Hi All

I’m in the process of designing my upper twin loop which will be about 7 “ above the main layout. It will be Lionel Fastrack.

It will for the most part only be as wide as the twin track with a few exceptions  and will be sitting on a concrete pony wall for 1/2 of the entire length.   However on the remaining 1/2 it will need to be supported by blocks of 2x4.

I was originally going to make this out of plywood, but am now considering 1” high density foam instead. My only concern is if this will be strong enough on its own. Has anyone had experience with this? I do have some heavier engines but I do understand that the weight will get displaced quite a lot by the fastrack itself. 

Would make my work a lot easier if I just had to do the foam and no plywood!  Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice!

Gerhardt

Gerhardt - G’s O Scale Trains ....  waaaay up in Canada 

 

 

Original Post

Foam isnt really weight bearing. as a single floating layer. I've set mine on 1/2" birch ply, and its supported by Z shaped supports of a 1x5 with a 1x2 glued and nailed to the edge at either end to enable attachment to both surfaces. 

Along the back, the track sits on the same thickness plywood, but the base is 5" of foam sitting on the table frame. 

IMG_1098

 

"Of course we know its O-gauge or no gauge." -- Sheldon Cooper

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I suspended my upper level on 450 signal bridges using a plywood roadbed.  I used textured paint and lined the sides with girder.  Added oak stiffeners on longer spans.  Hid the wiring in “downspouts.  Signal wiring and controls hid nicely under the plywood between girders.

Steve

Thanks for all the responses so far. I’m hoping to hear from anyone who has used the foam or tried it. I saw in one of Peter Riddles books that he was advocating using rigid foam without plywood underneath at all from my recollection. Anyone else had experience with this? Thanks 

Gerhardt - G’s O Scale Trains ....  waaaay up in Canada 

 

 

I know you want to hear a certain "answer" but as it has been said you will not have the structure you need. I used birch 1/2" plywood as BOILERMAKER1 did. Its easy to install and offers plenty of structure for the trains.You can rip the straight lengths on a table saw and use track for curve templates and cut with a jig saw. Nick

                                                                                                                             

rockstars1989 posted:

I know you want to hear a certain "answer" but as it has been said you will not have the structure you need. I used birch 1/2" plywood as BOILERMAKER1 did. Its easy to install and offers plenty of structure for the trains.You can rip the straight lengths on a table saw and use track for curve templates and cut with a jig saw. Nick

Hi,

Thanks for your reply. I’m not looking for a certain answer, just curious about options and what other people have done and tried and if anyone had used this method I had read about as I questioned the strength of it. For me plywood is what I’ve done the rest of the layout in so that’s easy enough that do. Thanks again,

G

Gerhardt - G’s O Scale Trains ....  waaaay up in Canada 

 

 

There was one layout that I saw that used the foam in a suitable manner - 2" foam was used and installed vertically side by side for a single track support. 

This would be ok if you were going finish the rise and elevation as terrain or perhaps carve it as a viaduct. 4 pieces wide for a double track could get expensive.

 

Carl

Arctic Railroad

I have used nothing BUT foam on my layout.

I have my layout built on a solid wood table framed with 2x4’s and covered with 1/2” plywood and then 2” white foam board(cheaper than pink or blue foamboard).

   All my grades and upper levels are made from this material with some 3” as well.

  Check out my CPR Mountain division thread and you can see how I approached building my layout

Al

My upper level - built on Mianne benchwork - has 3/4" ply (because I do climb on it) with a layer of 1/4" cork and then a layer of 3/4" ceiling tile. 

The track is Atlas and is installed on foam roadbed.  The layout is free standing and does not touch the walls in a 10'x12" room - but covers the entire room with a center "running/control" area.

I use Atlas track and there is almost no noise from the top deck.  Perfect.  

 

 

RT   

albertstrains posted:

I have used nothing BUT foam on my layout.

I have my layout built on a solid wood table framed with 2x4’s and covered with 1/2” plywood and then 2” white foam board(cheaper than pink or blue foamboard).

   All my grades and upper levels are made from this material with some 3” as well.

  Check out my CPR Mountain division thread and you can see how I approached building my layout

Al

Thanks Albert. Very interesting I will check it out. Thanks,

G

Gerhardt - G’s O Scale Trains ....  waaaay up in Canada 

 

 

rthomps posted:

My upper level - built on Mianne benchwork - has 3/4" ply (because I do climb on it) with a layer of 1/4" cork and then a layer of 3/4" ceiling tile. 

The track is Atlas and is installed on foam roadbed.  The layout is free standing and does not touch the walls in a 10'x12" room - but covers the entire room with a center "running/control" area.

I use Atlas track and there is almost no noise from the top deck.  Perfect.  

Thanks, another good suggestion. I love hearing about all the different methods people have used!

Gerhardt - G’s O Scale Trains ....  waaaay up in Canada 

 

 

vallieone posted:

My upper level is the pink foam bought at Home DepotIMG_1867

Very nice. Thanks  for posting this with the picture as I’m a visual person. I think this is what I was reading about. Very interesting... I’m assuming it’s the 2” thick you are using? Have you had any flex issues and what is holding up the foam? I see some smaller wooden supports in the middle?  Assuming supports are glued to the foam? This method is so foreign to me as I always think of this from a house building background.  You guys are helping me see the other possibilities and expand my mind.  Thanks, 

G

Gerhardt - G’s O Scale Trains ....  waaaay up in Canada 

 

 

My elevated section also has a large plywood top that uses in part dowel supports similar to valllieone above to support the weight of a D56 city.  My plywood just sits on the dowel tops.  My plywood is not going anywhere due to the city weight and the fact that it is trapped by elevated track.  The dowel bottoms are glued and screwed to level one of my layout.  Under Grand Central Terminal in my city are representative tracks complete with platforms, people, etc.  There is also track 61 complete with FDR in his wheelchair and limo.   I use PVC pipe with flange bases painted black as supports on the GCT track  platforms.  The flange bases are hidden under the track platforms.  The PVC pipe is the conduit for the substantial wiring required to implement my city scene.  My D56 city is power by 12 VDC using LED lighting.

Steve

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