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My approx 4 ft x 12 ft layout in progress is built with 1/2 inch plywood on top of 2x4 frame and legs on rubber wheel casters so it can be rolled to access all sides. I have 2 inch thick construction foam glued to the top of the plywood. I use plastic anchors pushed and glued into the foam with Gorilla Glue to hold the anchors for track screws. They do not contact the plywood. On top of the construction foam I was notching out 1/2 inch soft foam that overlaps the edges of the Fastrack by approx 1/4 inch, for the track screws to screw into the anchors and gluing the soft foam to the construction foam with Elmer's Glue. I recently thought of another way that was easier. I lay the Fastrack down on the construction foam, mark the sides of the foam where the Fastrack lies, and use a drill bit to push through the construction foam to mark where the anchors need to be glued in, the Yellow tape marks where the anchors are. I used 1/2 inch thick x 3/4 inch wide self adhesive weatherstripping that I stuck down to the construction foam covering the outside track lines outward by approx 1/4 inch, then used scrap pieces of the soft foam to fill the center and gluing down with Elmer's Glue between the two rows of weatherstripping except notching out where needed for the anchors and track power feed wires as I run Conventional Transformers Power on my layout. Layed down the Fastrack on top of the weatherstripping and soft foam and screwed the track screws down into the anchors just enough to hold the track in place and stay level. The foam does help reduce the noise rumble of the Fastrack. Pictures enclosed so you can see how I did it. Seems to work great IMO.20240413_12085020240413_12100220240413_12102520240413_14550320240413_14552520240413_14553620240413_15002620240413_150043

Attachments

Images (9)
  • 20240413_120850: Weatherstripping
  • 20240413_121002: Weatherstripping Attached
  • 20240413_121025: Weatherstripping Attached
  • 20240413_145503: Filling with Soft Foam
  • 20240413_145525: Cutouts for Anchors and Wiring
  • 20240413_145536: Filled in with Soft flFoam
  • 20240413_150026: Fastrack on Top of Foam
  • 20240413_150034: Fastrack Screwed Down
  • 20240413_150043: Section Finished Appearance
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What is the purpose of the 1/2 inch plywood?  If the 2 inch thick construction foam is rigid insulation, it should be strong enough without the plywood, maybe?

No, t will still flex.

I used 2" construction foam on my grandson's 4 x 8 portable layout.  Instead of plywood underneath it I used 1 x 4's to frame it.  That made it rigid so it didn't flex and served as a derailment barrier to boot.

John

What is the purpose of the 1/2 inch plywood?  If the 2 inch thick construction foam is rigid insulation, it should be strong enough without the plywood, maybe?

Without the plywood the construction foam will still flex, even with 2x4's on 16 inch centers running the short way. I figured better to be safe than sorry when building the layout than to find out the hard way later, then have to tear it all apart and rebuild it. Plus I already had a bunch of 2x4's and several sheets of 1/2" plywood in my garage so I used what I had on hand. Overkill, maybe, but I only needed to buy 2 panels of construction foam and wheel casters, I had everything else. When you're on SSD and limited income you make do with what you got or find on clearance sales. I picked up four 10'  rolls of that self adhesive weatherstripping for $2 apiece, and I had a whole bunch of that other soft foam that they were going to toss in the trash back when I was still able to work years ago. I just glued the soft foam down with White Elmer's Glue.

Here's how I quieted my Fastrack.

Very nice Gunrunner John! I really like it.  The foam has seemed to worked good for me with the Fastrack on the loop I had already completed. My train room is next to our living room and my wife says she can tell a big difference since using the foam. Happy wife, happy life!😁 Hopefully someday I'll be able to rebuild using that trackbed you got along with Gargraves Track and Ross Switches but for now, she doesn't have to turn up the TV anymore this way!😁

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I have mostly starter sets that came with Fastrack  and using mostly the O-36 Fastrack that came with the sets, and Fastrack O-36 switches except for one 180° curve with O-31 MTH Realtrax with Fastrack to O to MTH Adapter Pieces. Just doing what I can cheaply to quiet it down. The foam does work to make it less noisy. Someday I hope to be able to redo it with Gargraves Track and Ross Switches with Roadbed like what Gunrunner John used. For now, I just want to get this finished up and running trains on both tracks.

