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Mike's late 80's BR layout - Members Personal Layouts. - Model Railway Layouts. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2021 01:15 pm
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1867Adelphi
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Hello, I'm Mike. I made a thread in the welcome section to show a bit more about me, my plans etc. 
https://yourmodelrailway.net/view_topic.php?id=16892&forum_id=171#p305410

I live in Cyprus and space for a layout in the place we rent is non existent so the only way to proceed was to "modify" the covered car port and change it into an enclosed area for the layout.









I decided to go with a tongue and grove fixed seal for the front and have entry from the rear.
I also decided to install a false floor over the tiled floor.
My first shock was how unbelievably expensive wood is in Cyprus!!
A few days later, first load had been delivered and we were ready to go.

After a couple of days things were a little transformed



I'd need to protect the wood from the elements but given it was only May back then, plenty of time to do that later on. I wanted to crack on with the inside so I got the floor done, insulated between the tongue and groove before framing the inside with OSB and giving it a white coat to help the lighting later on. Important job of getting the TV u[ and then started on building some baseboard frames.




At this point I had to head back to the UK to see my mum who wasn't well.
After months of searching for the "holy grail" of locos I want for the layout, a late night check of ebay showed one had appeared. I'd missed out on the last power car & dummy set that came up as my ridiculous bid of £450 was destroyed as the set went for over £700!
This one appeared as a "buy it now" along with a full rake of 6 coaches at a still ridiculous £600 but... you would not believe how fast I pressed buy it now and my wife said it would be Christmas and birthday presents for the next couple of years. All items are mint, perfect boxed conditions.
So excited when it was delivered in time for me to bring it back out with me.









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 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2021 02:49 pm
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Longchap
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Hi Mike,
 
It seems that you’re far more advanced with your layout than I first thought, so apologies for my suggesting you consider starting with a modest practice piece, as you’re well on your way to getting complicated!
 
Have you planned the baseboard sizes for ease of breaking down for re-use, when the inevitable move occurs? I’m building generally in 1200 x 400mm modules for ease of handling, including inverting individual modules when wiring the undersides. I’m also DCC, so plenty of wiring and gizmos to install down below.
 
I remember years of extensive business travel onboard Intercity 125 sets in younger years and guess you’ll not be considering weathering your set for a while!
 
Looking forward to the next episode.
 
Bon courage,
 
Bill



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 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2021 05:13 pm
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Petermac
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Well there's no need to teach you anything about construction Mike !!!

I had mentioned insulation in your other thread but there was no need to I see. :thumbs

However, you do need to learn to control that e-bay finger of yours - £600 for an HST and rake of coaches - wow, wow, wow !!!

On a completely different matter - I see one of your cars has red number plates.  In TRNC, the "red plates" signified hired cars - is that the case in the south ?  I remember years ago taking my Mum out for a traditional Turkish meal when she was staying with us out there .  As we approached one restaurant we quickly reversed out saying "That's a tourist spot - it's full of red plates".  Mother thought it wasn't fair to condemn a restaurant because of the colour of their crockery ............... :hmm :mutley



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 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2021 05:41 pm
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1867Adelphi
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Yeah, I'm already at semi complicated and I've left scope to get to ultra complicated if I so wish lol!!

We'll come to the irony of saying I don't need teaching on construction! I was surprised how well I was doing and that over confidence led to my undoing... but thats for later although considering today is Halloween, perhaps today should have been the day! :)

Ebay is horrible for executive HST's as I said, at least 2 previous attempts at just power car sets I'd be blown out of the water with them both going eventually for over £700!


Yes, the red plates are hire or leased cars as mine is. It can be a blessing as police are less likely to pull cars that could be tourists over so I generally get away with more than the standard plates do... plus if my driving is less than desired, other drivers will just pass me off as "bloody tourist" and move on!
Oooh, incidentally, in the 2nd picture you can just see in a hidden drive to the left a grey covered mid life crisis money pit Porsche Boxster that was to be the finance of my project. Sooo much money wasted on it before finally getting it driving perfectly before not risking the next break down and getting rid of it.
Controllers, wood, locos, rolling stock, signals, electronics for signals - all sorted so I thought.
Within 24 hours of havning sold it, my mum rang to say her boiler had gone. £4100 to British gas for a new one!! Easy come, easy go. Good job nobody at work wants to do overtime and I volunteer for every penny I can get!!



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 Posted: Mon Nov 1st, 2021 11:48 am
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Petermac
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Your Mum's boiler is far more important than a Boxster Mike.  You can't open the Boxster up much in Cyprus whereas your Mum will really let the boiler rip in UK ...............and think what you'll save on her gas bills with the latest high-tech boilers  :roll: :mutley

Good luck with the overtime - let's hope Boris doesn't cut back on overseas bases .............




