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I'm all ready to put down roadbed to finish my track layout.    No problem.  I love cork.

But what?  Looks like nobody makes O gauge cork roadbed any more.  The last I saw online, Midwest product made O gauge bed, with rubber mixed in with the cork, so it stunk like a new cheap tire.  And now, I don't even see that online.

Does this leave Woodland Scenics foam bedding as the last product standing?

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Depending on how much you need, Amazon shows 15 boxes of 25 3 foot sections in stock

Midwest themselves show all of their cork roadbed out of stock..... all Gauges.    They have cork pads but that's it.



FYI: did some checking.    It's a material supply issue just like Midwest had back in 2012.  The main supplier of the type of cork used is in Spain, and COvid has messed up everything over there with regards harvesting the trees from which this kind of cork comes from.

Good news, I have found a plethora of online dealers, and LHS who have plenty of O, HO and N Midwest Cork roadbed in stock

Last edited by EscapeRocks
@Mannyrock posted:
Does this leave Woodland Scenics foam bedding as the last product standing?

I went with foam for my current layout build, and I'm quite happy with the choice.  I didn't use the Woodland Scenics stuff as it was twice the price of what I bought, and having samples of each, I actually like the eBay stuff I got better than the Woodland Scenics stuff which was too soft.  Search for sound foam roadbed on eBay.

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@Geojr posted:

GRG - need any more of the gargraves track. I have a box 27 or so of the straight phantom tin rail. One end of the 37” pieces has some rust, otherwise, new.

need some?

Not anymore, a couple weeks ago I got another case.  I think I'm set, I have enough left over for my yard extension that's next after trains are running.

@Mannyrock posted:

John,  did you paint the foam road bed after you put it down??  If so, what kind of paint did you use please.

Thx,

Mannyrock

No paint, right out of the box and on the layout.  Once the smoke settles and all the switches work 100%, and all the routes are settled, I'll be looking at ballast options.

I am using Woodland Scenics foam roadbed exclusively on my new layout, although I do have a number of sections of Midwest cork roadbed still available. I have used the Woodland Scenics product on other layouts in the past (various scales), and I really have been quite satisfied with it. Very easy to lay, even in tight curves, if necessary, and easy to work with after it is laid; or even to take up and reposition once it has been in place for a while. Can be painted and/or ballasted, and it seems to hold up well. I will be ballasting the track on my new layout--a task I really don't look forward to-- once everything is in place.

Like most others, I used cork roadbed for a good many of my earlier layouts in Z, N, HO, O, and Large Scale. No complaints from me, but I guess I never had any of the Midwest product with rubber mixed in. Didn't even know they were doing that.

Mannyrock...

Midwest's 'cork' roadbed is, and always has been, a mixture having some sort of rubber(-ized) material to bind the ground cork particles.  This is what gives the product its flexibility. 

As for the 'stink' fresh out of the box, that's good.  It means the stuff still has good flexibility.

Back in my HO days I was given a boxed supply of old Midwest cork roadbed.  Same stock number, etc..  But it didn't have the 'stink'.  So when I tried bending it into sharper radii (22"R was necessary for my early HO layouts) the roadbed cracked, split, broke when bent.  It had lost its mojo.  The friend who gave it to me had stored it in his basement, humidity controlled.  It was just.....old.....like me.  (I tend to creak a lot, but haven't 'broken', yet!)

So, be careful for what you wish for.

OTOH, when I built my rather large basement O3R layout (Gargraves/Ross exclusively) I used Midwest O cork roadbed.  Immediately after I laid it...before the track was fastened to it...I painted it gray.  In fact there's about 3 shades of gray on the cork roadbed throughout.  That's because I was cheap!  I got my gray paint from Home Depot's "Oops!" paint offerings...tints that didn't turn out quite right, customer rejected, etc..  After all, I don't know whether you've noticed new-builds, fixer-uppers, and other decor efforts, but 'shades of gray' is not just a steamy novel title and series of TV movies!....it's one of the 'in' colors....exterior and interior. They call it "neutral".  I call it model railroad handy!

Whatever.  It gave the brown cork a reasonable short-term roadbed appearance, AND tended to stifle the stink.

Somewhere down the road...probably after most of the scenery is done...I may apply ballast over the track and roadbed.  I'm one of those oddballs who lets gravity keep the ballast in place...no glue, no binder.  I don't think that technique is very workable in smaller scales...HO, N..., but I've experimented leaving the ballast loose in O3R.  It stays put well on a permanent layout.  If a derailment or local maintenance task messes up the ballast, a small brush puts it nicely back in place.  And someday...after I've dropped my fire...folks can simply put a clean filter in the vacuum,  easily retrieve and re-use it, and have lots of clean track/switches to work with on future layouts.

