Woodland Scenics Foam? Help!

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October 21, 2012 8:03 AM

Hi,

 

Background - This will be my first layout ever and I'm about to start laying roadbed.  It's approximately 33' x 14.'  It will have 2 levels that are connected by a long ramp and the "sea level" level will have an area where the double main line crosses over itself.  Using Atlas O throughout with 072 and 081 curves for mains on sea level route.  It has open grid benchwork, so entire sea level route will be "floating" approx 3" above the joists (via risers holding it all up off the joists) to allow modeling above and below sea level and also to split the inclines/declines to minimize grades.

 

Question - Instead of traditional cookie cutter plywood roadbed to create sub-roadbed and the incline/decline grades (which seems a little daunting) has anyone used the Woodland Scenics Subterrain foam roadbed or foam incline/decline sets?  I've seen some youtube videos of people using it and it seems very easy to use and almost foolproof in terms of creating grades, etc.  Would really like as many opinions on this system as possible, espcially all known pros/cons - so please post your thoughts.  thanks!

 

Peter

 
 
 
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October 21, 2012 8:37 AM

I have not used on my o scale layout yet, but I used it on my n scale layout and the stuff works really nice. It is super simple and no thought needed. However, it is a bit pricey for some foam.
 
 
 
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October 21, 2012 9:11 AM

I use the foam roadbed and like it very much.  Very easy to lay and even to remove later on, if necessary.  I have not used the inclines, so can't help there.

 

 

Allan Miller, Editor-In-Chief O Gauge Railroading magazine

 
 
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October 21, 2012 9:30 AM

 Woodland Scenics Subterrain foam roadbed or foam incline/decline sets? 

 

Peter, the woodland scenics is great but remember for both applications there needs to be "foundation" this is critical to short/longterm performance without morphing

 

Richard

 
 
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October 21, 2012 10:27 AM

Thanks to those who've responded. I've got the basics done. The benchwork is open grid and I have half inch plywood covering it. Was going to use homasote on top and cut into plywood/homasote to cookie cut. Then did more research and am thinking of instead laying plywood right on joists (instead of "floating" it on traditional risers/cleats) and using WS 4" foam riser sets and WS incline/decline sets for grades. Just really looking for inputs and all opinions (pros/cons) on WS foam roadbed and inclines/declines sets.
 
 
 
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October 21, 2012 10:29 AM

I have used a ton of it, but not in the traditional way.

Since, wood and I do not get along, and I have the carpentry skills of an elephant, I use the plastic modular shelving that Lowes and Home Depot sell.

It has open grid work for threading wires and it is strong.

I then place the woodland scenics foam however I need it.

My use of plywood is limited to placing pre-cut sheets on top of the plastic shelving as it adheres better to the foam.

I do not use any nails on the plywood as that is glued to the plastic shelves using Woodland Scenics glue. That glue is strong, doesnt require much, and is forgiving if you have to take it apart. In fact, I dont nail my track as the woodland scenics glue is better.

Being that my layout is on the 2nd floor the lightweight plastic is a god send.

 
 
 
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October 22, 2012 4:47 AM

I am using the incline/decline sets and foam pieces to add depth of terrain to my layout. So far it's been working great. I attached a couple pics from early on in the project.

Tim C.

100_2077

100_2078

100_4385

 

Tim C

 
 
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100_2077
 
 
 
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October 22, 2012 12:57 PM

CNJ Rail - Thanks SO much for these photos.  They really help.  Is it safe to say that this system has worked well for your needs? 

 

Also, just curious - it looks like your switch machines are on inclines.  This is my first time ever building a "real layout" with inclines/declines, and I've got a lot of book and on-line knowledge at this point - so forgive my probably stupid question:  according to what I've read, switches should be installed on perfectly flat terrain to ensure they function properly.  So really curious to know your real-life exeprience.

 

Forumites - I really appreciate all the feedback on WS's subterrain system.  There haven't been a ton of responses, so should I read this as some people not having good experiences and preferring to just not say anything or...?     

 

Thanks again to all for your valued help.

 

Peter

 

 
 
 
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October 22, 2012 12:59 PM

This stuff (especially risers) is kind of pricey (even when considering it replaces the cost of homasote).  WS doesn't offer a bulk discount unless you're buying enough to basically buying miles of it to build a real railroad (not a short line, either!).  Anyone know where to get the best prices on it?

 

Thanks again.