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 Posted: Wed Nov 3rd, 2021 07:26 pm
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1867Adelphi
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It's not the best but I built a frame into the baseboards to house some cheap Ikea organisers!


Added a simple slide shelf for the controller.


There were no electrics in the car port area so I drilled two holes from inside the house to run 2 5 gang extensions. I didn't like the idea of having no shut off inside the "shed" so my sparky footballing teammate gave me two switches so i could turn both extensions off and on from the controller area


I needed a place to store yet to be used wood sheets to originally used wooden beams but changed them out to steel beams as a friend had a couple spare. When i'm done the overhang won't be as bad but I'll need to look at adding more lighting later for that section.


I didn't like the TV where it was so moved it to the far corner.


I was thinking of having a full size station on this main board but the blue rope is the size of a six coach, 2 power unit HST and considering I'm looking at a rural "Teasal" style station on the far section, I think I'm going to pull it back and have half of it emerging from underneath an upper town section.


The rear of this board is planned to have the upper mainline running down. I like the idea of a long section to let express trains stretch their legs. Underneath that section I've cut a section away which will be hidden by the mainline and this "may" be an incline/decline to a large fiddle yard lower under the layout. I've a few sidings planned to be hidden under the upper section of the rural side opposite so I don't need the fiddle yard immediately so this will be something to come back to at some point. If I never do it i've not lost anything, but I needed to get that in place in these early stages.
I've calculated the grade and the supports get lower initially before being able to be above the train further down the straight.



Having seen how the backboards bring things to life, I cut the 6mm ply ready to install

When I installed the frame, I left a gap at the edges with a support an inch behind. I thought this would allow the boards to sit nice


I plan on using mdf 4mm for the backscene on this section leading to what will be the bay/cove rural section. I don't like seeing flush corners and this board can bend more than the ply. Not sure if this will work but hey ho! 


Thought I'd varnish and protect things at this point!


This is what will potentially be the big under layer fiddle yard.


Actually stores away nicely under the boards for now.
On the rural section, I needed to extend a little for the "beach" section so I added another beam and I kind of like the way it gives that section a "floating" look as it hides legs.


Nice and level too!


Started to draw out some examples on a spare bit of ply and add some items to try and get a feel for what I'd like to get in the space I've got.


This is the "lift out" walk-in section. I've really. It's not the end product but enough to give me an idea before I cut the proper one. I plan on locking it in place with door hinges with removable pins and male/female terminal blocks to provide not only a "locking" option but also a way of passing the bus through. 
I'd toyed with a "crawl-under" but I've had 12 surgeries on my right knee... don't really be wanting to do that... although, it's still an option.


amazingly, I've got that level too!



This section will be likened probably to Dawlish as it will be along a sea wall with the town behind.
I've made lots of supports for the track and so started to check levels.


Right, at this point I own up to being stupid.
I was doing well but got a bit frustrated that I'd spent a lot more time than I thought on the build of the shed than getting into the layout so I took a few days leave to catch up with things as was lagging behind my plan of trains running for Christmas.
So, I had to work on some wood and even though a thought of "will this be ok?" went through my mind as the wood wasn't clamped brilliantly and my friend who had said they would help hadn't turned up, in true Yorkshire fashion I thought "it'll be reyt" and went to plane it.
It wasn't ok, the clamp didn't hold, the ply spun out and at some point the underside of my index finger vanished!
So, panic stations, wrapped my hand in a towel and drove to the med center.
Quick look and they said I'd cut into muscle and off to see a plastic surgeon in Limassol who had to take some skin off my wrist to place over the hole in my finger! I've had tons of injuries but this was my first skin graft and pretty painful it was!
Still, I was happy to take every throb of pain as penance for my stupidity and relief that it could be a lot worse!


So, this brings us pretty much up to where I am.
From wanting to catch up I've now not been able to do much for the last few weeks as I've orders to let the graft take as if it doesn't it'll be a world more hurt!
So... my wife has let me back in the shed but all I've been able to do is start snipping the webbing of the peco code 75 track as I plan on modifying the sleeper spacing to a more prototypical look.
Within an hour of starting this I thought "is it really this important?" but I'm in it now so will carry on


So, it's a tedious job but needs doing and I've done about 15 lengths so far, quite a few more to go. I'm only going to do track on show. Anything hidden underneath scenery or in a tunnel I'm not going to bother.

