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Underlay - Layout Design, Trackwork & Operation. - Getting You Started. - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 04:15 am
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Mickelaar
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Hi all,

I am restarting a new layout in the coming years and am curious as to underlay. I have always used cork tiles cut to shape, or in the past used ones from model manufacturers. However I am seeing a few layouts that appear to not be using any form of underlay at all. Is this a wise move? Do many enthusiasts just put track on wood / foam.

And why do we do it out of curiosity? Mine never seemed to repel much sound.

Cheers

Mick



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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 06:00 am
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DonBradley
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Foam perishes over time! I would personally recommend that it not be used.

Shaped cork  /   \ gives a nice shoulder for the ballast and results in a realistic shape to main line ballast. Not necessarily needed in a yard or secondary route.

If the glue used to secure the ballast is of a rubbery nature it does help with noise reduction. However usually the glue/ballast combination transmits sound directly to the road bed thus negating any sound absorbtion offered by the cork.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 06:23 am
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jim s-w
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Hi

My vote is for nothing. If you glue everything solid wht do so on a surface that might not be flat? If you allow the track bed to move why would you want the track to move in an uncontrolled way?

Cheers

Jim



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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 10:25 am
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Robert
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I usually pin the track to the cork, which I have previously sanded shoulders on, then I ballast and stick the ballast down with the usual 50/50 PVA/water. When the glue has set I take out the track pins. Track and cork are only held by the glue that has seeped through the ballast shoulders. When pressing down on the track you can feel the 'float'. This makes for excellent quiet running. I have been doing this for many years with never any problems. Another advantage I have found is that the track can be lifted so easily with just a mist of water on the ballast shoulders.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 10:45 am
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henryparrot
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I know this a link in the UK but im sure similar is available in Australia

This is laminate flooring underlay its a fibre board thats easy to cut with a knife and for sound dampening its better than any bought model rail underlay.

http://www.diy.com/

cheers Brian

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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 06:18 pm
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rector
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I echo what Bob said, but only for main and branch lines - and if a thinner cork can be found for the latter so much the better. (But confession time. I don't always pull out all the track pins.:oops::oops:)

When laying yard track I'm happy laying the tack directly onto the board/foam. This more realistic (how many prototype yards have raised track-bed?) and there is hardly any sound issue during very slow-moving operations.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 06:27 pm
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Robert
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There is nothing to stop you bringing the level of the yard up to the track level Tim if, like me, you want the silent running.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 06:37 pm
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Sol
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Whoever heard of yard locos especially steam, running silently:question


I too will confess, I leave pins in  once paint slopped everywhere then ballasted, unless one gets close - 9 inches away, can't see the pins.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 06:42 pm
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Gwiwer
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The answer to the question Mick is that there is no single "right" answer.

Everyone uses and often swears by their preferred method and that can be adapted to suit the environment they model in. For a portable or foldaway model you would need some thing a lot more robust than track and ballast held only with diluted PVA for example.

I use cork glued to the baseboards with the track pinned - but not stuck down - through that. Atlas track pins are long enough that they reach the solid wood of the baseboard and take a good firm hold in it. The track isn't glued which gives it a bit of room to breathe in the extremes of temperature I ask it to cope with but it doesn't shift from where I pin it either.

There is a change in sound when trains run onto one of the short sections without cork in the fiddle or goods yards though the actual noise level seems to be about the same. Having ballast versus unballasted track in the fiddle yard again does not seem to alter the amount of noise, only the actual sound.

Jim's tracklaying is superb and New Street is designed to be moved for exhibiting but unless you are very sure of the environment - and your temperature range may be greater than his has to deal with - I would strongly consider using an underlay.

Personally I would never use foam. It degrades and powders, gets into the workings of your stock (sometimes with disastrous consequences) and cannot be ballasted over realistically. Lino tiles have been used with some success by some modellers as an alternative to cork but if you can get floor tiles thin enough, which isn't usually a problem, then that is probably your most cost-effective option. There is nothing at all wrong with the regular modelling brands which are supplied in strips but that does tend to be a more expensive way to buy the stuff.

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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 07:29 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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I'm really wrong. :Red Card        My layout rumbles and bangs, just like a full size train and I love it.  Occasionally I get a cheapie loco running and you can hear the motor and gears.  That's not the fault of the track, that's the crappy loco.

