The baseboard is one of the most important components
of your model railway. It is the foundation upon which the success
(or otherwise) of your model will depend. There are various
methods of constructing a baseboard and the correct choice will depend
on how the final model will be used.
Some layouts are permanently built into a room in the house,
while others are portable. The most important design criteria of a
portable layout are the size and weight of its individual
components. Obviously, such restrictions are irrelevant when
building a permanent layout.
The most popular materials used for the board itself are MDF, Plywood,
Sundeala and Chipboard, all requiring a suitable timber frame to make
the board rigid and keep it flat. We have found that the best materials
for the baseboard cover is 9mm thick MDF with Plywood a close
second. They are much more robust than Sundeala and lighter
than Chipboard. Moisture absorption can be a major problem
with Sundeala causing the material to expand and warp. MDF
and Plywood provide an excellent base for the track as track pins and
small screws (for fixing point motors etc) are held
securely. ideally, plywood should be covered with cork sheet
to provide a good track base.
A 3D view of a baseboard with separate cross braced
trestles, move cursor over image to view the complete assembly with
baseboard and optional controller shelf
Larger portable model railways may be constructed from two or more baseboards.
Where this is the case, special care has to be taken on the design
of the connection between the boards. This will ensure accurate
alignment of the scenery and more importantly the track.
Electrical connections between the various sections of the layout will
also be required. We have many years' experience in the construction and operation of
both permanent and portable model railway layouts and we can use our
knowledge to help you achieve first class results, first time.
This baseboard was designed on CAD (Computer Aided
Design) and the complicated track bed shapes we cut out from MDF using a
High Pressure Water Jet cutter to ensure total accuracy and excellent
We can supply all types of baseboards, from simple
rectangular units to highly complex open frame and multi level designs
All baseboards can be supplied with separate cross
braced trestles, these can be supplied in any height. Each set of
trestles comprise two frames and a scissor cross brace. The brace
is simply bolted to the frames by M6 bolts fitted with wing nuts.
An optional controller shelf clips into place during assembly. The
baseboard locates onto the top of the assembled trestles and the
completed structure is both lightweight, strong and very stable.
All trestles can be supplied fitted with castors enabling the complete
layout to be easily maneuvered for access and cleaning etc.
Note: All baseboards have timber frames. Timber, in common with
all natural materials can shrink and/or warp when exposed to changing
environmental conditions. Very dry or damp conditions can adversely
effect the straightness of the timber sections and as a consequence the
baseboard. We take great care to select good quality materials but
cannot guarantee the long term stability of timber sections.
Warping can occur on any baseboard, but it is generally more of a
problem on the larger sizes.