Thats me up to date.
Still a couple of weeks from being able to take up heavy work messing and cutting wood (which my wife thinks it's a good thing!)
I've a delivery of cork arriving in the next week so I desperately want to start laying track but if this last few weeks has taught me anything is that rushing this is not the best way to go!





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 Posted: Sat Nov 6th, 2021 08:46 pm
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Barchester
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Instead of a full station why not consider an HST service depot 'a la' St Philips Marsh Hst depot near Bristol Temple Meads ?  Circa 1976,  3 through roads + extra sidings. You dont need full platforms etc just narrow walkways and you have a reason for broken up trains sitting around, power units being shunted around by an 08, carraiges in sidings for cleaning or awaiting repairs, a wash plant, loads of interest possible  in a much narrower landscape.
Looking forward to seeing where you go with this  :thumbs

Cheers

Matt



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 Posted: Sat Nov 6th, 2021 10:01 pm
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TeaselBay
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Hey Mike what a fantastic start! Except for the finger… I suspect you are in a large majority there, I did a similar thing with a saw after deciding to hold the wood rather than spend seconds securing it! 

Your layout is going to be amazing, looking forwards to following it grow. 



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 Posted: Tue Nov 9th, 2021 06:14 pm
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1867Adelphi
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Barchester wrote: Instead of a full station why not consider an HST service depot 'a la' St Philips Marsh Hst depot near Bristol Temple Meads ?  Circa 1976,  
Looking forward to seeing where you go with this  :thumbs

I have thought previously of an hst service depot but the thought always lost out to the fact I want to see trains slowly emerge into the light through a tunnel and wind into a platform like I used to see as a boy at Sheffield and a full shed would take up most of that room.
It's still a massive problem - deciding fundamentally what I want - single level with a twin track (and a third loop mostly concealed) or two levels - twin lower level with concealed third loop and a twin upper express line where I can experiment with super elevation on curves etc I;ve seen this done. Get it right and the results are superb.

I'm starting to lay outer edge support beams for a couple of long sidings that will be concealed. That seems to be part of all plans beit concealed under scenery if i have just one main level or concealed with an upper "express" level - so at least I can move forward but I just can't nail down an overall "vision" other than the rural/coastal section and I promised my young boy I'd do a parcels depot.
The upper level route means if I'm planning on "hiding" some of the station under town, I've got to find a way of getting the upper express loop over it without destroying the station illusion.
I don't know if it's because it's my first ever go or I've just OD'd on watching other peoples amazing layouts on Youtube but coming up with a trackplan really is frying my brain!
I fly to the UK on Friday just until Sunday to collect my mum. She's coming to Cyprus through till Jan and I'm taking an extra case to bring back the last of the many items I've ordered to be delivered to her house! 
All I'm then waiting for is cork roll to be delivered and I'll have no excuse to not progress so I'm hoping to have something solid in my head or on anyrail by the 18th. I go on leave for ten days so I can give it a good go (so long as I respect power tools this time!)



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 Posted: Tue Nov 9th, 2021 07:54 pm
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Barchester
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It's a dilemma isn't it ? ! Take a look at John Dew's  Granby Junction. He seams to be able to squeeze Several Barrels into a pint pot let alone a quart . And and he seams to have the knack of hiding sidings and through roads in plain site  :hmm Definately worth a read through  :thumbs
Also do a priority list, what you MUST have, what you would like and then other possibilities.  Why not make up some mock platforms from cardboard ? they don't need to be anything special, just something to give you an idea of size and a good visual aid to how things will fit in the space you have available. Couple this with some loose laid track pieces to show how  much room 1 2 or 3 tracks will take up and it will start to give you some idea of of what will and won't work.

Looking forward to seeing more  :)

Cheers

Matt



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 Posted: Tue Nov 9th, 2021 07:56 pm
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Petermac
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Regarding getting your track up and over the station Mike, I had/have exactly that problem so in the end, designed it so a single track rises along the wall and is thus hidden behind the station buildings.  This could easily be a double track if you made the building low relief except for the gable end walls.

You can get the idea from this shot although the buildings have yet to have their rear walls "butchered" to make a tunnel for the line to pass through.  Obviously they were not originally made for this location ............ :




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 Posted: Wed Nov 10th, 2021 12:15 pm
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1867Adelphi
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Barchester wrote: It's a dilemma isn't it ? ! Take a look at John Dew's  Granby Junction. He seams to be able to squeeze Several Barrels into a pint pot let alone a quart . And and he seams to have the knack of hiding sidings and through roads in plain site  :hmm Definately worth a read through  :thumbs
Also do a priority list, what you MUST have, what you would like and then other possibilities.  Why not make up some mock platforms from cardboard ? they don't need to be anything special, just something to give you an idea of size and a good visual aid to how things will fit in the space you have available. Couple this with some loose laid track pieces to show how  much room 1 2 or 3 tracks will take up and it will start to give you some idea of of what will and won't work.

