



Ignore the critter, but even though the rocks are small in this photo, I think they're indicative of the ballast colors:

http://www.cfordart.com/photoalbum/photopages/fullsizepages/1989junefullsize/36fullsize.html




Here's a shot from the Gorge back before the washed out fill at the large retaining wall was repaired. It shows new (new from Hillbilly World) ballast on top of darker original stuff underneath.

http://www.cfordart.com/photoalbum/photopages/fullsizepages/1989junefullsize/27fullsize.html




Here's some shots from the mine showing the color of surrounding rock...

http://www.cfordart.com/photoalbum/photopages/fullsizepages/1990junefullsize/29fullsize.html

http://www.cfordart.com/photoalbum/photopages/fullsizepages/1990junefullsize/30fullsize.html




Here's one of a cattle guard on State Line Hill where the ballast would have been original...

http://www.cfordart.com/photoalbum/photopages/fullsizepages/2002junefullsize/32fullsize.html




Here's a couple of shots of some original tailings on the abutment at the covered bridge over the Little Doe...

http://www.cfordart.com/photoalbum/photopages/fullsizepages/2002junefullsize/5fullsize.html

http://www.cfordart.com/photoalbum/photopages/fullsizepages/2002junefullsize/6fullsize.html




And at long last here's what the track looked like in more modern times around a coal loading site in Elizabethton. Probably looked similar back in the day though...

http://www.cfordart.com/photoalbum/photopages/fullsizepages/2002junefullsize/19fullsize.html




Hope this helps a bit!




Chris

 
------------------------
Chris Ford
President - ET&WNC Railroad Historical Society
www.etwncrrhs.org
chris@...
901-497-0809
------------------------
www.cfordart.com

On Tue, 14 Jul 2020 06:43:47 -0700, "Chris Jessee via groups.io" <cj8n@...> wrote:
 
Can anyone share a close up photo of ET ballast or tailings you've picked up along the ROW? 

Thanks, 

Chris Jessee


Chris Jessee
 

That’s fantastic Chris, I really appreciate the reference images. 


Chris Jessee

“The world isn’t simple enough to explain in words." - Hayao Miyazaki





William Uffelman
 

Great stuff!

Bill Uffelman 

On Wed, Jul 15, 2020 at 12:33 PM, Chris Jessee via groups.io
<cj8n@...> wrote:
That’s fantastic Chris, I really appreciate the reference images. 


Chris Jessee

“The world isn’t simple enough to explain in words." - Hayao Miyazaki