How to realistically model a run-down yard?

Hi all, I'm starting a small N-gauge Inglenook layout (http://www.wymann.info/ShuntingPuzzles/sw-inglenook.html this is an
Inglenook BTW)using an SD7 and a mixture of 50' and 40' cars. I want it to look like a run-down, unkempt urban yard that's maybe coming to the end of it's useful life I'd also like the track to be 'sinking' into the ballast (which will be Woodland Scenics fine cinder ballast)similar to this:
http://members.lycos.co.uk/thirdrail/pics/Milw2.jpg
but all the 'How-to' I've read shows how to lay nice neat clean ballast and lovely new straight track. How can I make it how I'd like but still be reliable?
TIA,
Del
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Derek Heath wrote:

You still need to lay the track level and straight! However, if you use flexitrack you can cut (out) the webs between the sleepers and respace them at odd intervals including missing the occasional one out completely. Use several different colours of ballast/cinder/dried dirt, some mixed and some separate, some low and some over the sleepers. Avoid getting any on the actual rails. Painting the sides of the rails rust and rust with a grey/black tinge. If you have an airbrush you can also spray the track bed.
Add spills of coal etc where appropriate. Old spills don't stay pristine coal black. You can have some ground areas a bit sunken and holding water from the last shower. Weeds. If you're adding junk remember that loco wheels never get left lying around yards, but old automobile and bicycle wheels do. Any areas next to public roads get junk tossed over them (from the road side)
Regards, Greg.P.
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