Noisy track

Bill replied on track gluing:


Planning for possible future alterations is something to consider. I probably won't even give myself the option on the first layout since there won't be any turnouts and such. And it's looking more like I'll be using almost 100% flextrack to get the tighter curves. I've been checking some On30 sites and found some tests that have been done with the Bachmann On30 0-4-0 Porter (which is the one I've recently purchased) and it's been shown to be able to go full speed with a couple mining cars on a 6" radius. The 0-4-2 could do it as well but not with cars (it would pull them sideways off the track). Still, that could be stressful on the engine I suppose so won't go near that tight and it will only be going at very low speeds anyway. Oddly (since I'm babbling on here), the Bachmann On30 Cabooses or cars don't like tight curves at all according to tests. So I'll have to go with a kit from International Hobbies which makes some nice backwoods looking stubby cabooses and cars or Boulder Valley which actually has an ultra stubby caboose kit that sits on one set of trucks.

Good idea.

Understood, and will do just that but I'm sure I'll have more questions soon to point me in the right directions and avoid the pitfalls. All types of learning should be this fun!
p.s. The only layout I've actually done to date mounted to an actual piece of plywood was an N Gauge. It went around the Christmas tree but it had that noise problem that has recently been spoke of. I'll do it better next time. :)
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Last layout I built, only the frame was wood. Roadbed and scenery where foam insulation. I glued the track down with a single bead of white glue and put in sewing pins to hold the track in place. Once The track was ballasted and had dried, I removed the pins. all track including switches operated without any problems for over a year (after which I moved). http://jbrail.railfan.net/Miscel/Layout/LayoutAll.html no shifting, buckling, misaligning, kinking anything. Track never came up or caused any problems. When I went to tear down the layout (sigh), I poured boiling water on the track and the white glue softened and I was able to save all the track. http://jbrail.railfan.net/Miscel/Layout/Session64/Session64.html My next layout will be the same. Track was reasonably quiet. Was real quiet until I ballasted and the glue dried. Then it got noisier. But I like the noise so I don't mind. :-)
Jb

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wrote:

I love the mockup you made. Nice job. More enjoyable than many layouts I've seen over the years. :-^..really. What scale is the mock up , if you don't mind me asking ? Are the buildings wood blocks or cardstock ? The freight cars look almost real from that 'altitude' :-) I've built many layouts over the years in different scales and many times I have said I was going to build a model of the layout , but never did. I was always too anxious to spend time on the full scale. I'm sure building a model would have saved me many hours of changes on the full scale. Thanks for sharing with us, I do wish more would share photos of their work. As they say , a picture.........
Ken Day
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The scale of the diorama is 1" ". So the scale of the 'models' would be 1/87/20 I guess :-). The base is foam core card and the 'models' are regular paper. I used Turbo Cad to generate the models, I measured the general porportions of HO scale models and made the drawings. The trees are just clump ground foam. It was fun to build. I built it as a proof of concept for the real thing. Jb

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track. I expected with the roadbed that the train would run quieter, but it is noiser< The nails transmit the noise, from the track, through the roadbed to the plywood, which is a giant sounding board. Try gluing the track to the cork.
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wrote:

