Been over 40yrs since i built one so as you can imagine i have a ton of questions. My layout will be on a 4x8 sheet of plywood i think i will use cork for the rail bed. Should i use foam board on top of the plywood or just the cork.
At least around here, two 2' x 8' panels of 2" extruded foamboard go for about the same price as a 4x8 sheet of construction grade plywood.You can use anything you can bend to suit your track plan's curves and that supports the track elements nice 'n flush....and level.
You can lay foam roadbed or just cork roadbed, and you can lay either one on plywood directly or on foam insulation board (the hard thick extruded foam that is NOT heat-pressed pills of Styrofoam...it must be the extruded kind).
You can use a very thin coating of acrylic latex caulking to help keep the cork in place, or you can use track nails. I recommend track nails the first couple of trials because you are likely to experiment and find that your track plan doesn't work very well, or it's simply boring after a week or two. You wouldn't want it adhered in place by glues. However, the track nails don't do a great job in the extruded foam. The foam is much softer than the plywood and the nails can get knocked askew or get dragged out of the foam more easily.
Plywood is heavy, as is the structure needed to support it firmly. The foam is much lighter, and as has been mentioned, it can be carved and have pieces stacked easily for terrain. The foam needs protection at the sides where people lean or where objects might come into contact with it. So, plywood helps, but is heavy, much harder to drive track spikes into. Much, much harder to carve, so you have to create terrain other ways. The extruded foamboard is very light, can be carved easily and shaped, and if more than 1.5" thick, will support itself without sagging for at least 2' before you need a supporting element under it. If 2" thick, it will support itself for at least 4' without significant sagging. It gets expensive, though, with volume of the foam.
+1 for doing away with plywood :thumbsup:
Of course. But if you know you want the sound eventually, I'd recommend just getting the DCC w/ sound version of the loco right of the bat. That's a heck of a lot easier than adding a decoder and speaker(s) after the fact.What to start getting info on locos. I don’t know what i want to have sound and lights down the road but for now i want to run a train and add as i can is it possible to buy a loco that will be able to do this