Anyhooo,  that's what DCC sound is for to DROWN OUT ALL THE OTHER NOISES!!  :mutley



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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 07:44 pm
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phill
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I have laid cork from the edge of my base boards and put it all over the boards, laid track on top, with track pins(left in). As for noise well still get it but since when do trains run silent,

I guess at the end of the day its the old saying coming into its own,

 "ITS YOUR RAILWAY DO WHAT YOU WANT AND RUN WHAT YOU WANT. IF WORKS FOR YOU THEN SOD EVERYONE ELSE"

:thumbs.

Phill

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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 07:52 pm
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Sol
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Anyhooo,  that's what DCC sound is for to DROWN OUT ALL THE OTHER NOISES!!  :mutley


 "ITS YOUR RAILWAY DO WHAT YOU WANT AND RUN WHAT YOU WANT. IF WORKS FOR YOU THEN SOD EVERYONE ELSE"

:thumbs.


 

two very good comments - I like 'em :thumbs

 

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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 08:12 pm
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rector
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Robert wrote:
There is nothing to stop you bringing the level of the yard up to the track level Tim if, like me, you want the silent running.

Good point, Bob, and one I'm taking seriously when it comes to my Wenchoster II N "scale" (2'x4') project. I have a load of Atlas "N scale" cork road-bed that, if translated to the prototype, would mean track resting on ballast four feet high! So yes - bring the surrounding landscaping up to the required level.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 17th, 2009 08:18 pm
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rector
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Gwiwer wrote:

Personally I would never use foam. It degrades and powders, gets into the workings of your stock (sometimes with disastrous consequences) and cannot be ballasted over realistically.


Depends on the foam. General styrofoam (packing stuff) is cr-p, but builders insulation foam is excellent. It cuts easily without all that mess, and is cheap. And doesn't degrade - at least I hope not. If it does my house will be worthless in ten years!



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 Posted: Fri Dec 18th, 2009 05:59 am
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Mickelaar
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Thanks all for the splendid replies. I have in the past used cork tiles which had been purchased from Bunnings (Australian hardware supplier) this had worked quite well, and I will continue to use it. It looks great for a modern day main line (if cut correctly. I saw your system Bob, it looked like you used none, I do genuinely like the look (and your sensational layout!) but do like the lelevated look. Especially if I can track down the concrete looking sleepers (Code 100) from Peco.

Thanks again for your help

Mick



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Mick

This message was most probably composed on my iPhone. If not, it will have been composed elsewhere. All typos remain, the fault of the space time continuum, & will be dealt with accordingly. Which may or may not involve a brick.
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 Posted: Fri Dec 18th, 2009 06:47 am
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Gwiwer
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Here you are Mick - plenty of concrete sleepered Peco Code 100.

http://www.kernowmodelrailcentre.com/product/16841/SL102_Peco_Concrete_Sleeper_flexible_track_nickel_silver

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 Posted: Fri Dec 18th, 2009 08:19 am
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87 101
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I dont realy think that the reason is to do with noise but more down to wanting the look of a balast shoulder. I personaly lay all my track directly on to the baseboard. ;-)

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 Posted: Sat Dec 19th, 2009 05:44 am
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Mickelaar
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Gwiwer wrote: Here you are Mick - plenty of concrete sleepered Peco Code 100.

http://www.kernowmodelrailcentre.com/product/16841/SL102_Peco_Concrete_Sleeper_flexible_track_nickel_silver

 

Also with a bulk discount. Thank you kindly for that link.

Cheers



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Cheers,
Mick

This message was most probably composed on my iPhone. If not, it will have been composed elsewhere. All typos remain, the fault of the space time continuum, & will be dealt with accordingly. Which may or may not involve a brick.
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 Posted: Sat Dec 19th, 2009 06:36 am
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owen69
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Discount ? did he say discount?
nurse the pills are not working,send for the shrink, poor Chris....

:cry::cry::mutley:mutley

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 Posted: Sat Dec 19th, 2009 06:38 am
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Gwiwer
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Check the link Owen ;-) Chris's own shop site admits to it .....

We give an additional 10% discount if you purchase a full box of 25.

:pathead

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