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bhoulihan
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Hi there I have a small problem I am debating to use foam underlay from woodland scenics r don,t use any on track plan I am to build & is flexi track any good

 

Hi bhoulihan

I've used peco foam underlay under our layout (i.e. 'Old New Layout'). I has worked out well so far and I am a bit fastidious about smooth track joints and smooth running. I had planned when I had finished the scenic work in a few years (hopefully), to replace the underlay with cork and ballast, but I'm not so sure anymore. I may just fill the gaps between twin tracks with ballast the same colour as the foam and run it right up to the edges of the underlay. It means future maintenance will be easier as any dodgy points can just be lifted and the sound insulation of foam from baseboard vibration is very good. It's very much a matter of personal preference, there is no right or wrong.

Cheers

Noel

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Hi Bill! Welcome to the forum. Underlay is great for quiet running until you ballast then the sound gets transferred back to the baseboard through the ballast. If you are going to use a foam underlay for for a closed cell PU foam which doesn't break down over time. You can buy it cheaper than the Woodland scenics brand from efoam in sheets and just cut it into strips.

 

http://www.efoam.ie/closed-cell-polyethylene.php

 

Hope this helps.

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And presumably the same happens with cork underlay or anything else, unless the track if effectively 'isolated' from the layout by the foam.

So how are experienced modelers getting around the noise issue??

 

Good tip on the foam. That looks a lot cheaper, although it reduces noise but doesn't look like a ballasted track. How thin should the foam be?

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Cork sheet was the tradition, the problem is that most people ballast by saturating the ballast with PVA , and that soaks into the cork rendering it rigid.

 

As mentioned , 3mm closed cell polyurethane foam sheet is a viable alternative , use something like copydex rather then PVA , ( though deep ballast will require PVA )

 

An alternative is rubberised cork, which is a gasket material, but again I don't know where 3mm sheets could be got from

 

I find the foam can " crush " which leaves dimples. But it's less dense and gives that prototype " float " !!

 

If you are using woodland scenics ballast that's doesn't transmit much sound. I once used real granite ballast on cork, boy was it noisy

Edited by Junctionmad
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Once you ballast over the foam pretty much all with give similar results noise wise. The best noise cancellation I've seem came from using gauge master/noch ballasted foam rolls. This is basically foam roll pre ballasted with noch granite made to fit standard track. You slot it into the track and glue it down. Noise reduction is nearly 100% and it looks like perfectly ballasted track. You can then get bags of matching ballast to go between lines.

 

http://www.gaugemaster.com/item_details.asp?code=GM200

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