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5 posts

I am about to start from scratch a 8 ft by 3 ft layout, Hornby 00,  should I be laying cork or felt under track and just sit track straight on to board, not too concerned about noise as set up will be in garage.

Whats best

Rog (RJ)

1927 posts

No, don't bother.  Just lay straight on to the baseboard.


PS.  3 foot wide is rather restrictive, probably needing 1st radius curves.  4 foot would be much better.  Avoid 1st radius curves if at all possible.

Rog :-) I don't model anything in particular, I just play trains. Living on the South side of Nottingham. Keep taking the tablets. https://www.modelrailwayforum.co.uk/


81 posts

Hello Grandee,suggest you consider SUNDEALA board 9mm 8x4 ft £86 delivered if you are going into this hobby big time.

Its advantage is that your track pins go into the board easily and it is a great time saver ( with all those bent pins having to be reinserted a non entity) This board sits on top of your base board, you dont say what the dims for this are. Select track pins carefully and determine just how is best for you to pin the sleepers to the board.

Watch  the weight of all this and its. manoeuvrability 

If £86 is a worrying facctor, ask on here just who else would recommend it for 1st choice.

Best of luck.



687 posts


i doubt very much anyone would recommend sundeala anymore, i certainly would not,

Mike, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAtPj-BLBIqJLuvejfvB9Jg


8259 posts

Community Moderator

......you don't say what the dims for this are......


Yes he did, in first line of text i.e. 8ft x 3ft.



I concur with others, consider 4ft width as being the minimum, 3ft is too restrictive on what you can achieve with reliable train operation. Much of todays modern rolling stock does not like 1st radius curves.


See this track geometry information resource:


Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.


10462 posts

Community Moderator


...suggest you consider SUNDEALA board 9mm 8x4 ft £86 delivered if you are going into this hobby big time....

...If £86 is a worrying facctor, ask on here just who else would recommend it for 1st choice.


you probably wouldnt pay that for a professional built baseboard of those dims.

i found sundeala worse than useless - as soon as you tried to ballast it the stuff warped all over the place.


if you feel the need for a soft underlay look at Wickes laminated flooring underlay panels.

Halton Brat - Running Win 10, 64-bit - RM (Pro-Pack) with Elite as Controller-A, Select as Walkabout and E-Link as Controller-B - Locos are mostly TTS. http://www.halton96th.org.uk/page21.html


81 posts

@ dynax

I am listening, but you did not say  why you could not recommend Sundeala.


My 8X6 frame is braced every foot, length and widthwise and has been down 20 years. The Sundeala board lays on top, suitablly pinned to the frame, which is on legs. It is 100% ballasted - it (Sundaela) can't move (warp) !

I am wondering why yours does. Is (was) it not pinned? Also does the Cyprus climate have anything to do with it? I can't think of any other reasons Looking forward to a reply.



1204 posts

Hi Grandie

I agree with the previous posts on size 8'X4' is a better size and also avoid like the plague 1st radius curves.

If you go with underlay the I would say cork this is what I use.

The cork strips aid in getting a really nice ballast profile however this can be a disadvantage depending on the style of railway being modeled.

My latest is a light railway and I would have been better not having an underlay and therefore a more light railway appearance to the track

Use good quality plywood for your base board surface and take the time to do a quality job of it.

regards John


1064 posts

 Basically because Sundela is very expensive and has changed over the years. Most people tend to use ply. chipboard or MDF


8259 posts

Community Moderator

But in a garage or outbuilding environment as you indicated, PLY is the best choice. Chipboard and more so MDF are hygroscopic. They attract water moisture and will swell up, delaminate and warp. Ply is far more stable in an outbuilding.

Chris........ Making the wood in the trees visible.

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