Blue Foam as Roadbed?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Gary S., Jan 6, 2007.

  1. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Compute your grads in advance. How great will the changes in elevation be? Tunnels and curves can be issues.

    Also, my complaints on laying directly on foam are for hand laying...when you purchase wood ties, spikes, and bulk rail...and spike the individual rails down...Tetter's layout thread is good example of this.

    Laying sectional & flex track directly on foam is fine. Just cut your roadbed out of thinner foam board.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Gary, I had not thought of this when you started this thread, but it just came to mind so I'd better write it down before it is gone. If I remember correctly, you are modeling an industrial switching district. My plan at home is to model the Los Angeles Junction Railway which is an industrial switching railroad. Most spurs, sidings, etc. in industrial areas don't have any roadbed. The track is laid directly on the ground. Mainline tracks and passing sidings if you have them should be raised up on roadbed, but your spurs and sidings for industries don't need to be raised on roadbed at all. Just be sure that any switches are level, so if a switch comes off a main on roadbed, keep the switch on roadbed and then transition the siding down into the dirt after the switch. I've noticed some of the modules in our club look odd to me, and then it dawned on me that the guys used the same roadbed for industrial spurs and sidings as the mainline.
  3. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    Foam insulation in warm places may be hard to acquire

    First, the color may be blue, green, or pink. It is the same stuff but various manufacturers.

    Finding 2 inch insulation material in Florida may be a challange. Also, do not overlook using 1 1/2 inch or even two layers of 1 inch if it is available. Foamboard adhesive or Liq Nails (check labels!) in very very thin layers is good to laminate.

    I am certain some contractors may use foam board insulation. Ask the clerk responsible for the insulation area. If they do not have it, they may know where to send you. It could be important to also tell them you are wanting 1 piece, 2 pieces, etc. Also, you're willing to take a reasonable discount on damaged foamboard.:mrgreen:

    Also, if you know a relative or a friend in home construction, you may be able to acquire broken and cutoff pieces from a construction site clean up bin. Permission and a smile can help alot. If you pick up from a site a few donuts the next day can't hurt either.

    I do not know your age, but I am 50+ and I am still amazed how much help a question to dad, an inlaw, or an uncle can provide. :mrgreen:

    Good luck!
  4. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Can someone expand on this? Intuitively, the cork would be far too narrow unless you're leaving a gap between the two sides?

    Sorry to hijack, but this may interest more than myself (and my apologies if already answered, I didn't see it)
  5. MidnightRR

    MidnightRR Member

    Actually, unsplit N-scale cork is, in my experience, exactly the width of HO scale ties. Convenient, no?
  6. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Convenient, yes. I've always hedged away from the cork because my railroad doesn't have the capital to put that much ballast under the ties! :)

    I'll have to give this a try to see if it suits my needs. Currently I'm simply taking cork sheet from Hobby Lobby and cutting it in strips. Just a little bit of rise, and the square corner is easily hidden by a small amount of ballast.
  7. roch

    roch Member

    I don't know what to use for ballast.
    It will be awhile till I need it and am just expeirementing for now. I am trying out coffee grounds right now and they are a bit dark so I am going to try to bleach them. They are free, that is why I am trying them. I have been searching this board for advice on the subject and this is the closest I have come so far. Any links?

  8. stdguage

    stdguage Member

    A question of ballast


    If you are only using this for a temporary display, coffee grounds or other organic sourcesw are OK. The problem is that the coffee grounds will change in color as they age. Also they may collect mold. I would stick to commercial ballast products or sift my own from a rock/sand source. For the same reason do not use dirt. The organics will change.

    Good luck and keep us informed on your progress.

  9. roch

    roch Member

    Thanks std,
    I will probably use some sifted construction sand after making sure there is no iron it it. I post pics of my progress some where and they are terrible shots but I will keep you guys and gals posted on new progress with hopefully better pics. I am working on a tunnel now and it has a ways to go.


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