Woodland Scenics Track-Bed

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by 2-8-2, May 29, 2006.

  1. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    For my layout, I opted for the Atlas Scenic & Relaxed plan. I found the plan sold as a complete set (all track, wires, switches, etc) online at a reasonable price. I ordered another box of roadbed, just in case I needed extra.
    When my package arrived, I wondered, "What the !@#$ is this?" :curse:

    I was expecting cork roadbed, instead I received Woodland Scenics Track-Bed...which is a foam product. Woodland Scenics bills the foam roadbed product as "quieter, more ecomomical, and easier to use than cork". From what I've read in doing a search about it here on The Gauge, some users also think it's more realistc, as it doesn't have the high profile that cork has.

    What do you guys think of this stuff?
  2. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    This was one of my biggest struggles when I first started my layout a couple months ago. I called the hobby store and asked the guy to give me his opinion. I had read over and over again that foam was the way to go since it never cracks or crumbles.

    The guy at the hobby store told me this.

    "Sure, it MIGHT crack in twenty years or so. But by that time you have either changed your layout or replaced it. Foam sure does make good lookin assphault roads though!"

    Its sorta hard to describe but laying down the cork roadbed was one of the funnest parts of my layout building. (Even though its still in its infancy) I remmber being super excited cause I could finally visually see what only I had been imagining. I dont know, for me, cork just seems more solid, more...dense. As far as the "Its quieter" argument....hey...trains were never meant to be too quiet.

    But that is just my opinion. Im sure the foam guys have thier reasons too. For me, ill always use cork.
  3. zedob

    zedob Member

    I'm kinda in the same dilema. I "grew-up" on Homosote wall board, which is good stuff, but messy. Not as bad as routing MDF (I think that's what it's called. Just thick hardboard), but mask worthy. I had tried cork years ago, but once Homosote became the material of choice I started using it.

    When I started back into MRRing after 10 yrs absence I was willing to try other materials. I bought the WS foam thinking the sound deadening quality was a major plus, but as Play-Doh says, "trains were never meant to be too quiet" and began to question that particular value.

    I did experiment with it, but didn't like the mushiness. It's real easy to sink a nail or spike too far into the track, through the WS roadbed and into the sub roadbed, what ever that may be. In that respect, I prefer the homosote or the cork. As for which of the two latter I will use, I'm still tossing it up in the air. Alot of roadbed can be "made" from a 4 x 8 sheet of Homosote, but there is the piles of fuzzy sawdust to contend with. On the other hand, cork is pre- tapered and cut to width, but more expensive (that's relative, of course).

    As for the height of the cork vs. the WS foambed, I'm not worried about that too much, there's plenty of dirt outside my house that can be used to make up the difference.
  4. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Speaking of Homosote, when I first started last month I called the home depot store to ask if they carried it. The lumber person informed he had never heard of it and inquired what it was and what I was doing. I said "Building a railroad."

    We went on talking about other soundd deadening options when finally he asked "They are using that stuff for railroads! Geez, sound kinda soft and flimsy to me"

    Obviously I should have put the word "Model" in front of it.

    However he recomended that I come in and take a look at the sound deadening board they offered. I went it and this stuff is great. Its dirt cheap ($9 bucks for a 4x8) and not as messy as homosote. The stuff tacks a nail easily but holds it very well too. The textures are similiar to celeing tile. The only disadvantage is that can iritate your skin of your leaning on it, I think it has some fiberglass in it or something, so its long sleeves reqiuiered when leaning on it.
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    One of my friends used the foam roadbed. While it is very easy to use, (we used WS glue to fasten it to 1" extruded foam sheets), it's a little too flimsy for my tastes. You can push the track nails into place by hand, which also means that they can work their way out just as easily. Ballasting may solve that problem: we haven't gotten that far yet. On a layout using wood as the subroadbed, the foam offers no way, other than its spongyness, to compensate for irregularities in the base, and it is not easy to make a transition from it to an area like a yard or siding, where the track would be lower than the main line. With cork, you can use coarse sandpaper to taper it right down to nothing.

  6. Harpo

    Harpo Member

    I seem to recall another discussion recently regarding foam vs. cork and the sound deadening qualities of foam. I believe that the result was that once ballasting was completed, there was basically no difference, since the hardness of the glue & ballast was what transferred sound to the benchwork, not the roadbed. Seems logical.

  7. pasayten

    pasayten New Member

    I just bought a Scenics Ridge kit, but will be using Unitrak, so I did not need all the foam track pieces that came with it... I did find that a piece makes a great cat toy... In fact, the cat will even fetch a piece and bring it to me to play with her when she is bored... :)

    Thanks for the idea of making asphalt roads with it! I will try that and see what it looks like...

  8. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    sinking nails to deep? with the ws products you glue the roadbed down, then glue the track to the roadbed, atleast thats what they tell ya how to do it, thats what im doing now, and i love it, i have the foam risers,then a 2% incline, then the road bed, then the track, all glued in place, with ws glue. i even glues flex track in a curve.
  9. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    dont nail the track, glue it. I KNOW, I KNOW, IT DONT SOUND RIGHT, i thought the guys at the hobby shop was smokin crack when they was telling me about WS. they even loaned me a 60 min video showing how to use every product that WS makes, it sells for 24.95 there,
  10. zedob

    zedob Member

    Until the temperature changes and I find a kink in my track that needs a brad instead of a scale spike to shove it over and keep it in place.:D

    I'm not totally against the product and am still contemplating it's use. I'm about ready to run a few tests on a few different track products that are out there before I commit myself to any one process or product. I really don't like the idea of cutting lengths of roadbed out of homosote.:cry:
  11. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    i guess i should not push the ws stuff till i have had it for awhile. to see how it lasts. , see i have been out of trains for 15 years. i got back into it 2 weeks ago, yet me tell you, theres a whole new world out there...lmao!.. as far as the moutains and track bed and what not, what took me and my dad a month to make, i have made in a week! i have made 4 trips the the hoppy shop to get more suplys cuz id buy so much thinking it would take me a week or more to get that much done, by the next day i run out of stuff and got to get more to keep going, its wild!!!, even if i did not use there track bed, and foam, im dieing to try out there ground cover and trees and bush's. talk about realalistic!
  12. zedob

    zedob Member

    Thanks for the input. :thumb:

    I was out of the hobby for awhile too and you aren't kidding about the technilogical advancements that this hobby has seen. Especially when you open an older book on MRRing and there's a shot of the backside of a huge control panel with 3 inch thick ropes of bundled wire and now, it's all taken care of in a box. Well, mostly.:D :thumb:
  13. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    man, my last post is full of typing and spelling mustakes! that what i get tho. i been on this site and e-bay for the last 15 hours, i did not go to sleep! and i still dont feel tired.

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