Has anyone ever used Zip Ties to secure track to a layout instead of screws? If so, was there much difference in sound as opposed to a screw through homasote into plywood?  Is it worth the extra effort?  

Original Post

I recall reading about a professionally built display layout intended for an office reception area that used zip ties to secure the track. Their belief was that even when using homasote or other sound deadening materials, screws would transmit the vibration from the track into the wood base. If I recall, the technique was successful.

I should add that some of us, myself included, like some level of noise from our trains, so I would only try this if your intent was to limit virtually all train sound.

I am just about to start layout FasTrack down on a layer of green carpet over foam board  for my grandson and this post is a great reminder instead of screws I will try this with the zip ties as I recall from a past article!  As for track noise I like a bit, but the FasTrack is the nosiest on the market and I shy away from it for layouts for this reason. The noise from running a train with a few cars at a normal speed completely drowns out the engine sounds bell and whistle on most trains. The old 0-27 track is much quieter on carpet a bit of track noise but not to much!

My go-to technique for holding Fastrack together is 1/2" binder clips.  If you do this for all the loops, you can just screw it down loosely at a few locations and it'll all stay on a carpet top layout.


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My go-to technique for holding Fastrack together is 1/2" binder clips.  If you do this for all the loops, you can just screw it down loosely at a few locations and it'll all stay on a carpet top layout.

I like this idea. Seems great for a temporary floor layout.. The Fastrack just doesn't stay tight.

As for zip ties, how would you use them to hold the track together (as opposed to holding it down to a board)? I see someone mentioned using them on a Christmas layout, I guess that was tubular?

The only way I can imagine using ZIP-TIE is to drill holes in the ends of the track.  The binder clips work just as well and can be removed and reused.  You need to use the small ones, they just fit over the two pieces, and are fully recessed when they're in place so the track sits flat.

best method for using zip ties to secure track involves use in a way not as normal.  1)  insert tie wrap down through track tie and hole in underlayment and layout board/material. 2) Under the layout, use second tie to push/slip over inserted tie wrap and tighten as desired.  What you have resulting is the square tie wrap head between rails and the second tie wrap head securing track from underneath layout.  3) Trim as needed.  The tie wrap material do not transfer sound as a nail or screw will.  It only takes twice as many tie wraps, two per anchoring point.

Jesse   TCA

Last edited by texastrain

From Grainger website.   Tie wrap with a mounting hole.   I can only imagine??.  A picture would be nice  


Last edited by Mike CT

My idea when I made the original post was using 11" Ladder Ties ( zip ties with holes running down the tie ). Dril two holes on either side of the center rail and and a track tie. Feed ladder ties up from underneath the bench and back down through the top. Secure over a track tie. BTW, I'd be using Atlas O track. Although, Jesse's idea seems like it would be more secure. Thanks Jesse. 

I use 4" standard zip ties to hold down Fastrack and Menards 3 rail on my year-round Christmas layout. The mounting holes in both the Lionel and the Menards are the perfect size for the zip ties, no drilling needed.

I drill an 1/8" hole with a 6" long bit through the track hole, 2" foam board and the 1/2" plywood. Insert a zip tie then another zip underneath to secure it all.

This is my first layout so I can't compare the sound but it's a lot quieter than loose Fastrack on a hardwood floor!

I too like the 1/2" binder clip method for the Fastrack, I'll try that next.

Thanks all - Jimmy


Last edited by JimmyJohns

Mike CT...   That type is great for securing and making neat your under-layout wiring.  Use the mounting hole to (here it comes) mount the tie where needed.  Use the tie function for holding wiring, and, it does not have to be tight.  Just to make a loop for running wires through, as big or little as you prefer.  They work great, and less expensive than other methods.  Come in handy when you do not have a convenient location for drilling holes in crossmembers, and does not affect integrity or strength of crossmembers.

Jesse   TCA

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