How to taper a roadbed?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Santa Fe Jack, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member


    I am in need of a technique. Most of my track is laid upon a standard cork roadbed, which is about 5 mm in thickness. I have one lead out of the yard, however, that will go over to a separate area where there is a turntable surrounded by service tracks. The area around these radial tracks is all going to be done in ballast, and it seems absurd to raise the entire area by 5 mm in order for it to match the height of the rest of the layout -- there is simply no need.

    What I would rather do is have the turntable lead gently drop from the 5-mm cork roadbed to 0, the grade of the foamboard base. I've got about 50 cm of length to work with, so the slope along this section will be very slight -- perhaps not even noticeable.

    But how to achieve this gradual change? I had thought about using something like the woodland scenics ramp, but I hate to buy the whole package of stuff just to use 50 cm of it. And it's really too steep, anyway. I want to rise 5 mm over 500 mm. That's only 1:100.

    I have not been able to think of a way to gradually taper the cork roadbed -- the stuff simply does not lend itself to this type of working. I suppose I could construct something out of plaster or Hydrocal or something and sand it down to the right height -- would that work?

    So -- help! Has onyone done this? Any ideas would be most welcome!
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Foam cuts easier than cork, so cut a gradual recess into the foam approaching your turntable, which will allow you to lay the cork into it until it's flush. :thumb:
  3. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    See? Now this is what makes this forum great. That's an excellent idea, Tom, and easy to do. :)
    Thanks! :wave:

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