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Talkin' Trains Seminar Debrief!

Talkin' Trains Seminar Debrief!

Saturday, January 28th we held our first Talkin' Trains seminar. Fred & Ben - two of our train associates had 8 in attendance to learn all about laying track! Step by step they covered the best practices on laying track. At the end of the seminar, participants went home with a 1 X 2 module to reference for their own layout, and about three hours worth of practice and instruction!!!


You may be wondering, what are the steps to laying track on your layout? The following steps are best practices for any scale. For practice purposes they referenced HO scale. 

Step 1: Establish Centerline of Track(s): Use a yardstick and marker to make a centerline on a platform. Tracks should be a minimum of 2" from the centerline of track to track. On curves depending on the radius, the tracks should be as follows:

         18"-22" Radius: 2.5" center to center of track.

          22" & Above: 2.25" center to center of track.

To establish the radius use a wooden yard stick. Put a nail at the 1" mark, drill a hole in the yardstick one inch larger than the radius you want. 

Step 2: Roadbed: Glue cork or foam roadbed down using clear silicone/acrylic caulk. It is best to apply a thin layer and spread out along the centerline. You can also nail down if preferred. (They used Woodland Scenic ST1474)

Step 3: Install Track: Install track by gluing or nailing down using the above procedures. They used Atlas flex track during the seminar. (Atlas Flex Track Code 83 OR Code 100 for HO scale)

Step 4: Painting Rails: Paint all sides of the rail. Use a rust colored paint with a small, flat sided paintbrush. Once the paint has dried, use an abrasive track cleaner to take the paint of the top of the rail. (Woodland Scenic TT4581)

Step 5: Ground Cover: Use a paint brush to apply a coating of either scenic cement (Woodland Scenic S191), white or yellow glue to the areas you want to put ground cover. Spread the ground cover. Use a minimum of three different colors. Some recommended colors and textures- Woodland Scenic T49, T50, T41-51 Fine, T60-65 Coarse. 

Step 6: Ballasting: Choose your favorite color of ballast. Place ballast either by hand or using a ballast tool. Use a soft paint brush to clean the ballast off the ties. Spray the track, roadbed and ballast with 90 percent alcohol or water with a drop of dish soap. Glue the ballast. In a spray bottle (Woodland Scenic S192) or bowl, make a 50-50 mixture of white or yellow glue, water and one drop of dishwashing soap. This helps the water tension break down, and the glue will flow better. You can also use Woodland Scenic Cement (S191). 

Have any questions about laying track?! Please feel free to stop in and chat with our knowledgeable train associates, or better yet- come to our next seminar on Saturday, February 25th all about rocks! They will cover how to make rocks, cliffs, mountains, and more!!! 

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