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So once again it's been a while since I have posted but I have done some work in the meantime.  I put in drywall, painted, and upgraded the electrical.  In the meantime, my better half has decided that the amount of space allocated for the train was too much so I had to cut down on the track plan a little bit.  My previous railroad had L-girder benchwork but I'm thinking for this one that L-girder my not be necessary since the track plan is basically one level, except for the red track which will dip down 2.5 inches then come back up.  As discussed way back, I am a definite "looper" and even though I really wanted a multi-level plan, it was just too complicated so I think this track plan is right for me.  I could always add a switch or two in the front part of the dog bone if needed.  I hoping to start the benchwork this weekend so your thoughts are welcome.  Thanks and keep rolling.


I have started the benchwork using the Grid System.  Major snowstorm came through and knocked out the power so we spent a Saturday playing Yahtzee.  Once the power came back on today, I got through some of the benchwork for the dogbone.    Biggest dilemma was deciding on the height of the layout.  My son is only 5'2 so I decided to make it 43.5 inches and once the plywood and homasote are added, it will be just under 45 inches. 

I'm very hopeful that I should be able to finish the bench work this weekend and if I do, I'll post some pictures.  Next on the agenda is to order the track.  I'll be going with Gargraves flex track and Ross for the switches and curves.  Are there any tips that I should be aware of when ordering track?

@Vitto posted:

I called Ross and talked to Steve.  He told me expect a lead time of up to 8 weeks.  Wish I would have ordered sooner but no big deal.  One thing that I forgot to even think about was uncoupling tracks.  Any ideas as to how many and where I should incorporate them into my layout?

Well it depends if you can reach the cars or not.  If you can reach them easily you can probably get away with a skewer stick and manually poking the uncoupling mechanism (thumbtack, tab or whatever depending on era and manufacturer of car). Or if not, for uncouplers typically you'd want them at the beginning of a siding - be sure to leave enough spacing so that when the car is uncoupled it doesnt foul the adjacent track - and on "the main" so you can uncouple from the rest of the train and spot the car(s) in the siding.

So I just made a run at lunch and picked up what I think is all of the lumber needed to complete the bench work.  Still have to order the track, which I should have done a long time ago, but if everything goes as planned the bench work will be done this weekend.  Only problem that I see right now is that nothing ever goes as planned.

this weekend I am going to start putting plywood onto the benchwork.  I've done some reading but I am still confused.  I plan to have a bottom base of plywood with the woodlands scenic foam track bed.  my question is, should I do plywood, then homasote on the plywood and then the foam track bed with track held in place with zip ties or can I eliminate the homasote since i am using the foam track bed?

Vitto, shortly you will have a plethora of advice. For my layout I used plywood and then topped it with foam board. The foam board is for landscaping purposes such as a ravine between the tracks etc. For purposes of sound deadening I use 16” centers with my foundation and then carpet padding under the rails. I would think that if you use homasote you won’t need the foam track bed.


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