Tyco Collector's Forum -
Welcome to the forum.
Save Password

Forgot your Password?
  Home   Forums   Events Calendar   Forum Admins & Mods   FAQ   Install Search Provider   Register
Active Topics | Active Polls | Newsletters | Member Map | Members | Online Users |
[ Active Members: 0 | Anonymous Members: 0 | Guests: 15 ]  [ Total: 15 ]  [ Newest Member: Manix ] Select Skin:
 All Forums
 OTW's - The "Of The Week" Series
 Accessory of the week. (AOTW)
 AOTW June June 26 to July 2, 2022
   All users can post NEW topics in this forum
   All users can reply to topics in this forum
 Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic: AOTW: July 10th - July 16th Topic Next Topic: AOTW June 12 to 18, 2022  

Big Boy

Penn Central Logo

Status: offline

 Posted - June 30 2022 :  02:09:52 AM Link directly to this topic  Show Profile  Add Chops124 to Buddylist
I am an expert. In what I like, only. And what I like is to run trains. Fiddling with track, in my case,
set track, that always finds a way to warp, to bend, to crinkle, to disjoin, particularly when affixed
to roadbed that is not entirely and perfectly flat as a silver dollar, and even then with heat track
has a way of working itself out of gauge. More than that, I hate, positively hate, ballast. Ballast is
an invention that model railroaders use to torture themselves. Combine the two, and it becomes
an endless chore. Moreover, when tacking the set track down, one will almost invariably incur
a gentle hump, end to end, sure to foul you at some point. Not for me. Thank you.

This week's AOW are several rolls of the finest roadbed money could buy, Hornby Foam Roadbed,
which is identical to Woodland Scenics, and just as annoying. Got to put it up on eBay, maybe
I will get a dollar for it.

My salvation has come in the form of Bachmann EZ track, a track designed for children and doofuses,
such as myself. On the rare occasion something goes off the rails, and derailments are such a thing
of the past now, it is almost always to do with the rail vehicle.

The Tyco Expander Layout books shows something that appears to be carpet, trimmed to width.

So, RP uses ballast, but no road bed. Other posters use both, some like RP but with a rustic
backwoods sort of feel. What say you about ballast and roadbed?

 Country: USA  ~  Posts: 10587  ~  Member Since: December 09 2013  ~  Last Visit: August 05 2022 Alert Moderator 

Big Boy


Status: offline

 Posted - June 30 2022 :  12:10:30 PM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add scsshaggy to Buddylist
I use ballast and no road bed. I'm not opposed to road bed. I just wasn't using it when I built my layout. Ballast is a mix of sand and dust that occasionally forms drifts in the gutter at the end of the driveway. I sift out the big rocks in a screen kitchen strainer and then pour it back and forth between buckets in a breeze to reduce the dust content. I spread it between the ties and then dribble diluted Elmer's glue with a touch of dish soap or alcohol to help it soak in better. If I need to pull up the track, I wet it with ordinary water and the glue loosens up. That the grain sizes are not uniform in the sand is, I think, important. It helps the glue bond the sand. Glued sand with uniform grain size is like a soft, brittle sandstone.

One thing I think should be avoided is track that flexes as the train rolls over. I know a layout that's on a table surfaced with green indoor/outdoor carpet. The track is E-Z Track or something of the kind and when heavy equipment such as die-cast locomotives rolls over it, the joints flex and eventually become loose. I've seen trains just suddenly stop when the heavy locomotive goes over the loose joint, breaking electrical continuity.

It can be difficult to tell what you least expect the most.
 Country: USA  ~  Posts: 2249  ~  Member Since: September 17 2013  ~  Last Visit: August 08 2022 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page

Big Six


Status: offline

 Posted - June 30 2022 :  12:29:08 PM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add jward to Buddylist
My experiences have been alot different than yours. I live in Pittsburgh, where excess heat is not a problem, but moisture is. Most of us here build our railroads in basements, which are naturally cooled in summer by the ground around the walls. But the walls on older houses are often native sandstone, which leaks like a sieve in wet weather. Once these walls are sealed, it cuts down on the moisture problem greatly, and the basement is a nice place to hang out on a hot day.

I, like my father and grandfather before me, handlay my track. It is often ballasted before I lay rail, because ballast helps hold the ties in place better than simply gluing them down. SO I don't have the usual problems with ballast getting into places it shouldn't during the gluing process. I like ballast. It greatly improves the look of my track.

As for roadbed, I've tried just about everything. Homasote attracts moisture and warps. and it doesn't hold spikes well, so I don't use it. Cork is very hard to keep flat and it won;t hold spikes either. So I don't use it. Foam bed I had some luck with during my N scale years, But i didn't handlay track in N scale. It is even worse at holding spikes than cork. So I don;t use it. I've tried laying track directly on plywood. It works wekk for manyfactured track, but is way too hard to spike into. So, once again, I don;t use it.

What DO I use? Pine dimensional lumber. The better grades are good, solid, easy to spike into, and once stained relatively unaffected by moisture. Ties can be easily glued to it, and best of all, spikes hold well. With handlaid track, having the spikes hold is critical to keeping the track in guage. Best of all, companies like Tru Scale and Campbell made roadbed out of pine, and it's floating around out there on ebay whebever I need it. If I can't find what I need, I can always lay track directly on the pine subroadbed, as I've done on my current layout.

This method has stood the test of time/ My father, for example, started building his layout in 1978. Most of the original handlaid track from that era is still in service. That's 44 years of service on a layout where operating sessions are held weekly and trains are often run between the organized sessions. And that's quite a testament to this method of construction.

One other thing I should mention is the track itself. THere is fiber tied track out there. That can swell with moisture, and become out of guage very easily. That;s probably why it isn't made anymore. Avoid it if you can. Steel rail can rust in moist conditions. The rust is a very poor conductor of electricity. And if, like me, you solder your rail joints for improved connectivity You;ll find steel very difficult to solder to. And if, using alot of soldering flux, you do manage to get a decent joint, you'll find the flux has eaten away the galvanized coating on the rail so it rusts. You just can't win with this track. Brass rail. while harder to keep clean, seems to work surprisingly well with DCC, And it can be soldered to. I will use it in a pinch. But Nickle silver is by far the best. It does everything I need it to, and provides reliable service with minimal cleaning.

These are my experiences in some less than ideal conditions for model railroading,
 Country: USA  ~  Posts: 298  ~  Member Since: December 22 2013  ~  Last Visit: August 08 2022 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page

Big Boy

Penn Central Logo

Status: offline

 Posted - June 30 2022 :  1:37:58 PM Link directly to this reply  Show Profile  Add Chops124 to Buddylist
Good info.
 Country: USA  ~  Posts: 10587  ~  Member Since: December 09 2013  ~  Last Visit: August 05 2022 Alert Moderator  Go To Top Of Page
  Previous Topic: AOTW: July 10th - July 16th Topic Next Topic: AOTW June 12 to 18, 2022  
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
 Image Forums 2001 This page was generated in 0.45 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000