I've actually got Granby Junction open in another tab! I saw a photo of his layout open at the bottom of one of the pages a few nights ago as I was browsing so opened it up to have a look through - which I've not done yet.
The mock up is a good idea. I've been watching Michael Scott's Chandwell layout and the way he uses paper/card mock ups before building so I've been collecting cereal boxes and other packaging to replicate. Although his layout is N gauge, the principles must surely be the same

Petermac wrote:
Regarding getting your track up and over the station Mike, I had/have exactly that problem so in the end, designed it so a single track rises along the wall and is thus hidden behind the station buildings.  This could easily be a double track if you made the building low relief except for the gable end walls.

You can get the idea from this shot although the buildings have yet to have their rear walls "butchered" to make a tunnel for the line to pass through.  Obviously they were not originally made for this location ............ :




That's a great picture to see the concept.
One of the things in the "would like" list is a hotel so in my head, I'd imagined a hotel on the section above the station doing something similar and hiding the curve track of the upper section on the corner then further down it coming out of a tunnel just past and to the side of the hotel, like yours, onto the long straight. Plan would be to build a few mock up lighted rooms for detail which from the front and side would lean people into not thinking it's a proper hotel building and not just hiding part of the layout.
I'd never thought of having the large station building on top. I was always going to build mine at track level.

I'll get there. Just hope soon. The days of thinking "don't worry about it, it's months away" as I'd got to make the shed, lay the floor, insulate and weather proof, do the electrics, build base board frames... 
Well, those are done just about and times running out but do I want to get it as close to right as i can first go!

Quick question to those with shed/loft layouts...
Mine is insulated and enclosed but contrary to popular belief, Cyprus does get cold in the winter. It doesn't drop to UK levels obviously but temperatures do go low enough cause mold/damp to appear in the house come Jan/Feb.
Is it good practice to protect the baseboards?
I'd planned on coating all the main flats with some surface primer before laying track, scenics etc but I thought I'd ask if it's good practice to do anything on the frames?



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 Posted: Wed Nov 10th, 2021 01:24 pm
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Hi Mike,
 
Regarding protecting baseboards and framework. Excessive temperatures in either direction can cause trouble, as can moisture. Both factors, particularly with fabricated structures can suffer damage from differential movement of components. The results are best avoided by protecting bare timber. I used two coats of emulsion to all surfaces of my ply baseboards, top and bottom, including the frames. The white paint on the undersides also helps with visibility when diving under to find and rectify things. I then sat back for a few days when a really bad overnight storm drove a pool of rainwater under the door and I discovered the yet unpainted bolt-on legs sat in a lake. Thankfully the metal adjustable feet kept the softwood legs clear of the surface, but lesson learned! Unfortunately, a stack of 1970s railway modelling magazines were not so fortunate!
 
I put a mobile dehumidifier in for a few days to return things to normal and now have the heating frost stat on, as winter temperatures are set to plumet.
 
It may be an idea to put in a ventilator, possibly with a fan if deemed necessary to guard against both the summer heat, as well as mould from moisture. I recall Barry M went to great lengths in this regard with his new shed.
 
Best,
 
Bill



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 Posted: Wed Nov 10th, 2021 08:16 pm
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1867Adelphi
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Brilliant, thanks Bill.
Every year I repaint the small wall sections above the tiled areas in the shower rooms with white paint with added fungus protection which really helps.
I've half a tub spare so will definitely give the wood a coating. Love the comment on the white helping underneath the boards... would never have thought of doing that. :)



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 Posted: Wed Nov 10th, 2021 08:48 pm
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Longchap wrote: 
It may be an idea to put in a ventilator, possibly with a fan if deemed necessary to guard against both the summer heat, as well as mould from moisture. I recall Barry M went to great lengths in this regard with his new shed.
 

Hi MIke/Bill

I have discussed fans for ventilation but have discovered as the weather turned colder that there are gaps under the eaves through which I get a draft.  Not really a problem as far as heating is concerned as I have oiled filled rads and the draft is not that noticable - but its just enough to keep the place ventilated.

My thoughts were to put a bathroom fan in the upper part of the roof run from a temperature controlled plug - £15 on eBay.  I bought 2 - one for the fan in summer and one for the rads in winter.  So far, I have the plugs and fan but have not done the instal.

Barry



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 Posted: Wed Nov 10th, 2021 09:44 pm
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Here in France, we have a VMC unit in most houses.

