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Roadbed or Not?

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  • Member since
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  • From: green island, New York (near albany)
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Roadbed or Not?
Posted by colesdad on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:20 AM

Good Morning,

Im currently building a layout in the basement, shelf style industrial switching layout. It is L-shaped 8ft/5ft, with room to expand. I have used 2ftx4ft ceiling tiles as my shelf top. I want to capture the look of the tracks sunk down into the ground, and also have some track in concrete/asphalt. I plan on sealing the tiles with paint and securing the track with adhesive caulk. I'm trying to decide if I want to, or should use some type of roadbed or lay the track directly on the ceiling tiles? Craft stores sell thin pieces of cork in sheets, I was also contemplating buying that and cutting into strips wide enough to fit under my tracks? Thoughts or experiances with these methods?

Thanks for reading.....

Learn something new everyday!
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Posted by NP01 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:29 AM

In your situation, I personally won’t do it. The only reason for you to do it is to deaden the sound of trains traveling given you don’t need the relief above grade as a mainline does. But to me, feels like unneeded effort and expense given your ISL would be running at slow speeds. 

Another thing a cork does is makes switches a bit more reliable ... the mechanism stays a bit free and accessible. Remember to keep your switches out of road/concrete. 

NP. 

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Posted by mlehman on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8:30 AM

Make sure those tiles are well supported.

That said, roadbed is for sound-deadening and to prvide some place to spikeinto reliably. Using the tiles and gluing down your track deals with both, so no problem there, I'd say.

Cork sheets can work well as fill around the rails. Styrene is also your friend here and is available in many more thicknesses to suit your needs in street running applications, and is probably better between the rails than most stuff. Also consider what your roadways are supposed to be like that you may be embedding the rails into in your choice of how to fill around the rails.

 

Mike Lehman

Urbana, IL

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Posted by Andy110675 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 9:04 AM

Dont know if this will help skip to 8min https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MryNS6Jgsv8

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Posted by selector on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 11:09 AM

No need for anything except smooth and somewhat even plywood surfaces below rails you intend to look industrial or buried in pavement. Just use something like a thin coating of DAP Alex Plus (clear) with silicone on top of the plywood and adhere the ties to that top-coat.  Then, fill in between the ties and between tracks with whichever material you'd like that you think looks good and can be rolled, sprinkled, spread, or sprayed into place and kept there looking as you want it to.  

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Posted by colesdad on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 12:46 PM

Thank you for the replies....i guess i just needed to be talked into it.

Learn something new everyday!
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Posted by Ignatosky on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 9:56 PM

I built a switching layout too. 3' x 14'. I used 1/16" cork sheets over the entire surface. I sprayed painted the cork flat black. I spray painted the track after I laid it so I wouldn't feel the immediate need ballast the track. It looks good without it but better with ballast. Now I'm slowly ballasting after I have settled on the track plan.

I have been using fine ballast but now I want to use something even finer. Perhaps cinders. I too want that look of track buried in the ground in some areas and the fine ballast is still too rough.

Pat Bandy

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 7:14 AM

Not.  What you describe already sounds like you wouldn't want any traditional roadbed such as Homabed or cork. 

I personally prefer sheet Homasote for the whole area. It can be fastened down with 1-inch drywall screws - which would pull it flat if there happens to be any bow in it.  Drive the drywall screws a little below the surface and fill the divots with a spackle or drywall mud and sand smooth.

You can paint it to give a base ground color and hold track down with spikes or track nails, or adhesive if you prefer and whatever ballest - probably a very fine ballast bordering on dirt if yours is sunken in.

Here is a photo showing sheet Homasote sandwhiched to OSB underneath and painted a tan color mounted on a level above a staging area.

You can use sheet foam as well - which will require adhesive as it isn't as good at holding spikes or track nails.  Your call.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Contrarian's contrarian
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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 2:23 PM

Personally, I’d think acoustic tile would be too friable for reliable spiking, too uneven for good track geometry, easily broken out if not backed or framed in ‘open areas, and  difficult to edge-clip or join between tile edges for reliable interlocking alignment.  I would think thin cork (if damping needed) over plywood or Homasote would be a better answer.  The tiles might be a source for the ‘filler’ pavement between and around the rails when the track is laid.

I was not clear on precisely what ‘track system’ you were planning to use.  Can you go into a bit more detail on what you want to utilize?

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 3:57 PM

I had a couple of areas on my layout where I wanted multiple parallel tracks without raised roadbed.  For one, I used roadbed and then filled the space between the roadbed with foamboard.  I used a lot of turf and ground foam and not as much ballast.

For the other section, I used sheet foam roadbed.  I found this worked very well.  One thing about foam is that it smooths out imperfections a discontinuities in the sub-roadbed.

I used Proto-87 "girder rail" for a small section of street running track I built.  This is an in-progress picture, showing a section of track along with the cobblestone plastic streets from the same company.  The sheets come in tan, and I painted and weathered them to the mottled gray color.

I like the girder rail product, but I found it very difficult to install and get right.  The rail sections are only about 3 inches long and must be individually fastened down and powered.  I made this harder by building over cobbled-together benchwork in an uncomfortable corner of the room.

 

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, November 17, 2017 6:32 AM

 ISL track should not look like a main line after all the majority has seen deferred maintenance for years.There would be very little road bed any creeks may be crossed by a small wooden trestle or a large drainage pipe.

While I've never used tile I have successfully spiked track to the board-I usually use a finsh knot free pine board.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

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Posted by colesdad on Friday, November 17, 2017 9:36 AM

Overmod: I plan on using Atlas code83 track. I used joint compound to smooth out the joints where the tile meet. I will then paint the tiles to seal. I have them well supported with 1x3's in a box grid. Oh, and i am going to use adhesive caulk to secure the track.

MeBeasley: I like the look of your street running track. I am only going to have a street cut accross the tracks in an area.

Larry: thats exactly the look i want. Run down, no maintenance, dirty and gritty.

Learn something new everyday!
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, November 17, 2017 6:38 PM

colesdad
I have used 2ftx4ft ceiling tiles as my shelf top. I want to capture the look of the tracks sunk down into the ground, and also have some track in concrete/asphalt.

.

As said before, make sure the ceiling tiles are well supported or this will turn out ugly.

.

For what you want, I think either no roadbed, or a big sheet of cork will give the look that you want.

.

Happy Railroad Building!

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Saturday, November 18, 2017 8:02 PM

NP01
Remember to keep your switches out of road/concrete. 

http://www.proto87.com/Paved_industrial_or_dockside_track.html

 

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.

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