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The Track Bed

This text is about the construction of track beds. It is aimed both at model railway beginners, as well as at people returning to model railway.

Track bedding is always needed in the visible area of the display, because it resembles the gravel under the tracks. Apart from its positive optical effect the track bedding is also important to muf-fle the driving noise of the trains. This is why you should not fasten the rails directly onto the wood in the invisible area, like the fiddle yard, but should install insulation under the track. However, you do not necessarily have to buy readymade, expensive track beds, but you could switch to thin insulation foam from the construction trade or cork, which is laid as a natural material underneath floors.

Affordable track beds and track beds in curves

Commercial track beds have their price. There are several options to get track beds for less money (but more effort). You can purchase 5 mm cork boards at your local DIY and cut them into width proportional to the width of the tracks. It is complicated to lay these strips of cork through turns and curves. To solve this you can cut several strips which are smaller, for instance with half the width. Yes, you can still use track nails or track screws. All you have to do is take three strips, each a third in width. It costs more time and effort but results in great track beds. At switch points and cross-ings you can either cut larger pieces or add the previously mentioned strips simply offset, so that the necessary width is covered.

Elevation in curves

In the role model curves are exaggerated, this means that the outer track is higher than the inner. Driving through the curve the train is tipped slightly inward and can drive much faster this way. The exaggeration has a maximum of 6 degree.

It is easy to copy this elevation in the model. You can prepare the outside of the curve with tape to height before putting in the track beds. By using several layers of tape you can achieve different levels of height and easily make the transfer back to the normal track. By putting in the track bed in strips the outer part will be higher than the inner. You should sand it down a little before laying the tracks.

Please note

This article is based on model building wiki and is edited externally. We strive to keep the contents clean but cannot guarantee trouble free operation.