Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Roadbed and Track

Still catching up a bit, I did not wait long before I started laying down the Homosote roadbed on the new plywood.

I had come into possession of a box of Homabed from California Roadbed.  The product is a milled Homosote in the general profile of a railroad roadbed.   The company had been out of business for some time but I had the supply so I used it.  Another company, Cascade Rail Supply, had begun making a similar product.  Because I want to elevate my main line over sidings and other tracks, I needed a lower profile roadbed so ordered a supply from Cascade Rail Supply.  The product was similar but probably a little superior to the old California Roadbed product.  Unfortunately, Cascade Rail Supply closed in 2019 so modelers are left with no source that I know of for Homasote roadbed.
Homasote is still manufactured although not always easy to obtain out west.  The manufacturer maintains a web page and has a product locator http://www.homasote.com/wheretobuy

I roughed in where the tracks were to go and laid down the Homasote road bed using white glue and clamps.
 Wood glue was used to attach the roadbed. C-clamps and small pieces of wood were used to hold the roadbed in place until dry

 Here the roadbed has already been laid and some flex track loosely set on the road bed to check placement.  Some of the underlying route markings can be seen in the right foreground for future roadbed locations.

Once the roadbed was down I laid the track.  For the main line I used Shinohara HO Scale Code 83 Flex Track.  The flex track has hole in the ties every so many ties so we used those and small spikes from Micro Engineering to secure the flex track main to the Homasote roadbed.   I got some help from the local model railroad club I belong to.
                John R laying track on the lower level near Summerland  while Bob L lays track beteen Surf and Tangair

Sometimes working on both levels at the same time got a bit crowded

For the sidings I reused the Central Valley Branch Line Tie Strips which I had salvaged during the removal of the Masonite Splines.  These tie strips have the ties spaced further appart than either the CV Mainline Tie Strips or the Shinohara HO Scale Code 83 Flex Track.  I also utilized code 70 rail to further differentiate between the main and the siding.

 Because I had had some issues with the contact cement holding the rail onto the ties, I actually spiked the rail down.  This entailed drilling holes in the ties and manually spiking the rail in place.  I used track gauges and spiked every 6th tie or so.

This is a later photo but shows the array of tools that I use to lay the rail on the Central Valley Tie Strips.  The tools include Ribbon Rail gauges, Railway Engineering Rollee Holders, MicroEngineering small spikes, a pin vice with a small drill bit, an NMRA track gauge, rail joiners, a MicroMark pair of spiking pliers and sometimes a mirror for sighting down the tracks.

Tools in use while adding rail to Central Valley tie strips

Another view down the track with some other tools

1 comment:

  1. C'mon Bruce. With limited outside the home activity, get in there and keep building! I look forward to operating on your empire in 2021-22.

    Enjoyed your OPSIG tutorial last weekend. Thanx.

    Lou Adler