Securing Track

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by etraindude, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. etraindude

    etraindude New Member

    I posted this earlier and no one has replied..since this is extremely basic I am posting the question again and hoping for an answer!

    I am a beginner and setting up an N gauge setup. I did some Model railraoding when I was young but....
    I forgot how I need to secure the track and I have done MANY searches without an answer to my specific questions.

    I have a base setup and it is covered with woodland scenics grass. I have the layout of the track setup on it the way I would like but have not secured to anything. Basically temporarily put together to test the layout but not attached to anything,just lying their!

    What steps do I take to secure the track? Do I take up the temp layout and the lay the roadbed? I have the woodland scenics trackbed.

    How will I make the curves with the straight trackbed? What is the best way to seccure the track to the roadbed?

    I basically am looking for some step by step to explain how, and in what steps do I lay the trackbed and secure the track.

    And also, I hope that as I learn I can contribute to the group!

  2. Rusty Spike

    Rusty Spike Member

    Perhaps one of the reasons for a shortage on the answers is that what you request is difficult to accomplish.

    Woodland scnenics foam road bed is tough to temporarily attach to a solid substrate. If your substrate is foam then you can use T pins or staples from a staple gun to temp it in place. For the curves, you must split the foam with a sharp knife down the pre-split (partially) center. Mark the center of your curve radius and then align the split foam roadbed's cut edge with that line. The second piece is easy to place as it butts against the first.

    If your substrate is solid you can use a staple gun to tack the roadbed down and the track too but it is difficult to avoid breaking ties, etc. (My experience is HO so N might be impossible. ??).

    If you have time, draw your layout onto heavy construction paper and cut out the roadbed footprint and lay your roadbed on that. I would imagine some 3m spray 77 would give you a tacky-enough surface to temporarily mount the roadbed. Test first to make sure the glue and solvent don't damage the foam.

    Otherwise, do your best to rough in your track plan with pins and strings, etc. and then lay your roadbed and track with confidence. Run some trains and tear out and fix the problem spots.
  3. etraindude

    etraindude New Member

    More questions on track install

    Thanks for the reply! I think I am wording my question improperly. I am trying to find the correct steps in securing my track. Basically, do you layout and connect your track to make sure everything fits and then somehow lay the roadbed? Or is the roadbed the first thing that is laid and then the track? How do you know the track will connect everywhere if youo lay the roadbed in place without track there? Should I mark the track on the base that is temporarily there, and then lift up the track and lay the roadbed to the marks I made?

    I know that's a lot of questions but basically I need the steps that are used to install track and roadbed and make everything connect?

    Sorry to be a pest but I have tried searching extensively and nothing states what should be done and when.

    Thanks in advance and have a GREAT day!


  4. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    You presently have the track laid temporarily with no roadbed, I believe.
    Use a fine-point sharpie to mark the CENTERLINE of the track. Just put dots
    between the ties. Mark EXACT locations of all turnout throwbars.
    Take up all track. If you have undertable switch machines, you will need to
    drill holes now. Its also a good time to drill holes for track feeders if you want
    the wiring to hide under the track.
    Split the foam roadbed and glue it down using the centerline as a guide.
    White glue may be fine, or some contact cement if if doesn't eat the grass sheet.
  5. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Once the roadbed is secure, you can lay the track. Use some long straight pins to secure it.
    When it's all good, glue it down with white glue. Or just leave the pins in, with heads painted black to hide them.
  6. etraindude

    etraindude New Member

    Thanks ! That is what I was looking for! I appreciate the assistance greatly!

    Any other advice or links would be greatly appreciated!

  7. GlacierBill

    GlacierBill New Member

    I am also just gettig back in to Model Railroading after many years, I am still working on my layout but some things to consider that I do remember.

    You can fasten the track directly to wood though this causes a few minor problems, one is the sound also unless the board is well cared for it may warp causing gaps in your track. Make sure you secure toyr board to a well constructed frame.

    You could fasten your track to a foam sheet (this is what I am doing) Roadbed is not needed and I temporarly use sewing pins to secure my track untill I have all teh layout problems worked out, once I do i will use white glue to secure the track. In my case I will remove the pin, apply glue the length os the track and some on teh outside as well, then I will add my ballast then put in track naile to add security. I have done this before and it seamed to work well on N-Gauge rail.

    Of course you can use roadbed in either case, on the wood it will help also help remove the sound. The others are correct about drawing a center line and using glue to fasten it down, although on a foam bed you can use it under your temproy layout and the pins will homd it, then you can use a pen or marker to draw a line around it to make sure you get it in the same place as it was.

    I hope this helps.
  8. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    If the base is already covered with grass, wouldn't it b better to "shave" it where the roadbed will be located. Then procceed the way cidchase mentions ?
    ( maybe soak the gras with alcoohol then shave it with a scrapper ?
  9. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Hello and welcome. Biased Turkey's comment about the grass mat was something I was wondering about. You will not want to glue the roadbed to the grass mat . I doubt that you will get a good secure, flat roadbed. Are you using plywood or a hard surface under your grass mat? As has been mentioned, that makes for difficult, temporary pinning of your roadbed while the glue cures. A stapler will work if it is set so it doesn't compress the roadbed too much. You will find holes either all the way through your ties or partially through from the lower side of the tie, which can be drilled out for either temporary or permanent nailing of the track. Use care when driving nails through the ties. It's easy to damage the ties.
  10. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    I used plain contact cement after first testing it on the grass sheet. It ain't goin' nowhere!! :)
    I was thinking you had a foam base. If not, the straight pins won't be too good, but as long as the
    track doesn't move around, white glue won't take long to set up. If you are nailing the track into
    plywood, use lots of care, like Jim said! Don't hammer on the track nails, but use a nailset to drive
    them, and don't set them tight, just touching.
  11. etraindude

    etraindude New Member

    Thanks All! I tried to glue a piece of trackbed to the grassmat and it seemed nice and secure! I am starting on the first curve and glued the trackbed down, but I'm assuming the outline I made was off as the track wasnt on the entire trackbed properly! I am trying to do it again and see where I went wrong? Is there a trick to marking the track in order to position the trackbed?

    Thanks so much everyone!

  12. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Sorry, dup post?
  13. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Obviously you must have reference points to locate the track. The turnout throwbars are the most critical points.
    The track is laid on the centerline of the foam roabed, which exactly coincides with the centerline marked off the
    original track position. Can't miss, can it??:D

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