As described in my Foam Roadbed article, I glued the foam down and then wound up tearing it all out after two weeks. I decided to also replace the MDF sub-roadbed, because the Pliobond glue used to attach the roadbed foam kept on stinking up the room. The next photo shows the new sub-roadbed cut from MDF. I used the old MDF as a template for cutting the new one. At least it proved to me that it is easy to start over again without having to tear out the benchwork!
The base of the roadbed is made out of 1/2-inch ceiling tile glued to the MDF sub-roadbed (see my Ceiling Tile Roadbed article). Before I installed the MDF sub-roadbed on the layout, I used it as a template to trace the shape onto the ceiling tiles. These were then cut and glued to the MDF after it was installed.
Ceiling tile generates a lot of dust. To cut down on that dust and to avoid seeing the white through the ballast, I decided to paint the tops of the tile with an earth-tone color. I will cut the slope of the roadbed later on, and I will then paint the rest of the ceiling tile and the MDF sub-roadbed to protect it from moisture and to avoid generating more dust.
The first section of roadbed has been installed. I glued the ties down, and then applied the ballast.
This is the official first piece of rail installed on the layout!
The O'Brien siding's track is mostly installed. I could run my NW2 back and forth about three feet!
I added Hayes Wheel Stops by Tomar Industries. In general I prefer these over bumpers at the end of sidings, because they don't touch the couplers and so are a bit more forgiving. Our scale couplers don't have much play in them, and when they hit the bumpers, they may actually break off. I placed mine such that the couplers don't touch the left side of the layout's backdrop when the wheels hit the stops.
Work on the layout's first turnout is beginning.