True-Track Layouts

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Christopher62, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    Has anybody built a layout from the Atlas True-Track layout kits? I am looking to get back into the hobby as an adult, but must admit I am overwhelmed by the leaps and bounds by which the hobby has grown since I was a kid. In any event, I'm wondering if anyone has attempted layouts from these plans and what the results were. Thanks all!
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Welcome to The Gauge, and welcome back to the hobby...!

    I have not tried the TrueTrack itself, but did have a sectional track layout. In the end I was not overly satisfied with it, since the SnapSwitches and the sectional track has limiting geometry that means I did not achieve the look I wanted. Since I switched to Walthers/Shinohara numbered turnouts and flex track, I like the look much better.

    There are definite advantages to the sectional roadbed type track. It can be set up and torn down as many times as it takes to get a plan you like. It is great for temporary layouts, like Christmastime. The Atlas TrueTrack allows you to remove the Code 83 or Code 100 track as well, so in the future you can put down (in some opinions) better looking roadbed and ballast.

    Drawbacks include limiting/limited configurations, wider radius curves and certain turnouts may not be available. Some people do not like the look of the plastic roadbed.

    Remember in model railroading, there are lots of right answers to any given question. The key is to find the right answer for you... ;) :)

  3. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    Thanks for the input Andrew. I hate to admit it but I am intimidated by the prospect of laying cork roadbed and all the hassle that entails... I have another question for whomever can answer - Has anybody used the Woodland Scenics Track-Bed and what were the results? Thanks all!
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I haven't used the Woodland Scenics track bed, but it looks like it would go down just like cork. Don't be intimidated by cork. You just draw out your centerline for your track on your plywood, split the cork in half and put it down bevel side to the outside edge with the squared off side against your centerline. Once the cork is down, run a sanding block over it to smooth out bumps and dips, and put down your track using the seam in the center to center your track.
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I have used both cork roadbed and Woodland Scenics roadbed on the same layout. Both are easy to handle and do the job they were intended for. I can't give you a comparison as to noise reduction since my portion of the club layout is more diorama than operating trackage. I do run an occasional log train at low speed but since the roadbed is glued down to foam, its hard to tell any difference. Both the cork and the WS roadbed seem to hold up well in our unheated, un airconditioned building at the museum.
  6. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    Thanks Russ and Jim. I greatly appreciate the advice. Have either of you experienced any issues with the cork crumbling? I seem to recall reading something about this in my research. Also, am I correct in my understanding that you have to soak/wet the cork to get it to conform to curves?

    Additionally, as this will be a basement layout (I live in Michigan), I am wondering if dust and humidity pose a problem? I can see running a dehumidifier in the summer months, but what about the problem of dust? Does anybody cover their layout with a bed sheet or piece of painter's plastic? I have a ping-pong table in my basement that accumulates a fair amount of dust; I would imagine that over time the railroad layout and scenery would get dusty and acquire a dingy look to it if it were not covered.

    Thanks all!
  7. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    No problem with crumbling cork. Maybe after 20 years or so. Our club layout has been running since 1995 with cork roadbed primarily. As for soaking the cork. No. Just do as Russ mentioned. Separate it lengthwise, use the vertical edges as the centerline for your curves. It bends easily. As for the dust situation, it accumilates everywhere. Its just a fact of life here in Montana. I guess you could cover a small layout with plastic between operating sessions as long as you didn't damage the scenery.
  8. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    I have used the Woodland Scenics foam. It is more flexible than cork, sound characteristics are about the same after you ballast. Putting down cork or foam is not hard at all--once you've figured out where you want the track to go, you draw in the lines, lay down some glue (Aleene's Tacky Glue or latex caulk) and set the foam down on the glue. You don't have to soak the WS foam.

    Dust is a problem in that one's layout gets dusty, which doesn't look nice, but it's not really a huge problem unless you have a dirt-floor basement or huge water problems. My layout gets dusty, I blow the dust off with my air compressor or a can of compressed air once in a while. It's not a huge hassle. In the long term, you might consider finishing your basement rather than putting plastic over the layout: more work up front, but you end up with a nicer basement in a more comfortable environment.

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