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My entire layout--hills and flats is built on foam.

The flat sections (yard and engine terminal) have the track laid directly on the foam--no cork. The track is screwed to the foam using glued wall anchors. I lay the track down, drill thru the ties where I want screws, lift the track up, drop a drop of Gorilla glue into the hole and insert a plastic wall anchor. I use the #8 black phillips screws recommended by Gargraves on their site and Hillman 7/8 inch size 8-10 "plastic anchors". Then I lay the track back down and screw thru the ties into the wall anchors half way. The next day, or after the glue dries, I tighten the screws down. This holds the track as tight as anyone would want.

For hills, my approach is not based on 1/2 inch or thicker plywood. I am just bad with wood. So I had to do it some other way.

To run track up grades, I stretch the track out in the curve that I want using cardboard boxes and other temporary props to support it in what will be its' approximate final position. Then I use the track as a guide to cut a piece of 1/8 inch luan to the track curve shape. Meanwhile,  I mount 2 inch thick foam risers cut to the heights needed to make the grade from the benchwork to the grade height for each stretch of track. Then I gorilla-glue the foam risers to the benchwork  clamped or weighted down temporarily as needed to hold the foam risers in place until the glue dries.

Once the glue dries, I lay the luan on top of the foam risers  and glue the luan to the risers. Once that glue dries, I put cork on top of the luan and I screw the track down into the luan, through the cork. I do not glue the cork or track--out of concern for transmitting excessive noise through the track and cork to the layout.

Pix of some of my process and results are attached. I have only recently finished laying all of my track on this 16x17 foot layout using this method. Any place where I doubted the sturdiness of the structure, I just added more risers under the luan. It ain't 1/2 inch plywood. But it sure is strong enough for O gauge trains!

Let us know how you're getting along.

Don Merz



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