 

 

 
Last edited by PJB October 22, 2012 1:31 PM
 
 
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October 23, 2012 4:41 AM

Peter,
I have had no issues with using the risers. I have added 1/2" foam to both sides ofthe risers to widen the roadbed area. This will give me the additional space needed for the foam roadbed and ballast I will be adding.
My switches are not on inclines, they are on flat sections of foam which cause no issues for the switches, just make sure you keep the switch machine level with the switch.
 
When I purchased all my subterrain items, I got the best prices here;
 
Hope this info helps.
Tim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tim C

 
 
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October 23, 2012 11:56 AM

Tim,

 

I could be wrong, but looking at the middle photo you've provided, it really looks like there are two right curving lines on foam inclines heading up toward (and into) your main line.  And where they meet, each has a switch.  Are you saying the switches are flat but not horizontally level or ...? 

 

Thanks very much.

 

Peter

 
 
 
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October 24, 2012 4:49 AM

Peter,
Those switches are on risers, not on the inclines. One of the swtiches ends at the transition from riser to incline.
Tim
 
Originally Posted by PJB:

Tim,

 

I could be wrong, but looking at the middle photo you've provided, it really looks like there are two right curving lines on foam inclines heading up toward (and into) your main line.  And where they meet, each has a switch.  Are you saying the switches are flat but not horizontally level or ...? 

 

Thanks very much.

 

Peter

 

 

Tim C

 
 
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November 22, 2013 11:35 AM

CJN Rail

 

Did you have to use two sets of inliners/risers next to each other, so the o gauge track could fit and leave enough room for ballast? Because ws doesn't make an o gauge riser/incline. I am thinking of doing something like you. I just wanted to know how it is working for you?

 

Mike

 
 
 
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November 23, 2013 4:33 AM

Mike,

I hot glued 1/2" foam to both sides of the risers and inclines. That gave me the exact width I needed for the foam roadbed I used along with the ballast I will be using.

Look close at the 3rd photo. You should be able to see the foam.

Tim

 

Tim C

 
 
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November 23, 2013 7:51 AM

Yes I see what your saying.

 

Thanks Tim

 
 
 
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March 4, 2014 4:12 PM

Has anyone tried this with FasTrack? With a measured width of around 3 5/16" width, I'm guessing you'd have to get two sets to go side by side?

 
 
 
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March 4, 2014 5:10 PM

CNJ Rail, it looks very sturdy.  The foam side panels must add a lot of strength.  I assume you glue those panels to the riser.

 

Have you operated any heavy die cast large steam over it?  If not, do you think that there is sufficient strength to handle that kind of equipment?

 

I have wanted to try that system.  It seems like a great solution.

 

Peter - thanks for asking the question. 

 
 
 
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March 4, 2014 6:23 PM

I am in the process of installing the risers. Except its been very cold in the breezeway of my house And with me going through another heart surgery in December I 'll wait till spring. I do have a heater but haven't started it up this year.  So hear are some photos of the area I'm building. Sorry for the blurry photos

001

002

003

004

 

Scot Pensgard

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March 5, 2014 4:22 AM

Marker,

The foam side panel are there to add width to the track bed, allowing me more room to ballast properly. The risers are very strong all by themselves. I have run very heavy steamers over it without any movement or flexing at all.

Tim C.

 

Originally Posted by marker:

 

 

 

CNJ Rail, it looks very sturdy.  The foam side panels must add a lot of strength.  I assume you glue those panels to the riser.

 

Have you operated any heavy die cast large steam over it?  If not, do you think that there is sufficient strength to handle that kind of equipment?

 

I have wanted to try that system.  It seems like a great solution.

 

 

 

 

Tim C

Last edited by CNJ Rail March 5, 2014 4:23 AM
 
 
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March 5, 2014 4:27 AM

Scot,

The riser work is looking great!

Feel better soon and think Spring and warm weather!

Tim C.

 

Tim C

 
 
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March 5, 2014 8:41 AM

Thanks Tim, that's great news.

Howard

 
Last edited by marker March 5, 2014 8:41 AM
 
 
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March 5, 2014 9:35 AM

I used the foam risers with Fastrack.  I'm using O84 and O72 loops on a double track mainline.  My layout loops over itself rising six inches for vertical clearence under a bridge.  I had to double the risers to get the width needed for the fastrack.  I have test run my MTH Primere Big Boy up and down the incline and over the bridges with no noticable deflection. 

