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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there,

As I have just retired from work, I am building my first layout. I have read many articles on track laying, but I am not satisfied with the results I have obtained. I have just tested a section of my new layout but I find it to be very noisy.

I have built my baseboards from 2" x 1" soft wood and covered the tops with soft board, I then glued cork under the rails, and glued my rails on top, now I intend to glue loose ballast over. As I said before I just tested a part of the track but as the locomotive rolls over it I am getting a very deep noise which is not what I expected to hear considering the soft board and the cork. Could it be because I glued both the cork and the rails to the soft board.

Could I ask for your help as I am very egar to have a silent railway. If needs be I will start again from scratch.

Mostlyeating.
 

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The glueing is what did it. Proceed to glue on ballast (especially genuine stone) and the effect will probably become yet louder. What you are doing with the glue is coupling the noise source - the moving vehicles on the track - more efficiently to the soft board which is acting as a loudspeaker diaphragm. One way round this: something soft between the track bed (which is inevitably quite stiff once ballasted) and the baseboard: the type of material sold for sleeping bag mats is suitable. It is also helpful to reduce the area of baseboard, as this minimises the radiating area from which any vibration that does get through can be emitted.
 

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Hello and Welcome to the Forum Mostleyeating

On my last layout I glued 40mm thick Polystyrene foam on top of the very lightweight boards I used . The Track was glued on top and virtually no sound was transferred to the woodwork. Other foam was added for scenic items before the track was laid and paper - mache and paint to blend in scenery

Regards

Zmil
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi there 34C,

I agree with you that my gluing is causing the problem, I was only following the "Shows you how" series, and that is exactly what it tells you to do, that is glue the cork, then glue the rails, pin everything down, and when glue has set, remove the pins. As you said it will get worse with the ballast.

About the material you mentioned for the sleeping bags once glued to the softboard and subsequently the rails glued to it, won't it become hard as did my cork?

What if I glue the track to the cork then pin the lot to the softboard?

Mostlyeating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Lord Castellan Creed

It depends on what you were pinning your track and what kind of ballast you will be using.

Mostlyeating.
 

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Hi Mostlyeating,

When I modelled 00 I used to use 2 layers of the thin (2.5mm) expanded polystyrene wall lining you can get in rolls from B & Q. I also used Copydex glue rather than PVA as it is a rubber based glue which, itself, helps to provide a degree of acoustic insulation by forming an acoustic barrier. I glued one layer over the whole board and then put another layer just where the tracks were going.

Now I am 'down-sizing' to N Gauge I plan to use 2 layers of the very thin (1.5mm) polyethylene sheeting used under wood flooring but the principle is the same. Acousically isolate/insulate the track from the board as much as possible.

Even after ballasting, the bottom layer prevents any track/loco vibration from causing a resonance in the underlying baseboard structure provided the track ballast does not get too much onto the bottom layer.
 

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QUOTE (mostlyeating @ 7 Dec 2008, 17:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>.. About the material you mentioned for the sleeping bags once glued to the softboard and subsequently the rails glued to it, won't it become hard as did my cork?

What if I glue the track to the cork then pin the lot to the softboard? ..
Mostlyeating,

The 'shows you how' booklets were written sometime in the last millenium, and are frankly very dated. Yes, they will produce a working model railway, but don't take into account the much better and more affordable materials and techniques now available. To make an analogy, it's like reading a 1960's GPO manual on 'your telephone' for guidance on what is possible today ...

A foamed polymer like the sleeping bag mat, or the expanded polystyrene that Expat mentions in the post above, won't go hard as the glue cannot soak in and make it rigid. The choice of a rubbery glue like Copydex that Expat mentions also helps, as this retains flexibility when set. But what you must not do is bridge from the track to the baseboard with anything rigid like glue secured ballast. This also applies to pins, don't put pins permanently through the construction into the softboard: they are conductors for the sound. The soft foam has to be the only connection between the ballasted track, and the baseboard.

If you need pins when glueing down the track to hold its' alignment, use half-inch head drawing pins with the pin between the sleepers, to lightly clamp the sleepers down. These can be easily removed and reused once the glue is set, ahead of ballasting. No holes in sleepers, or unsightly pin heads in the finished track.

It is worth mentioning that everyone has their own ideas when it comes to sound from model trains, and the actual construction of the layout frame and covering has a big effect. So to a large extent it needs trial and error by the layout owner to get the desired result.
 

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QUOTE (mostlyeating @ 7 Dec 2008, 17:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Lord Castellan Creed

It depends on what you were pinning your track and what kind of ballast you will be using.

Mostlyeating.
I am using hornby track and the ballast is from the woodland scenics range. And I don't remove the pins.
 

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QUOTE (Lord Castellan Creed @ 8 Dec 2008, 22:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I am using hornby track and the ballast is from the woodland scenics range. And I don't remove the pins.

***Its a case of different results for different methods. if your baseboard has no resonant parts, then sticking things solidly to it will not make noise as you have found - if it is of different construction then doing that will create noise.

No wrong and right in it - Each layout construction style and material choice will differ in result sound wise... Keep an open mind on these things... pinning also has some drawbacks when you are using an underlay to make the trackwork look more realistic.

As an example of doing it on purpose, I used a layer of thin resonant material as the (well supported) trackbed on my long viaduct (actually it was bog standard formica laminate sheet) as I wanted a distinct change in wheel and train sound as the train left the land and rode the viaduct....

For the average baseboard construction methods, 34C's comments are very pertinent.
Richard
 
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