Not sure if they exist in either UK or Cyprus but they certainly solve any ventilation problems.

Where we now live was our gite for 16 years and as such, was shut up for the winters.  We didn't heat it but the VMC has been running 24/7 for 16 years.  Even in winter, the place was always fresh.  These units are very cheap to run and just gently pull air through the building.

Not sure if that would stop your mold but we didn't experience any.  Summer temperatures here don't hit those in Cyprus but winters are much colder and usually very wet.



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 Posted: Mon Dec 6th, 2021 11:33 am
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1867Adelphi
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Hi everyone. 
Not much time in the shed the last few weeks but had an hour the other day. 
I started to lay the board on the rural section which will be hidden by scenery or the upper section mainline. 
My plan is to use this for a loop round the circuit and have 2 lengthy sidings to store rakes (until the lower fiddle yard is completed)
I’ve quite a few spare rolls of foam - yoga type matts left over from something my wife used to do. 
As the acoustics in the shed will be loud I thought I’d lay the foam (6mm) on top of the board. 
With that section not seen, I wasn’t  going to add a cork track base which all visible lines will get when I had a thought - 
Can I cover the whole boards with the exercise foam THEN lay the cork and track on top of it?
Surely that would help noise? I appreciate once ballasted the effect will reduce slightly but I’ve easily plenty of rolls of the stuff to make use of. If I needed to cut some away for scenery, buildings, roads etc then so be it. 
I checked the height with a seep motor and there is still more than enough bar sticking through despite 9mm ply, 6mm foam and 2 or 4mm cork. 



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 Posted: Tue Dec 7th, 2021 07:31 am
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Errrr - are you suggesting using ex-yoga mat for a trackbed Mike  ?

My simple answer would be "no".   That's not from experience - indeed, I'm not sure I've ever heard of it being used.

For me, it's a no because it's too soft and thick.  I feel you'd get too much deflection and not enough rigidity to fix your track solid enough.  I'm pretty sure track ought not to "float" although I don't know why .....,

Probably difficult to obtain in Cyprus, but I've used the underfloor fibre board for sound deadening - tge stuff used under "click" flooring.  Cheap as chips and does kill sound.

I'm told if you avoid any bridge between baseboard and track  cork is good for sound insulation.  Again, I've used a double layer of cork before now for that very reason.  Cover the baseboard with thin cork sheeting then glue tge cork trackbed to that before gluing the track down.  Don't leave pins in place once tge glue has set.



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 Posted: Tue Dec 7th, 2021 09:41 am
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Ah, I'd missed this one, sorry Mike. I think there would be a risk of derailment with some curves with greater deflection of the outside rail into the foam with centrifugal action and even more so with speed. Might also see point motor actuation lever deflection with much thicker baseboard thicknesses, with consequent derailment.

Peter's advice regarding cork and removing track pins to avoid noise transmission between track and plywood is valid, although it can be a devil of a job where plywood is present! Rubberised adhesives like the old Copydex have  been be beneficial.

Best,

Bill



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Tue Dec 7th, 2021 04:23 pm
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1867Adelphi
Probably out of my depth!


Joined: Fri Oct 29th, 2021
Location: Paphos, Cyprus
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Thanks for the feedback, 
The spring tension in the matts is quite strong but I won't risk it :) Just a thought.

Can't get Copydex direct out here but Amazon.de were doing free delivery to Cyprus so I've a few bottles on their way. 
Got a 36inch radius tracksetta as I can't seem to find mine and some track pins on route too from Harburn Hobbies. Hopefully the BFPO will have them here before Christmas.
Been watching a load of youtube videos on track laying and seen some use track pins for flexi and some just glue it down with copydex. 
I've noticed with the peco flexitrack there are no holes for the pins so I guess you'd have to pen vice drill into the sleepers? Are the holes noticable when you take the pins out? I suppose they can be filled if there is?

I've a couple of rolls of 10 meter 2mm cork so I'll cover the base boards with that as a primary layer as Peter said.
The only decent craft shop out here has sold out of rolls of 4mm cork I was going to use for the main track base so I've had to buy 4mm sheets at € 13 a sheet! Bit expensive but whats new! I'll glue those on top of the base layer with the copydex  when it arrives.
Had planned for a good few nights in the shed but I'm on call and it's been crazy! Still, I'll take TOIL instead of overtime so should mean a couple of days to make up for it in January.

Going to be tight to hit my "trains running by Christmas" deadline I set when starting to redo the car port but hey ho.
Still hopes of getting the outer line down (that seems to be a constant in all my ever changing trackplan ideas) but not worth rushing though.





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