 
 
 
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March 5, 2014 9:42 AM

I am also building a Fastrack setup. I will be using the Ws risers only going up about 2 inches for some depth on my smaller layout. My layout is a lazy L  about 5 x 9 x11.

i purchased 2 sets of risers planning in advance to double them up side by side for Fastrack. I like that idea of glueing the foam boards to the sides for a finished look and more support.

gotta love these forums.

 

 

Brian

"starting over at 56"

 

 
 
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March 5, 2014 3:45 PM

I would advise that for switches on inclines, You can do it, But maintain the angle of rise for the length of your longest engine on each leg of the switch.

This keeps everything not level but parallel and avoids the problems of uneven switch tracks.

My old layout was anything but level and making this fix at each switch location removed all my derail problems.

 

Russell, Msgt, USAF, Ret. http://roguespace.com/Trainpg.html

Maine 3 Railers

 
 
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March 5, 2014 4:46 PM

Tim C I really like the snow and weather we have had this year. Then I also would like spring to come soon.The other day I started work on 1 of my Pratt Truss bridges that I have.Now to finish it up and place it on the tracks. I ordered The parts needed to install the 2 Bridges from Scenic Express Yesterday. I ordered 6 bridge shoes. 1set of double track bridge abutments.  2 center pier.  and 1 single track bridge abutments. Now I do know that I will need to cut the track to get it lined up right and that's not a problem. I have my Dremel  ready. and I may need to get the Heater ready to start heating The breezeway.    

  Scot

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Scot Pensgard

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March 6, 2014 4:48 AM

Scot,
I installed an Atlas girder bridge. Well worth it. I didn't have the room for the Pratt. I wish I did.
Tim
 
Originally Posted by sp2207:

The other day I started work on 1 of my Pratt Truss bridges that I have.Now to finish it up and place it on the tracks. I ordered The parts needed to install the 2 Bridges from Scenic Express Yesterday. I ordered 6 bridge shoes. 1set of double track bridge abutments.  2 center pier.  and 1 single track bridge abutments. Now I do know that I will need to cut the track to get it lined up right and that's not a problem. I have my Dremel  ready. and I may need to get the Heater ready to start heating The breezeway.    

  Scot

 

 

100_8033

 

Tim C

Last edited by CNJ Rail March 6, 2014 4:48 AM
 
 
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July 13, 2014 4:32 PM

How did you attach the Fastrack to the foam risers?  I can only get #4 screws 1 1/4 inches long.  Did you glue down the track?

Thanks for the help

Howard

 
 
 
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July 13, 2014 4:40 PM

So far all I did was put a couple screws in a few holes to keep it from shifting.  I took all my track up so I can start putting a layer of plaster cloth on top of the foam.

 

 
 
 
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July 13, 2014 4:45 PM

You might find a longer fastener at Home Depot or Lowes that will work.  There are screws for trim work that come in lengths to three inches.  You may need to take a piece of track to test fit the hole.

 

 
 
 
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July 13, 2014 5:55 PM

CNJ RAIL Tim I was looking at your pictures that you posted and I may be wrong but if your plaster cloth that you put down for your hillsides is A single layer it does not hold trees very well. If you are not putting trees on that area it's ok. With the single layer when I went to put in my trees it was not strong enough to support them. I did single layer to save money on my old layout and was A big mistake! Hope you don't mind I'm just adding my two cents worth. Choo Choo Kenny

 
 
 
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July 13, 2014 6:32 PM

You could use a layer of luan board on top of the foam and use long screws to attach to the base below the foam.  Then track nails or screws to the luan board.

This luan board is attach to the spacer blocks with screws.

Atlas track, cork road bed, and luan board.

 

 
 
 
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July 14, 2014 4:18 AM

Choo Choo Kenny,
I am coating the plaster cloth with a light layer of Gypsolite. I am hoping that will give me the strength to support trees.
Tim
Originally Posted by Choo Choo kenny:

CNJ RAIL Tim I was looking at your pictures that you posted and I may be wrong but if your plaster cloth that you put down for your hillsides is A single layer it does not hold trees very well. If you are not putting trees on that area it's ok. With the single layer when I went to put in my trees it was not strong enough to support them. I did single layer to save money on my old layout and was A big mistake! Hope you don't mind I'm just adding my two cents worth. Choo Choo Kenny

 

 

Tim C

 
 
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