Cork roadbed question

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Pitchwife, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Well, I'm finally doing it. After much planning I am finally laying track. I am building a couple of ntrak modules to go with the ones from the local club. I'm using cork for the road bed mounted on a styrofoam sheet. My problem is that I used the full double width of cork for the two main lines and they look fine. But I had planned on just using a single width for the yard tracks, which is what the modiles will be (hopefully). When I mount the track on the single piece of cork the ties just fit the width of the cork with no roadbed on either side. How does everyone else handel this? Should I use the full double width cork for the whole layout, or should I use something like sculptamold to create the shoulders, or should I just use lots of balast to build up the shoulders? Or should I just go with no shoulders? I don't recall ever reading anything about this particular problem and I'm just not sure how to procede. :confused: :confused: :confused:
  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    I just went with lots of ballast on my previous layout, but I've given up cork as a roadbed now. Too difficult to work with, especially the joins, and also around curves.

    I've moved to a "bubble packing plastic foam" type of stuff. about 1/8" thick (I use a double layer). excellent to work with, easy to cut to any shape you like, and about $5 a 50' roll and it's about 10" wide. Get it from office supply places, and they use it for wrapping fragile packages. (It's NOT "bubblewrap", but a thin spongey foam type of stuff).

    Fabulous for sound deadening too. :) :thumb:
  3. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Go to Lowes (or builders square, etc.) with a piece of you roadbed Clark, and match it up with some cork 12 X 12 tiles or roll cork. You then elevate the whole yard area to bottom of tie level. At most proto yards the tracks are near level with the terrain anyway, so it's prototypical. If you can't find the exact thickness get a smaller thickness and shim it with paper/cardboard/... Fred
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Did you split the cork down the middle? There should be a beveled slice through the cork down the center. Split it and butt the two square sides together. Then you'll have the shoulders you want.

  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Dash 10 is right, and the cork tiles or possibly gasket material will probably be cheaper than the cork roadbed. I've noticed at prototype yards here in So Cal, that the mainlines are usually built up on road bed. Tracks in the yards are usually laid on grade with no ballast. With a module, you may need to raise the yard tracks up a little high to make them match up with neighboring module connections. If you don't need to keep them artificially high, you could use a sanding block on the road bed where the track coming off the mainline transitions into the yard to gradually blend the heights of the two levels of track.
  6. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    I know the stuff you are talking about but have no idea where to get it around here.

    I did that on the mainlines, but wanted to do something a little less dramatic in the yard itself. Half was just the width of the track & didn't look right.

    Dash and Russ
    You got it right. A 2'x4' roll was aboout $13, pretty cheap roadbed. Thanks for all of the input.
  7. slymonk

    slymonk New Member

    Im gonna try using some stuff called Ethafoam that Dow makes. I work for a foam fabricator and we have alot of that stuff laying around as scrap. Its essentialy the same stuff as the blue foam you guys were talking about, only it comes in 48" x 108" sheets. Hopefully this stuff works like i think it will.
  8. ak-milw

    ak-milw New Member

    In the yard I am building right now I used cork for my double track main and put my yard right on the foam board.:D
  9. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Although I used standard cork roadbed for all my track, I've heard of guys using the foam underlayment used for engineered wood floors and liking the results.
  10. Ethafoam looks a little coarser than the extruded foam insulation sheets. It looks to be a cushioning foam, which might be a little soft for track use.

    I'd test it with a small amount of track first
  11. GOM

    GOM New Member

    I have been browsing and learning here for a while .

    I have managed to track down this material and agree re sound deadening , [ although the (fairly rigid) feeder wires transmitted resonance through the foam core board until the holes were widened to eliminate any contact ].

    Any ideas or experience with ballasting :-
    difficulties because of its resilience
    and effects on sound levels if resilience is reduced ?

  12. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I have not yet ballasted any track, but will be doing so in the next week or two. Will see then, if the4 sound deadening remains, or not.

Share This Page