Ballast on module joints
Hello, I´m building modules and using bridge tracks to joint those modules. Now I´m starting to ballast my tracks and I´d like to know how do you ballast your tracks on module joints. So how to ballast track on module joints?
There are a few ways that the modular club near me does it:

Don't ballast. Just use a joiner track on top the cork roadbed.

Ballast only the sides (slopes) of the roadbed up to the edge of the modules, and use a joiner track.

Same as above, but with a thin piece of styrene glued to the bottom of the joiner track to hold the ballast between the ties.

Create a full joiner piece with the track, ballast and roadbed all glued together and drop it in as a single piece.

Ballast across the joint as normal, and then cut through rails, ballast, and roadbed with a dremel. This can be good if you're building modules just so you can move them later. If they are being moved regularly, then extra care must be taken to keep the rails in alignment and undamaged.

Hope that helps,

Some members of the modular club I belong to have multiple modules that always go together in a certain order. They bring the rails right to the end of the intermediate modules and avoid using joiner tracks at all. The danger is that the rails can easily catch on things and be damaged. What has worked very well is to bolt a board to the ends of the intermediate modules for transport to protect the rails at the ends. Another trick I've seen used is to ballast the sides of the cork all the way to the end of the module as well as install wood ties and ballast around them and then just use bare rail to connect modules together. Of course if your are building to NMRA module standards where the joiner track is a 9 inch section of snap track, you probably are going to be stuck without ballast or having it just on the sides of the cork. Our club was formed before N-trak existed and our module standards call for 4 inch joiner tracks between modules. Our set back for the outside main is also only 4 inches instead of the 5 inches that the NMRA calls for.

If someone joins the club with a module built to NMRA standards, they will join up, but the front edge will stick out about one inch and the individual needs to make up custom 6 inch joiner tracks. The reason that the set back was set to 4 inches and the joiner tracks were made 4 inches is that we could do a 36 inch minimum radius on the main lines and put a fully eased 36 inch radius curve in a 4x4 module.
No experience with mod joints like that, but I found some foam safe Krylon fine pebble texture spray paint at Hobby Lobby on clearance. Since I hate to ballast, I've been looking for alternatives. Maybe you could ballast up close to the joint and then use something like this paint for the last inch or so.

Just a thought...

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