@Patrick1544 posted:

Another method..Replace it with Gargraves or Ross track.  

Hopefully someday in the future I can do that, it's my plan to go with Gargraves Track, Ross Switches, and the type Roadbed that Gunrunner John shows.  The Fastrack that I have from my starter sets is my only available option for now and probably for a few years. At least this way I'll have a running layout again.

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER

Gary, whomever invented the phrase "the golden years" for getting older, needs to be flogged with water balloons on a very cold January day! Maybe because your very first post contained all the technique tips, but didn't have the reasoning behind your approach that your later posts did, is why you've gotten all the recommendations for replacing FasTrack with other types of track.

I get where you are coming from. I started off when I re-entered the hobby with 027 tubular track, because that's what came with the sets I bought. And I still use it to this day. Along with the sorts of trains that came in those sets. For all the negativity you can read about 027 track not being as durable or engines with plastic gears, everything I've ever bought still works to this day.

Being content and happy with what you have makes for gratitude. There's always something better out there, but it doesn't always bring happiness. Again, my own trains aren't the latest tech loaded scale marvels, but after 3 decades, everything still works AND that makes me very happy. Can't make that claim for a lot of supposedly better more recent products.

I let my imagination fill in for the lack of sounds and prototypical fidelity. And in my mind, my trains are just as nice as any high end model. Take a gander at my repaint thread linked below. My own layout is small, so the smaller types of 027 trains look more at home size-wise. I have fun making them look better detail-wise. But even spray paint has gotten way more expensive. No use in grumbling about it: I've just become more selective on what I buy, and like you, watch for clearance sales.

My advice for you Gary: Don't give up your dream for having better track, but don't bank your happiness on it either. Your medical bills won't get smaller (I also know this one too, but it's my business and I don't talk about here) and the cost of living isn't going down. So sometimes you have to make due with what you've got to work with. In that line of thinking, your very first post becomes much more relevant.

Good idea and enjoy running your trains without upsetting your wife. That sounds to me like a win-win.

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER

Gary, whomever invented the phrase "the golden years" for getting older, needs to be flogged with water balloons on a very cold January day! Maybe because your very first post contained all the technique tips, but didn't have the reasoning behind your approach that your later posts did, is why you've gotten all the recommendations for replacing FasTrack with other types of track.

I get where you are coming from. I started off when I re-entered the hobby with 027 tubular track, because that's what came with the sets I bought. And I still use it to this day. Along with the sorts of trains that came in those sets. For all the negativity you can read about 027 track not being as durable or engines with plastic gears, everything I've ever bought still works to this day.

Being content and happy with what you have makes for gratitude. There's always something better out there, but it doesn't always bring happiness. Again, my own trains aren't the latest tech loaded scale marvels, but after 3 decades, everything still works AND that makes me very happy. Can't make that claim for a lot of supposedly better more recent products.

I let my imagination fill in for the lack of sounds and prototypical fidelity. And in my mind, my trains are just as nice as any high end model. Take a gander at my repaint thread linked below. My own layout is small, so the smaller types of 027 trains look more at home size-wise. I have fun making them look better detail-wise. But even spray paint has gotten way more expensive. No use in grumbling about it: I've just become more selective on what I buy, and like you, watch for clearance sales.

My advice for you Gary: Don't give up your dream for having better track, but don't bank your happiness on it either. Your medical bills won't get smaller (I also know this one too, but it's my business and I don't talk about here) and the cost of living isn't going down. So sometimes you have to make due with what you've got to work with. In that line of thinking, your very first post becomes much more relevant.

Good idea and enjoy running your trains without upsetting your wife. That sounds to me like a win-win.

Thank you very much brianel_k-lineguy!

Last edited by OGR CEO-PUBLISHER

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