Until then, the gray paint is nicely adequate.

As usual and always...FWIW.  TEHO.

KD

I went with foam for my current layout build, and I'm quite happy with the choice.  I didn't use the Woodland Scenics stuff as it was twice the price of what I bought, and having samples of each, I actually like the eBay stuff I got better than the Woodland Scenics stuff which was too soft.  Search for sound foam roadbed on eBay.

Were you laying this directly onto pink foam board (or similar) or did this go right onto plywood?  What type of glue did you use?  Thanks.

Mike

Info from this forum suggested letting track screws hold down roadbed,a great suggestion. I used gray foam under O tubular and like the look. I cut the outside edges to reduce curl and added rubber ties which also helped the roadbed lay flat.

On curves you can also cut roadbed long wise and lay side by side,(the track hides the cut).

Steven Taylor

@Mannyrock posted:

Thanks for that info DKDRD,

So, . . . .exactly how long does the "stink" last?   Seriously.  The smell of rubber tires makes me sick.

By the way, the price of cork has skyrocketed in the last few years, so it would not surprise me if Midwest started blending more rubber into the bedding to save money.

Mannyrock.

Can't tell you how long the stink would last.  Re my friends dried out gift, he had it stored for about 25 years...or more, I'm sure.

I'm not sure they really use ground up tires.  Rather I think their bonding agent is a 'stinky' compound, maybe heavy on the latex.  Reducing expensive, hard-to-get components in order to control costs/prices is, indeed, a considered practice among manufacturers for a variety of products.  But, the results are usually pretty disastrous to overall performance, quality, and...eventually...customer loyalty.  My wife is also a walking testimony to product odors causing distress, sometimes requiring extreme measures to ventilate/eliminate them. The same odors can be hardly noticeable/objectionable to me.  I guess the Good Lord calibrated each of us differently among our senses.

Sounds like one of the alternatives discussed above might be more acceptable.

KD

What I didn't like about the Woodland Scenics foam roadbed is that it's so soft that the small wood-type screws that I used through my Gargraves and Ross wooden ties would keep on biting long after it should have stopped, IMHO.

In other words, the soft foam had high and low spots.  The cork I used didn't give at all and stayed a consistent height.

The foam was very easy to cut and shape, though.

I have never been a fan of cork roadbed - too thin and ineffective at dampening noise.  I like Vinylbed and its successor, Flexxbed.  It is a rubber-like material.  I use 3/8" thick stuff for the mainline and 1/4" for yards.  It can be held down with brads (small nails) or glued.  It's quiet.  Covered with ballast, it looks great.

You can see some of the roadbed in the foreground of this photo.

IMG_0476

Here's some ballasted Vinylbed.

IMG_3348

A buddy of mine used cork on his old layout (I'm using his benchwork technique).  It was loud in his train room because the cork really does very little to cut the noise.  You should think about this.  It's not cheap, but it works.

George

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I went with foam for my current layout build, and I'm quite happy with the choice.  I didn't use the Woodland Scenics stuff as it was twice the price of what I bought, and having samples of each, I actually like the eBay stuff I got better than the Woodland Scenics stuff which was too soft.  Search for sound foam roadbed on eBay.

John, do think this would work under Fastrack to help deaden the sound?

@Mannyrock posted:

George, that Flexbed looks pretty darned good even without the ballast.

Manny, I agree with you completely!  I am now wishing I didn't use cork.  Old habits die hard.  I've used cork for slightly over 50 years now.  I don't like to ballast until I have finished the surrounding ground cover, so I painted my cork gray to look half-ways like ballasted track in the interim.  Each brand George and John used look better than my painted cork!  Ultimately, I can see where foam would be more sound deadening than cork.  Fortunately, I will only be able to have 1 or 2 trains running at a time, so sound isn't bad in my case.  Note to self; if I build another layout, don't use cork. 

Last edited by Mark Boyce
@Danr posted:

John, do think this would work under Fastrack to help deaden the sound?

Dan,

The e-bay supplier makes the foam roadbed in a wider size to accommodate Fastrack and in gray or black (I believe) color.

Most of my layout utilizes FT on a 3/4" foam (box store sheet) top over a plywood base with no roadbed and the sound is what it is. I never found it objectionable, especially given the engine, railsounds, squeals, crew talk, etc. from my command control engines that virtually drown out any noise created by FT versus other trackage.

