Track Road Bed
Talking to other collectors, I fear that very few of us have installed a working train track system. Please take the time to install your track. As Mr. Olszewski says, this is the most important integration effort you’ll do. Walt’s vision of Disneyland always showcased his passion for trains and the artist gave us a great platform to demonstrate that passion. Besides, as Mr. Olszewski says, installing the train track gives you extremely valuable experience and confidence in altering other elements of the platform. So, please bring your platform to life and install a working train track system!
The Artist’s instructions for installing the track are very good – follow them. Yes, it does take five (5) days as he says and, yes, it’s worth every minute of the time. The instruction leave it up to the Collector to decide if the Roadbed should be "Beveled" or "Flat" referring to both techniques in the instructions. Evidently, the original Track Kit from Olszewski was supposed to include "Beveled" cork, but for some reason they all came with "Flat" cork, so this added to the confusion over the Road Bed design. I ended up buying the Beveled cork for about $15 and making my Road Bed Beveled, but it's not for everybody. Here are my opinions on the pros/cons of Flat/Beveled track:
"Flat" Road Bed "Beveled" Road Bed
The “Flat” track advantages are 1) it’s easier to install and 2) it’s more like the actual track in the park since the park track isn’t elevated – it’s graded flat into the adjoining landscaping. The main “Flat” track disadvantage is that the way it sits in the platform it looks a bit more like a NASCAR Oval Racetrack than a train track. Coloring the gravel helps to break up the racetrack look, but to me it still isn’t quite recognizable as a railway.
The “Beveled” track advantages are 1) it makes the track more recognizable as a railway, 2) I like the way the exposed green channel frames the track, and 3) there’s no need to use fancy gravel colors to mask the raceway effect. The “Beveled” installation also allows the use of “Fine” gravel ballast which is more correct for the scale of the track.
The disadvantages of the “Beveled” track are 1) it is harder to install and it isn’t how the track is graded in the actual park. You can see that the beveled cork takes a lot of extra cutting because the track channel is not a consistent width. And, there's extra taping required to keep the balast off the green edges. So, I’d choose the track setup that you think looks better. I chose the “Beveled” look, but like I said it’s not for everyone.