Attach track to cork roadbed

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by css29, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. css29

    css29 TrainBoard Member

    I am sure everybody has their own way of doing this, but I was wondering how do you attach your track to cork roadbed?

    Also does everybody solder their rail joiners are there other methods?
  2. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    I use a low heat hot glue. Small dab every 6 inches or so in the middle of the ties to attach track to track bed. I solder joiners every other rail on flex track. That gives me aprox 60 inches of solid rail...alternating every 30 inches or so. Hope that made

    * I should add: The soldered joiners also have feeders attached


    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2010
  3. Chaya

    Chaya TrainBoard Supporter

    I use Titebond III to glue both the cork to the subroadbed and the track to the cork. It dries quickly yet the bond can be broken if you wish. I use nails when necessary to hold track exactly where I want it, both horizontally and vertically. After my ballast dries, I pull the nails. (I always use nails to make sure my turnouts are just where I want them).

    I do not solder rail joiners. What I do is run feeders. I actually worry about there not being enough free play for the rails to expand in heat without warping things. (Should my air conditioner fail!)
  4. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey TrainBoard Member

    I use
    DAPĀ® KWIK SEALĀ® Tub & Tile Adhesive Caulk
    to glue both the cork to the subroadbed and the track to the cork. It takes a couple of minutes before setting so you have some time to adjust the track position.

    I solder all the rail joiners on both layouts I built so far. Now both layouts are very small ( 11" X 23" and 25" X 36" ) so I don't have any expansion problem.
    When I'll build my hollow core door layout I plan to divide the layout in 3 or 4 feet sections.
    All the rail joiners on each individual section will be soldered but I won't solder the railjoiners connecting each section and sections will have a .010 or .020 gap between them.
    Each individual section will be connected by soldered wires to some power bus.
    I'm a retired electronic technician, so I like to solder :psmile:

  5. woodone

    woodone TrainBoard Member

    A second vote for tub and tile caulk. Holds my roadbed down and the track to the roadbed.
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Over the years, I settled on hot glue for both cork and track. I hold things in place during gluing as needed with push pins or T pins.

    I solder joints, except switches. The switches I allow to float for expansion and ease of replacing if necessary.

    Boxcab E50
  7. CSXDixieLine

    CSXDixieLine Passed Away January 27, 2013 In Memoriam

    I use DAP latex painters caulk to attach my track to the cork roadbed. It's easy to apply, gives good working time, and has enough grab so you don't need to use pins or spikes to hold the track down while it dries.

    As for soldering rail joiners, I don't solder mine because I don't use any! Instead, I use a method suggested by Jim Reisling on his Oakville Sub layout. I am using Micro Engineering code 55 flex track. This track is stiff and holds its shape after you bend it into a curve. To join adjacent pieces, I stagger the length of the rail ends and slip them into the adjacent piece of track. Hard to explain with words so here are a couple of photos:



    I thought this method seemed a litte "on the edge" when I first tried it, but it works like a charm and I have not had a single problem in almost a year of operation. Of course, this does require electrical feeders to every piece of track, but that is something I was going to do anyway. Jamie
  8. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey TrainBoard Member

    Interesting way of joining flextrack Jamie.
    Did you get rid of the railjoiners only for esthetical reason ?

  9. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    That's what I use as well and thanks for the joinerless pictoral!
  10. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    It came home to roost this weekend and I am glad that I used Elmer's white glue.

    I had to rip up a turnout and about four feet of track. because of vertical inconsistencies causing problems. It was quick and easy to get up without demolishing the cork. One soaking with water, wait an hour and the track and ballast came up handily. Then, sanding down the high spots and filling in the low ones and now I am ready to lay a new turnout and new track.
  11. Ristooch

    Ristooch TrainBoard Member

    Decided to try something new and dispensed with cork roadbed altogether on my latest layout.

    I use Scotch brand 3/4" wide double sided foam tape. Unroll over the track layout, light pressure to adhere to the foam base, uncover the top, stick the track down and go. I have noted a couple of areas where the track pulled up, so I spread a bit of yellow carpenter's glue between track and tape, weighted it down, problem solved.

    I think I will continue in this way because it's faster for me than cork and glue.

    I haven't tried this on a wood base and would be interested to find out if it works.

    I solder almost all of the rail joiners. Every so often (very unscientifically) I choose not to solder joiners in a long, straight flextrack run.

    I also avoid soldering joiners at turnouts unless I experience problems.

    As far as I am concerned, soldering joiners is easy, assures everlasting electrical connectivity and alignment, and is failsafe.
  12. rray

    rray Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I like to use a very fine flat wipe of Walthers Goo, direct from the tube. Even though almost none of the goo actually makes contact with the ties, it is still strong enough to hold the track tight till I ballast it.

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