Laying Track

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by tai_pan1, Dec 29, 2000.

  1. tai_pan1

    tai_pan1 New Member

    If I were to lay track (I'm still undecided), what exactly goes under the track? I know I need a sub bed (cork, foam) but should anything go between that and the plywood I'm using for a platform. I'm ready to start experimenting but I want to be on the right "track" first (a bit of humor)! Thanks for any help.
  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    I never used anything under the track besides cork, then the wood of the benchwork. In G i just nailed the track right to the wood. Yes it runs loud. LOL My N & HO I stapled the cork to the wood & nailed the track to the wood, through the cork. Good Luck!! [​IMG]

    My wife says if I buy One more Train, she'll leave me...
    Gee I'll miss HER!!!! :) -- N Gauger
  3. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi friend
    My way is to use 1/2" chip board then on top 1/2" insulation board. Pin the track onto insulation board. Trains run very quiet, pins go into the insulation board easy. (No hammer) [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. And if you don't lay track, will your trains run? :)

    Sorry, I couldn't resist. One of the things that the roadbed, cork, homasote or otherwise simulates is the well maintained roadbed of the real thing. class 1 and 2 railroads do not lay track on the ground. So, for us, it is the roadbed as we know it.

    What are your options? You can always use E-Z Track or one of the track and roadbed combinations, use cork, the tar-like roadbed, a foam roadbed, Tru-scale wood roadbed or the homasote roadbed. Yes, you can even make your own out of a material of your choice.

    For my yards, I use a flat sheet of material and lay the track on it. For some sidings, I use smaller rail and cardstock to lower the track from mainline height. All that said, I still use cork for my main roadbed. It can be glued in place with a contact cement to avoid using nails if you wish and you can even glue the track to the roadbed.

    IMO - there is nothing finer than to see the track standing tall any proud over the countryside that it is traveling through.

    Noise? I've never really noticed any as long as there is something between the track and the sub-roadbed.


    Roger Hensley -
    === The Signal's yours. High Ball! ===
  5. George

    George Member

    Follow what you read in the publications and DON'T CHINCE. They say use HOMASOTE between the cork and the plywood and that's the way to go. Mounting things with track nails and re-working track laying mistakes is a dream with Homasote. Don't worry about warping, as you'd really have to soak it before you caused any serious damage. This feature of Homasote is a real plus when doing landscaping and ballasting with wet solutions!

    Also, remember to put lots of support into your benchwork. Space your supports at least every 18 inches (45 CM.) underneath the top surface.

  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Also when using HOMASOTE or INSULATION BOARD.Be sure to paint the board first before you use it, use an earth color. This helps with warping also. [​IMG]

    [This message has been edited by shamus (edited 01-03-2001).]
  7. Virginian

    Virginian Member

    OK, this may be a dumb question,but what is homasote and why? I,m delayed, ok?
    I thought I knew of just about every general craft material, art material or construction matterial, and I haven't started reading railroad modeling books(just getting started after 45 year pause, so this is a new one to me.Can it be bought anywhere besides train shops, and why is it so essential. Thanks,
  8. Railery

    Railery Member

    Homasote? Well in Canada its called epson board, i don't know why. i really don't
    think its the same stuff. But homasote is
    not sold where i live. Epson board is chipped wood. And personally, i don't like it. Here we use plywood or pine for roadbed and cork on top. Sometimes foam in the middle. We buy sheets of cork and cut to fit.
    I've seen homasote in the Allan Keller video, Great Model Railroads, Volume 12, Howard Zane's Piermount Division. Howard shows how to lay a spline roadbed out of homasote. (and it don't look like epson board to me). Sorry for not giving an answer but its a delema to me.
  9. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    INSULATION BOARD I have used for 50+ years, it takes track pins easy, no HAMMER or anything. ALSO INSULATION BOARD IS NOT HOMASOTE, homasote is very similar to SUNDELA a sort of compressed card & wood type. INSULATION BOARD is a sort of compressed paper/card type, 1/2" thick comes in sheets 8' by 4' at a cost of $3.50 per sheet.
  10. Railery

    Railery Member

    Okay, insulation board. Today i will hit the hardware stores and see what they say about it. Hope we have it. Thanks Shamus.
  11. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Railery, if you cannot get a sheet, I'll buy one here in the UK, cut it into 1' squares and post it to you [​IMG] [​IMG]

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