The ties were distressed first by dragging a fine-tooth hooby saw perpendicular to the ties to create a grain, further sliced up with the sharp end of a tiny screwdriver and finished with a hopefully random distribution of knife slices along the tie edges to smooth any perfectly square corners.
Mike Cougill's publication Detailing Track. Also see Vol 7 of The Missing Conversation for additional discussions on track. I also observed Trevor Marsall use similar techniques in his Roadshow series on Trainmasters.tv (paid site, but worth it).
Next up is staining and coloring followed by ballast. Per Lance Mindheim, I'll look into the products offered by Arizona Rock & Mineral.
I also have the rail ready to go...Trying something new for this handlaying adventure: prototypical 39' sections of rail. I understand that I could go the "easy route" and lay three-foot sections of rail and glue on joint bars every 39ft, but I'm trying to recreate that distinctive wiggle in industrial track that the individual pieces might provide. We shall see.