Woodland Scenic trackbed on foam

SDVike Mar 20, 2021

  1. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Happy weekend all.

    I’ve stripped down the temporary pink panther layout in preparation to attach the pink foam board in a more permanent manor. In the next couple of weeks I want to start attaching track and I need to settle on a road bed.

    I had been planning on using foam window seal from Home Depot. I bought a pack and I think it would have worked fine but I realized it wasn’t cost effective at $6 for 5 feet.

    I’ve used cork roadbed on plywood with good results. I’m intrigued by Woodland Scenics trackbed. It’s slightly cheaper than cork and I would think it would be lighter too.

    Has any one used it on foam board?

    What is you impression for quietness, ease of install, and durability?


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  2. Carolina Northern

    Carolina Northern TrainBoard Member

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    I have A friend who used it. He's had lots of problems with variations in height. His track kind of rises and falls. He often has trouble with wheels lifting enough that they lose contact and locos stall. He says never again.

    YMMV.

    Don
     
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  3. COverton

    COverton TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, whatever you end up using must be able to keep to a reasonably constant grade over any 8" length or you'll have trouble with rolling stock keeping its footing, especially along curves. If a rail on the outside of a curve dips even 1 mm, it often makes a great difference and the leading axle in the leading truck will be the first wheel to slip sideways, out of the gauge. So, whatever you use, figure out how to adhere it on the surface below it so that the rails run smoothly. I tried camper topper tape, thin-ish and adhesive foam meant to seal between the top rim of a pickup's bed and the supporting surfaces of a truck camper. Not worth the trouble IMO. Stick with cork, strips of pine or 1/4" plywood roadbed (the latter makes curves a bit more tedious to fashion), or Homabed (has a lot of fans, but spendy), or the Walthers/WS product.

    Note that you'll not get this perfect, no matter what you do. So, let the flextrack lengths (you ARE using flex...?) keep their level by using ballast grains under the ties to get to the depth the track lengths want to be at. It isn't crucial to have the tracks glue down all along their lengths, just more-so along curves to keep them in place. If you spread ballast, and then lightly tap the flex along the rail tops, you'll find the ballast grains leaving the tops of the ties, which is desirable, and you'll get some of it migrating under the ties to help keep the rails at grade. IOW, let the ballast do its real-world job if you end up with slightly undulating roadbed and you were hoping it would end up flatter.
     
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  4. SDVike

    SDVike TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Level roadbed is extremely important for easy laying of track. I was hoping to try some new techniques on this build. However, if I’m going to be fighting the foam the whole time, it’s not worth it to me.

    Good old cork it is.


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  5. Carolina Northern

    Carolina Northern TrainBoard Member

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    At least with cork, you can sand it to make it level. With the foam stuff, you get what you get. I guess you could level it with spackle and then sand before track goes down.
    Right now, we're prying up low spots and shimming under. He's talking about tearing out the track and relaying with cork.

    The foam idea sounds good and should make it queiter until you ballast, but maybe this implementation isn't there yet.

    Don
     
  6. Mudkip Orange

    Mudkip Orange TrainBoard Member

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    I've had zero problems with cork on bare foam. Tried the WS stuff ~20 years ago, same problems as mentioned by other posters. I've used a variety of adhesives, there's a liquid nails that comes out looking more like a caulk that I've had good results with.

    Another nice thing about cork vs WS is it actually looks halfway decent without ballast. Just paint your foam + plaster cloth in a nice flat dark earth before you glue the cork down.
     

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