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Old 06-20-2017, 01:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
Pete Thornton
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 5,829

Welcome. Looks like you've got a good skill set between you!

For track bed, many folk use 'crusher fines' or 'rock dust'. Same stuff used under flagstone paths. 4" well tamped down will provide a solid base. I found a 4" trenching shovel at Home Depot and used that to make the trench for the ballast.
Others use concrete, or run the track on blocks/bricks.

Finally, you may want to elevate it a little. A raised garden reduces back strain and cuts damage to the track from little feet. But that means a lot of walls and backfilling. Alternatively, a raised (3'-ish) wooden platform will make life easy though it is less like a 'garden' railway.

There are dozens of threads here on this topic. The easiest way to find them is to google " track bed" or something similar.
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