More on that. Cork "de-couples" the vibrations between the track and plywood because it is flexible. Nails are rigid, and couple vibrations back to the plywood as point source sound eminating from the nail shaft, where the vibration can more easily resonate the plywood sheet. Gluing track to cork - cork to plywood instead of nailing helps, using spikes that don't completely penetrate the cork helps, adding mass (like lead) to the plywood base helps, using strips of plywood rather than full sheets of plywood helps, and gluing braces to the plywood to detune the resonating may help. Isolating the sound energy, de-tuning it, or absorbing it are the concepts to follow. FWIW, I've read that some people use the foam tape commonly used to mount camper tops to truck beds as roadbed.
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In addition to what the others have said abouit gluing the track down and firming up the plywood, you shojld also consider using the flex track as much as possible as this cuts down on the rail joints which are a major source of noise, unless you want to hear all of the rail clicks like old time track provided. In addition, the less rail joints means that there are less places for the electric power to get interrupted. Finally, if the railroad started quiet and got noiser just running the trains, you will need to clean the wheels of the locos and cars of the lumps of grime that can collect on them. There are a number of products that will keep wheels clean for a longer time and it depends upon the dirt type as to what to use- you will have to experiment with the various products. Noise of some kind is a fact of life with model trains - the real ones make a lot of noise rolling down the track - so you're not going to be getting a real quiet layout. -- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net, In a message on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 10:01:14 -0800, wrote :
f> Thanks Ed! I can see how this can work now. I was visualizing the track f> glued down without ballast, but with that between the ties I can imagine f> everything would hold together quite well. And I like the temporary f> pinning idea too. f> f> Don't know if I had even thought of putting ballast down since the f> initial layout will be very simple and basic but I know eventually as f> detail is added, the cork or foam will need to be covered to look f> better. -Which leads to another question: f> f> I'm looking at a piece of flextrack I bought to test curves. It's HO but f> I'll get the standard On30 track when the time comes which has a bit f> more spacing between ties. Still; how does everyone go about setting the f> glue down between all those ties without getting it all over the tops f> and making a mess. I mean I can imagine using a special tip on a glue f> bottle or a fine brush doing a neat job but it sounds like hours of f> tedious work (which I'm up for but just wondered if there are other f> methods). Then sprinkle the ballast on and vacuum excess off later when f> dry?
You don't need alot of glue between the track and roadbed (cork or homasote). Spread the glue thin on the roadbed and press the track onto it. Run a 'fat' bead down the middle of the roadbed and use a small putty knife to spread it thin. Yes, a *small* amount of glue will ozze up between the ties, but this should be minimual, since you don't need that much glue!. The initial glue is just to hold things in place until the ballast, which will really hold things in place. Then you spread the ballast (dry), then you'll dribble on a 50-50 mix of Elmers & water with a drop of dish soap (I use a small Elmers bottle) onto the ballast, enough to soak it well. This glue mixture will settle as it dries (some will soak into the roadbed. White glue (Elmers) dries clear, so if some flows over the ties, it won't be visible, so long as there isn't copious amounts of ballast (or glue) *over* the ties -- a few odd stones on top of the ties here and there is normal (and prototypical!). I use one of the ballast spreader tools. This is just a round canister with slots for the rails, holes for the ballast to go though and a rubber wipper to wipe the ballast off the ties:
http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/479-5008
Actually, I don't bother to glue the track to the roadbed, since I don't use plywood. I use 1/4" homabed, glued to insulation foam. I use a *few* track nails (pushed into the homabed and foam) to hold the track in place, then do the ballasting. The ballast is what really holds things. I don't bother to remove the nails. Since I am using foam and not plywood, I don't have to worry about excessive noise.
f> f> Brad H. f> f>
Robert Heller -- 978-544-6933 Deepwoods Software -- Linux Installation and Administration http://www.deepsoft.com/ -- Web Hosting, with CGI and Database snipped-for-privacy@deepsoft.com -- Contract Programming: C/C++, Tcl/Tk
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Thanks for all the help. I think I will try the elmers glue and some small track nails that will only go into the cork roadbed.
I would like a little more info on the "points". Pardon my ignorance, but I don't know what part of the switch is the points. A little diagram would help.
Karl P Anderson wrote:

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Karl P Anderson wrote:

The points are the ends of the moveing section of track that actualy direct the train wheels in the desired direction. The points are ground to a tapered shape to fit the side of the other rails.
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Robert,     That is what I thought. I manually ran a car over the switches and it looked like there was a problem when the wheels hit the points on at least one switch. Altho, I couldn't see why. I will very carefully try to "fix" the point. Now that I think about it the problem occured when the car was going toward the points. Thanks for the update.
RobertVA wrote:

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If only one car has the problem, then it's probably a fault with the car. If many cars have the problem, then it's probably a fault with the track. Don't 'fix' the wrong thing.
Over the past 15 years I've helped design and build 2 HO layouts. One has about 1200 feet of Atlas flex track on the main line alone. (3 track main 400 feet of ROW) Both used Shinohara/Walthers switches and Atlas flextrack. One was code 100 and the other was code 83 with code 100 in the hidden staging.
We used yellow carpenter's glue to glue the roadbed (Vynlbed on one and cork on the other) to a wood sub roadbed (spline on one and plywood on the other). Two beads about a 16th inch diameter plus a similar bead zig-zag down the center holds the roadbed nicely. Slide the roadbed around a little to spread the glue. We used nails (partialy driven) only to hold it in place until the glue set up. We weighted the roadbed with pop cans filled with sand til the glue set. All the nails are removed before laying track.
For the track we scuffed the bottom of the ties with sandpaper and ran a similar bead of glue under each rail. Track was also held in alignment with nails again only partially driven. We used pop cans filled with sand to weight the track overnite. All nails are removed before and during wiring. We discovered that a very little (almost invisible) prebend at the last 3 inches on each side of a joint helped prevent kinks in joints in a curve. Do this before you put glue on the track ;-) It's much easier. (BTW, the curve standards for the 2 RR were 48 and 30 inch nominal radius with easements.) If the track your using has a 'fixed' rail (such as Atlas code 100), put the fixed rail to the outside of any curve. This is especially necessary on large radius curves to keep the curve smooth since the unfixed rail has some side play and tends to wonder a little side to side. see <
http://pc.smellycat.com/eriepitt/ep11-02-03j.jpg
<
http://pc.smellycat.com/eriepitt/ep03-20-05d.jpg
The ties on the switches are thinner than the ties on the Atlas track so we used about 6-9 inches of Shinohara/Walthers flextrack to ease each route leading to a switch. On the end that abutted the Atlas track we glued plastic shims under a few ties so that the height difference would not fall at the track joint. <
http://pc.smellycat.com/eriepitt/ep11-02-03i.jpg Since you can't really glue to the plastic used for the ties, all the glue did was soften the shim plastic so it oozed into the scratches on the ties. It held the pieces together long enough to lay the track. The yellow glue oozed around the edges and held everything in place very well.
DO NOT put glue under the track along the points of switches and ESPECIALLY AVOID GETTING ANY GLUE ON THE THROWBAR. It does sometimes form a drip on the rail before you turn the track over to put it in place. This is not a problem on regular track as the drip is easily removed if it doesn't run down onto the roadbed. Glue is much harder to remove from point and closure rails. We put a dot of glue in the middle of 1-2 ties at each end for extra holding near the joint.
Be sure to undercut the roadbed below the throwbar and drill an access hole for the operating mechanism and dry fit everything before you begin slinging glue around. Have weights at hand to hold the end of a curve while you look for the hammer and/or nails ;-) We cut at most 2 ties from each end to allow space for the rail joiner. The ties were cut down to fit under the joiner and glued in later. Also, cut the inner rail to length before you get glue on the track. It doesn't have to be exactly in line with the outer rail but it cuts down on the fiddling with the joint while the glue is dripping and on the number of ties you need to stuff later.
The only problems we had on either RR was if the track got soaking wet from a leak (the glue does eventually let go if you keep it wet for a day or so) or when an expansion gap of about 0.010-0.015 inch per 36 inches of track was not allowed for changes in humidity. Without the allowance for expansion we had one 48 inch radius curve that had all joints soldered for a distance of about 15 feet, stringline (the roadbed expanded out from under the track) and a second, straight stretch of about 12 feet but not soldered, developed a 'sunkink' that required removal of about a 16th inch of rail.
If you want to take up the track or roadbed slide a putty knife under it (track or roadbed). The track comes up easily and if you can get the glue off, can be reused. The roadbed sticks only a little tighter and requires some scraping to clean the sub roadbed. We did have to take up a couple switches that had the throwbar access hole slightly off. With a putty knife it was about ten minutes work to remove the switch, correct the hole and relay the switch. Also, we had to pull up about 75 feet in a curve when we didn't place the fixed rail to the outside on every piece. (3 track main once around at 48 inch radius on the middle track is 75 feet of track... one day's work at the time)
Also, we jumpered EVERY joint. Each individual piece of rail has a wire connection to the power or the adjacent rail. Rail joiners are used for alignment only. When we had a short (3-4 inch) piece, we soldered the joiners. This occurs at block gaps or beyond the frog of a DCC unfriendly switch. Most electrical gaps were cut with a razor saw and stuffed with plastic shim material. The plastic joiners don't seem to maintain rail alignment and, in general, look kind of clunky.
The photos are linked from <http://pc.smellycat.com/eriepitt/photos.html . (the smaller of the 2 RRs)
--
Fred Lotte
snipped-for-privacy@nospam.stratos.net
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Hey -- that sounds like a good (and easy, and CHEAP) way to hold the roadbed in place until the glue sets!
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Fred,     Good info. Thanks. This N layout I am creating is much, much smaller. About 3 1/2 x 6ft. I do have some flex track and plan on using it on straight areas on the layout. I don't think I want to fool with it on curves yet. I need to build up my expertise. 8^) But I do like the idea of the pop cans!
Fred Lotte wrote:

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I've found that if I use an older car and push down on it with a moderate amount of pressure that I can "feel" the problem as the wheels run over it.
dlm

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On Tue, 21 Mar 2006 14:45:12 GMT, Dan Merkel wrote:

Hey, there's an idea: instead of any old car cut a slab of clear acrylic and mount trucks on it (or buy one of those clear plastic slab with trucks test cars from MicroMark, but why not build your own?).
--
Steve

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Those transparent cars were a retail item back in the '60s. Don't forget to use solid trucks on it as sprung trucks will damp up some of the motions. The clear body just removes the forces of the hand towards twisting the truck on the track from the truck.
-- Why do penguins walk so far to get to their nesting grounds?
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