A corker of an idea

I’ve been thinking about roadbed for this layout.

The sub-roadbed will be 3/4″ plywood, providing plenty of strength. Typically, I’d add 1/2″ Homasote on top of this, but Homasote is getting hard to find – and in any case, I’m not sure it’s needed.

Generally, advanced modellers use Homasote for two reasons. First, it deadens noise. Second, Homasote takes spikes well – important when hand-laying track.

However, on this layout I’m probably going to be using tie plates I picked up from Simon Parent. These have fold down tabs to help position them on the tie. And they’re not spiked – they’re glued in place. One sprays the bottom of the tie plates (while they’re still in the fret) with Super-77 Adhesive from 3M, then sets them aside to dry. The tie plates are then threaded onto a length of rail, positioned over the ties, and the glue on each tie plate is reactivated with a small drop of lacquer thinner:

S scale tie plates.

A few spikes may be needed to hold things while gluing. But they shouldn’t pose a problem since I’ll be using full-depth (not profile) S scale ties from Mt. Albert Scale Lumber* and I do have some spikes short enough that they won’t penetrate these.

So, I’m going to use cork roadbed, which I’ve found from past layouts has the same sound absorbing qualities as Homasote and is a standard item at any well-stocked train store.

Thanks to Chris Abbott for pointing out that the Midwest Products cork roadbed in HO and O are the same thickness, and that one-half strip of each creates a nice S scale roadbed.

I picked up a box of each at Credit Valley RR Company yesterday so I’ll be ready to start laying out roadbed as soon as Pierre Oliver and I tackle the benchwork this week.

(*Check the “Links” section on this blog’s home page for the most up-to-date links)

1 thought on “A corker of an idea

  1. In the end, I didn’t use the tie plates for this layout – I’ll keep them for another – since there do not appear to be any tie plates on the Port Rowan branch.

    Instead, I used the excellent etched stainless steel spikes offered by Andy Reichert at Proto 87 Stores. These have worked fine.

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