what is track bed for?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by fundamentalman, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. fundamentalman

    fundamentalman New Member

    I recently bought some woodland scenics track bed and as my wife was helping me with my layout asked what it was for. I responded that it is to keep the train noise down, but then I started thinking about really needing it. When I first laied out my track I tacked it to plywood to look for any potential problems with my layout. I ran the train for a little while and it really didn't seem that loud. So is it really that important? What does it really do? Do I really need it? And will I need to lay it under all the track - like rerailers and viaducts?
  2. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I wouldn't say that you *need* a track bed. People will argue which is better at noise reduction, foam or cork, but it's not needed to run trains. For realism, track bed should be placed under your rails and then ballast is applied.
  3. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    The purpose of the track bed is to keep the noise down. But it also gives the track some hieght and looks more realistic. When you go over crossings in a car in real life, most of the time you go up to the tracks, then across them, then back down. I also like the track bed because it gives a base for the ballast and not as much is needed.

    For my sidings, I usally don't use the track bed when it gets close to buildigns or enters yards. You should put the track bed under re-railers but it is not needed for bridges.
  4. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line New Member

    Isn't the track bed where the sleepers rest?

    ba-dum-bum! :D
  5. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    lol, nice 1
  6. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Its all about making things look as real as possible in minature. The noise reduction is certainly an issue too. You will find people who even use a lower profile roadbed on sidings and branchlines to achieve more realism. What we buy from Woodland Scenics and other manufacturers is mainline height roadbed.
  7. corniche

    corniche New Member

    Hello Fundamentalman,

    Another way of looking at it is that it makes excellent "Shock Control," "DF," or makes your trains "Ride Like a Feather."

    Running the track directly on the plywood causes vibration- that vibration is transmitted to the locomotive; now, chances are, no harm will come to locomotive from this, but wouldn't you rather give it the softest ride possible, (and possibly protect the mechanism at the same time)?

    Best wishes,


    PS: It does also help with noise control and a more realistic appearance, (for main line track at any rate; since most sidings are flush with the ground).

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