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Not having an air-brush, I do the track & rails in this manner:-
after track is laid & wired & all works as it should, then I paint the entire track (sleepers & rails) with a chocolate brown acrylic which not only removes most of the gloss off plastic sleepers but coats the shiny metal rail. When tah tis dry , usually within an hour or so, then hand paint the visible sides of rails with small brush & a lighter rust/brown. Of course this does not cover all the rail but leaves gaps of darker brown just like the real thing.
Ballasting using the many varietes of crushed stone leaves fine dusts of greys, etc that will adhere to sleepers & gain give a variance in colours.

Yes ,airbrushing is quicker but I am in no hurry to finish, that to me is part of the hobby, take your time & enjoy every aspect.

The best method to paint track rails is the way you like to do it.

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