Red Cinder 1013 HO Mainline Scale Model Railroad Ballast


SKU: 1013HMO Category:



After being ejected out of a volcano, crushed black cinder/volcanic rock gets its appearance from the simultaneous rapid cooling and depressurization process. black Cinder Sand has small cysts, which is what causes it to be so light in weight. We crush these down to make Black Cinder 1032 Ho Scale Model Railroad Ballast


Cinder also known as “lava rock” is a great landscaping material. It can be used for running tracks, baseball infields, driveways, pathways, flower beds, hydroponic and aquaponics.

Cinder is very porous and weighs less than half that of other landscape materials. It has excellent drainage properties and is erosion resistance. Cinder provides optimum drainage to a bed, making it a suitable choice for low-lying areas that collect water or for plants that prefer drier growing conditions. It is suitable in areas where you want minimal maintenance and plan to grow native or low-maintenance perennial shrubs, trees and plants. The rocks are best for areas where the ground is rarely disturbed and where the rocks can remain as a permanent part of the landscape.


Black Cinder 1032 Ho Scale Model Railroad Ballast is crushed volcanic rock that gets its appearance from the simultaneous rapid cooling and depressurization process after being ejected out of a volcano. Volcano rock has small vesicles, which is what causes it to be so light in weight. These vesicles help to retain nutrients and moisture when used as a soil amendment. Black Cinder Sand will also help with drainage as it creates great pore space in soil. It also does not attract fungi, nematodes, or insects. Cinder has also been incorporated as an infield and warning track component for baseball fields. Black ballast can also be used for decorative purposes in landscaping. Cinder ballast are actually lava cinders screened to two sizes: Large (3⁄4” – 11⁄2”) and Small (1⁄4” – 1⁄2”). Black cinder rock seems to be the hands-down favorite for replacing an old patch of grass with decorative ground cover.


  • Soil Amendment
  • Use as a mulch for shrub and plant beds to conserve water and limit weed growth.
  • Makes interesting garden pathways, and decorative borders around flower beds.
  • Infield & Warning Track Component
  • Decorative Purposes for Landscaping


  • Use approx. 3 inches for an application to control weeds and retain moisture in the soil.
  • Pathways and decorative borders can use approx. 2”- 3” depending upon the location.
  • Amending soil, mix 10% of Black Cinder Sand with soil to start out with. Percentages vary depending on the type of gardening project. Plants, flowers, cactus, tree, etc.
  • For adding as an Infield or Warning Track component try mixing with our A-1 Black Infield Soil as the colors nicely blend together.


Ties/Sleepers are placed on ballast to forms the trackbed upon which the track placed. It is packed between, below, and around the ties and ballasted to bear the load from the railroad ties, to facilitate drainage of water, and to keep down vegetation that might interfere with the track structure. The ballast also holds the track in place as the trains roll over it. It consists of crushed stone. Many modelers consider ballasting a chore, but one that is necessary to get the right look.





Red Cinder all Scales

Other Black Cinder Ballast Scales

Red Cinder 1012 Ho Scale Ballast

110-03 Low Desert Soil

Other HO Mainline Ballast

Black Cinder Ballast

The ballast for railway modelers comes in many sizes and colors. You will need to choose the size—this dependant on the scale of your model railway. Choose the color because of the location of your railway. Size is critical as over or under size ballast looks wrong. Colour is not as important as variations occurred around the country dependant on what local stone was available. It is possible to combine two colors to create the effect you require, but mixing the materials must be done accurately to allow you to combine the two colors again should you need more material. Choose the size and color that are appropriate for your scale and locale and complement the colors of your scenery. 

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