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Author Topic: track and roadbed  (Read 2219 times)

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« on: January 18, 2011, 01:00:21 PM »

I have just completed building my bench 75"x 96" with a 24" x 33" opening in the off center. I am brand new to the hobby, And am not sure where to go from here? i have a basic design traced out but not sure if it will actually work: when i try to put the track together it seems like it wants to either point to far inward or to far outward toward the wall. I have three questions for now
1.Will a standard set of track with a double loop from inside around and back to outside?
2. I have two separate train sets, one using older track purchased in the late 1980's and new set that has the easy track. can the two types of track be used together and if so what do id do to raise the old track to so the line up?
3. is it better to buy pre-made roadbed or is there a way to practically make roadbed out of sheet cork and how thick should the cork be>

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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 05:59:10 PM »

You can put cork under the old track to bring it up to the height of the E-Z track. Then when you ballast your track, do it to match the other track.

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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 08:21:23 PM »

re: roadbed.

whether you use roadbed track, cork roadbed ubder standard track, or nothing at all under your track is a matter of personal preference. i personally haven't used any roadbed under my track since pine roadbed became almost impossible to get.

as long as the height matches, any types of track can be mixed. i believe that 1/4" thick roadbed under a standard track would be pretty close to ez track height. and if you decide not to use any roadbed under your standard track, you can make ramps to get it up to the same height as ez track by using wood shims available at most lumber stores.

as for whether your track plan will work in the space you have, we'd need to see the plan to tell if it will work. if you can scan the sketch and post it here, we can help you make it work.....

Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA

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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 10:53:21 PM »

dan-p -

You certainly have more than enough space to have two more-or-less parallel tracks go around your train table, and you'll have lots of room left over for other features such as yards, sidings, stations and scenery, too. Whether the specific plan you are considering will work I cannot say since your description isn't complete enough for me to know what you hope to do. Putting a sketch on this board will help us help you. But believe me, space won't be an issue unless you plan to run really huge locomotives or very long trains. This all supposes that you are asking about an HO set-up. You'd be good in most other scales, too, but clearances and curves would be relatively tighter in the larger scales like O or, especially, the various sizes of G or One-Gauge. Also, you should be aware that there are computer track design programs which will help you put a layout together and see how it works before you commit to a specific plan.

The age of your track doesn't mean much. It's composition might. For example, you might want to reconsider using the old track if it is brass or flex track on fiber crossties. Brass can be a devil to keep clean (especially in some basements where there are gas appliances) and the fiber tie flex track isn't especially good at keeping itself in gauge or at handling seasonal humidity changes. I probably wouldn't go to the effort and expense of replacing such track on an existing layout, assuming it was operating satisfactorily, but I wouldn't use it in new construction.

You have lots of options for roadbed. One is staying with EZ Track all the way. That will work just fine but it will be very pricey by the time you're done. Another option is sectional and/or flex track (the new stuff) on pre-formed cork roadbed, wood (high time demand), expanded vinyl (don't know much about it but I've heard it cuts the sound down quite well), sticky instant roadbed which you just lay down and set your track on top, or none at all. No roadbed can be quite noisy (less so at slower speeds), especially if you are building your railroad on a plywood tabletop. On the other hand, most real railroads have sections of rack with little visible roadbed in places like yards and light-duty sidings. Even passing sidings are generally a little lower than mainlines as you can see if you closely inspect some real rightfully. So all of them have some sort of prototypical equivalent and it mainly comes down to price, energy level (yours), and appearance.

You might find better answers on this board if you post in the section for the scale in which you model. That will keep us from guessing (often wrong) about what scale you are using.

Welcome to the hobby. I look forward to hearing more from you here and seeing some of your work.
                                                                                                                                                                                   -- D

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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2011, 12:45:45 AM »

Check out the site to plan your layout.  It is very simple and easy to use.  You definitely need to know if your layout will work before you start laying track.  You can print out your layout .  The anyrails site will even generate a parts list and let you know exactly what you need to buy.

The big advantage of using cork roadbed is that the trains run much quieter than using track with hollow plastic roadbed mounted on either plywood or particle board.  The difference is like night and day.  It sounds like you are planning a large, complex layout and I would strongly recommend going with Atlas track and a cork roadbed.  Atlas track is extremely cheap and is on sale everywhere this time of year.  The turnouts are very reliable.    Cork roadbed is not expensive either and there are a number of fine products that are specially made for HO scale.

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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 11:51:42 AM »

Another option that I prefer over cork is Homabed
All precut and holds track well using vinyl adhesive caulk and keeps noise down.
All good suggestions above.

Dave Mason

D&G RR (Dunstead & Granford) in On30
 “In matters of style, swim with the current;
 in matters of principle, stand like a rock.”   Thos. Jefferson

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