sub roadbed for handlaying track

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Edavillenut, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Edavillenut

    Edavillenut Member

    what is a good sub roadbed for handlaying track. i have been thinking about just useing foam and gluing the ties down then spiking and gluing the rail to the ties. do you think that is going to work. i do not want to use homasoat last time i used it my track was always on the move:curse:
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I'm not sure if the foam has enough localized strength to stand up to the spiking. It may tend to crush directly under the area where you put the spikes in the ties. Might be worth an experiment on a piece of scrap foam. Are you going to use cork or foam roadbed in addition to the foam or just rail and ties directly on the foam?
  3. Edavillenut

    Edavillenut Member

    i was planing on using cork road bed in some places and none in others i am modeling narrow gauge so most of the time the track was sitting in sand
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Did you use anything underneath the Homasote? Was it real Homasote (not always easy to find)?

    Homasote needs a firm support underneath or it will sag. Plywood or extruded foam are common subroadbeds under Homasote.

    Many places will sell you a "Homasote-like" sound reduction board. Accept no substitutes! The substitutes (Celotex is a common one) are less rigid, less water resistant, and do not hold spikes as well. I have tried spiking into Celotex, cork, redwood, and soft pine . None worked as well as Homasote, but Celotex was the closest. The wood invariably had "hard spots" that would curl spikes.

    Softer materials like foam and cork depend on the ties to hold the spikes, and glue to hold ties to the roadbed. In HO and smaller, in my experience, there isn't enough "meat" to the wood ties to depend on them alone to hold the spikes over time. It might work in larger scales (like your On2) with thicker ties - it certainly works for the prototype. I would use very small spikes that very close to scale size.

    Foam and cork do not hold spikes well. The "rubberiness" of cork will also cause the rail to move out of alignment. Then when the cork dries out, it crumbles and does no good at all.

    just my experiences, yours may differ
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Shawn: if you have spikes that will stay in the ties and not come out the bottom, you might be able to handlay on your workbench and then move it to the layout. This may require using full thickness ties.
    I laid flextrack pushing pins through foam roadbed into foam sub-roadbed, but I doubt it would stand up to pushing spikes into ties.

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