Introducing Roadbed


First, choose the type of roadbed you want. You can skip this part if you wish, but most modelers prefer the sound deadening qualities and the realistic appearance that roadbed provides. Roadbed is an underlayment between the track and the plywood surface.

There are many different types of roadbed available, but the most widely used is cork roadbed. It is usually sold is strips 3 feet long, and is made for a specific scale. The following is how to install roadbed:

  1. Mark the layout plan on the plywood. Be sure to be as accurate as possible in this step.
  2. The best way of doing this is by using the track pieces themselves.
  3. The roadbed should split down the middle, at an angle. Split the pieces, and place the pieces side by side with the angled edges on the outsides.
  4. Lay a bead of white glue, and place the roadbed over the plan. (It is helpful if you tack or pin the pieces to keep them from moving, but these don't have to be permanent)
  5. For turnouts, you need to cut the pieces to fit.
  6. Lightly sand the tops of the roadbed to ensure a smooth surface for track, when the glue dries.
  7. As a tip, paint the cork with latex paint to seal it. This will keep it from drying out and cracking. This, however, is an entirely optional step.

Cork Rubber Homasote
  • Cheap and readily available
  • Easy to use- stick and go
  • Longest lasting; quiet
  • May dry out
  • Expensive and permanent
  • Hard to install, permanent