However, I expanded the layout recently and ran FT over a long 1" X 4" piece of oak and a wooden shelf and needed something that was a 1/4" high to mate up with the existing track height and used this foam road bed and, FWIW, it is definitely quieter than just the wood and, also, the FT over sheet foam.

EXTENSION - BOARD WITH ROADBEDEXTENSION - FINAL 6

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@Richie C. posted:

Dan,

The e-bay supplier makes the foam roadbed in a wider size to accommodate Fastrack and in gray or black (I believe) color.

Most of my layout utilizes FT on a 3/4" foam (box store sheet) top over a plywood base with no roadbed and the sound is what it is. I never found it objectionable, especially given the engine, railsounds, squeals, crew talk, etc. from my command control engines that virtually drown out any noise created by FT versus other trackage.

However, I expanded the layout recently and ran FT over a long 1" X 4" piece of oak and a wooden shelf and needed something that was a 1/4" high to mate up with the existing track height and used this foam road bed and, FWIW, it is definitely quieter than just the wood and, also, the FT over sheet foam.

EXTENSION - BOARD WITH ROADBEDEXTENSION - FINAL 6

I really like how you have your office/layout set up.  Very, very cool.....

We have lots of Midwest O gauge cork in stock.  We sell it by the piece or a full case of 25 pieces.

https://jrjunction.com/product/3016-cork-roadbed/

We also sell the Woodland Scenics foam Roadbed by the package or roll.

https://jrjunction.com/product/st1473-o-trackbed/

https://jrjunction.com/product...o-track-bed-roll-24/

Call us to order since the web site shipping calculator will not be accurate for these items.

Thank you!

@Richie C. posted:

Dan,

The e-bay supplier makes the foam roadbed in a wider size to accommodate Fastrack and in gray or black (I believe) color.

Most of my layout utilizes FT on a 3/4" foam (box store sheet) top over a plywood base with no roadbed and the sound is what it is. I never found it objectionable, especially given the engine, railsounds, squeals, crew talk, etc. from my command control engines that virtually drown out any noise created by FT versus other trackage.

However, I expanded the layout recently and ran FT over a long 1" X 4" piece of oak and a wooden shelf and needed something that was a 1/4" high to mate up with the existing track height and used this foam road bed and, FWIW, it is definitely quieter than just the wood and, also, the FT over sheet foam.

EXTENSION - BOARD WITH ROADBEDEXTENSION - FINAL 6

Thanks, Richie.  I was looking toward further muffling track noise.  I live in coastal North Carolina, about 1 mile from the ocean.  I discovered that you cannot find Homesote here and nobody was going to ordered it since i only need 3 or 4 sheets.  Instead I used 2x4 ceiling tiles on 1/2" plywood.  It works well but the tiles are very soft and, of course, will not hold a screw.  I got a box of 1 1/2" #4 wood screws and drive those into the plywood for anything that needs to be held down.  I use 2 or 3 screws through the track on curves and 1 or 2 on straights to keep everything from moving around.  These are driven in then backed off 1/2 turn so they don't transmit the noise.

Nice looking setup you have.

@Danr posted:

Thanks, Richie.  I was looking toward further muffling track noise.  I live in coastal North Carolina, about 1 mile from the ocean.  I discovered that you cannot find Homesote here and nobody was going to ordered it since i only need 3 or 4 sheets.  Instead I used 2x4 ceiling tiles on 1/2" plywood.  It works well but the tiles are very soft and, of course, will not hold a screw.  I got a box of 1 1/2" #4 wood screws and drive those into the plywood for anything that needs to be held down.  I use 2 or 3 screws through the track on curves and 1 or 2 on straights to keep everything from moving around.  These are driven in then backed off 1/2 turn so they don't transmit the noise.

Nice looking setup you have.

Dan, Where did you find #4 screws that are  1 1/2" long? I can't find them in that length anywhere.

Thanks, Dan - I first glued the foam roadbed to the oak plank and screwed the oak planking into the wooden shelving it sits on and then used #4 screws into the FT and through the vinyl roadbed to hold the track in place. My experience is that FT doesn't shift around a lot, especially on straights, so I only insert screws every other track piece and every piece on curves. I countersink the holes a little and then back the screws off a bit, also.

Being OCD, I have to then paint the heads grey so they blend in.

Lionel say it carries FT track screws, but I don't know if they actually have them or if anyone has ever tried them ?



FASTRACK SCREWS

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