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Active Member

I might be a little late to this party... but I wanted to let you know of some lessons I learned if in fact you go with the foam roadbed. I am using the Woodland Scenics foam on my layout and I like it. Foam is what the gentleman at a LHS recommended six years ago when I started my layout so that is what I am using. I really like the fact that Woodland Scenics makes the foam in strips and in larger square pieces that can be used in yards. Cork may come the same way, I don't know. I use Elmer's Glue All to put the foam on my green 3/4 insulation sub road bed. It stays just fine and can be pulled up with no problem if you want to make a change on the layout.
One trick I would strongly suggest if you use foam, is to paint it before gluing track to the road bed. I painted my foam road bed with the cheap Walmart acrylic gray paint before gluing track onto the road bed. The reason for the paint is again, if you need to pull up the track for some reason. The acrylic paint will allow you to pull up the glued track and not damage the foam under the paint. I use a shade of gray as it helps to cover the black foam road bed when applying ballast.
I know what Iron is talking about as I have run into the problem of the nails being pushed down into the foam to far causing problems. I actually use a combination of nails and glue on my layout when attaching track to the road bed. I like to use nails on the curved section pieces. I use glue on the flex track. Especially on the end of a spur. Matter of fact, I was just working on this very thing this afternoon.

Foam roadbed.jpg


Well-Known Member
This could save you cost : Freight yard, engine house, spurs, tertiary sidings, and even some bucolic branch or short lines, have track with little to no shouldered road bed..
So, if your RR has this type trackage anywhere, you can have it flat on the sub-roadbed (plywood right of way)..but, still with ballast glued in and around the ties..Then, if there is a main line thru the scene it's a nice prototypical effect having the main line up on shouldered roadbed along its entire line ..When the two types meet face to face in places, there are a few ways to make gradual ramps under the two different track heights as do the 1:1 scalers.. ..Actually you can put an entire yard on one big sheet of cork (as Alcomotive above states) because the tracks will still look like they're unshouldered.
This requires some advance planning. I was going to do this on a module, but discovered I had not planned on the vertical transition, so ended up covering my yard area with 12" cork squares on top of the plywood to get the rail height to match the mainline feeder.


Active Member
I guess I better catch up on this thread. First I appreciate all the comments and recommendations. There sure seems to be a lot of differing opinions on this topic. It seems to me that you cant go wrong with the cork and many have had success with the foam other than the "roller coaster effect" if not laid down properly. I had decided to go with the woodland scenics foam bed. I am going to glue it down to my wood then glue the track down to the bed. I will keep everyone posted as to the outcome and give my thoughts on the foam. I did manage to get the first piece of shelving up today. Only about 96 feet to go!! Thanks Ken

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