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Best Sound Reducing Roadbed

Samuel asks:

“I’m not keen on using nails so thought cork or foam would be easy to glue in place. I also want to suppress the noise as much as I can. Which material would be best?”

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4 Responses to Best Sound Reducing Roadbed

  • Ken Hartman says:

    Foam over a an unfinished masonite over plywood, and then screws to secure. But I model in O Scale.

  • phil johnson says:

    Some say cork, some say homasote. Personally I’ve noticed much difference even w/o nails, just glue

  • Clarence Plisky says:

    Some time ago I read an article on reducing sound. The bottom line was to glue camper tape to the sub roadbed, glue cork to the camper tape, and glue the track to the cork roadbed. I used this method on my railroad and have found that the sound reduction is excellent.

  • Jeff Morrow says:

    I mostly use cork because I find it gives a solid base. I use a thin bead of latex caulk to secure the roadbed to the table. This works well for cork/wood and cork/Styrofoam connections. If you don’t use too much caulk, you can move the roadbed without too much trouble if you decide to change your layout. I nail the track to the roadbed. Once the ballast is down and secured, I remove most of the track nails, keeping only a few where I want extra strength.

    I find foam roadbed a little soft, but I know many people like and have good success with it.

    With regard to noise, I haven’t found much difference among any of the roadbed materials. Many people claim Homasote is the quietest, but it can be really dusty to work with. I’ve found that the construction of the table seems to affect the noise level as much as the roadbed. I always try for the most solid construction, resting squarely on the floor. I haven’t any experience with shelf layouts, so I’m not sure how they behave.

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