The photo below shows the overall size of the layout with the work area.
I painted the ties with Floquil Tie brown markers and the rails got a coat of rail brown and rust.
With a plastic spoon I applied the ballast between the ties. Then I misted the whole area with wet water (a few drops of Isopropyl Alcohol added to distilled water). I also add Isopropyl Alcohol to my scenic cement mix with consists of 1 part Matte Medium and 7 parts distilled water. I apply the mix with a plastic pipette. The wet water lets the matte medium seep into the ballast and bonds it securely.
After the ballast was dry I continued with the surrounding scenery. My preferred material for this is earth/sand colored grout sifted over a coat of white glue and then misted with wet water. Before the grout dries I sprinkle ground foam, sand and other scenery materials over it.
After drying the scene looks like in the picture above.
Then I painted the work area with asphalt grey color from HEKI.
Almost done. Watch for the update.