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Discussion Starter #1
Hi.
If plywood, extruded foam and other materials which support our track is called 'sub roadbed' and ballast is ballast, what then is the technical term for the cork or black spongy foam between the Sub RB and the track called which gives us the shouldered ballast profile ? Maybe I'm just blocking. But I can't think of the word right now, if there is one...
 

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The "technical" term is roadbed. At least, that's what all the manufacturers and merchants call it (see Walthers site below). I've never heard any other term used to describe it.
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Hi.
If plywood, extruded foam and other materials which support our track is called 'sub roadbed' and ballast is ballast, what then is the technical term for the cork or black spongy foam between the Sub RB and the track called which gives us the shouldered ballast profile ? Maybe I'm just blocking. But I can't think of the word right now, if there is one...
Most people, including the manufacturers, call it roadbed, as in "cork roadbed" or "foam roadbed." In the model railroad world the plywood subroadbed supports the cork or foam roadbed, which supports the track. The ballast is added afterward for looks.
In the prototype world I'm not sure but I think the graded & compacted, dirt would be roughly equivalent to the "subroadbed" The ballast is still called ballast, but some of it is laid down before, and under, the ties. Then ties, possibly more ballast, then rails.

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, they say 'cork roadbed' or 'foam roadbed'...I've known that for 3 score and 7 in the hobby and loving anything trains throughout. I know what's called what and goes where, along the model and real right of way..All of it; signal types and what have you...My question again, is more tech in nature... There seems to be a lack of a definitive term, MRR construction-wise, to give the cork or black foam,... Like, say, 'shouldering molds', or ballast boxes (ha ha !) or, 'road profiling', say.. Maybe even 'track skirting' or 'ballast skirting'; an accepted term which fits in with the other MRR construction nomenclature....Get me ? Just saying "roadbed", to me, is too broad, too all incumbencing, if you will..
Would enjoy your suggestions if you think it's a valid argument...
If you think I'm out to lunch, please spare me any berating and simply move on....
I come in peace...M 🌄🛤🏭
 

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Asked and answered, move on.
 

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Sub-roadbed is strictly a modelling term. We don’t have real anything, least of all terrain. Our terrain is sub-roadbed, whether spline, cookie-cutter, or just the top of a slab of plywood. What we call roadbed doesn’t exist in the prototype. It’s just “ballast”. Our roadbed is so that we can elevate our rails prototypically, but we cover it in ballast grains to give the impression of suspended tracks in groomed and deep ballast, just as one sees in the real world.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yes, I agree and have always known that...That's not what I'm posing...
It's simply that a tech term/word is missing from our modeling realm..We're always saying 'cork/foam'..
I'm looking for a category for it because they in themselves are not roadbed. They (cork/foam) are more like molds which, when ballast is glued to, creates the shouldered roadbed look..
We need to be able in conversation/planning to say: "I've done all the benchwork and have the sub-roadbed in place..My yard tracks will be flat on the ground..Now I need to chose which type of (say) shoulder profiling I'll use for my main line"..
Something simple like that..That's all I'm getting at; a tech term for it..
Thanks for the reply, M

(btw. The 1:1 scale does say 'roadbed' [which is made of ballast])
 

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Okay, I see your point. Thanks for patiently orienting me properly.

Maybe something like, “ballast block” or “ballast fill”, or “ballast profile”. That’s what it does.

“Track bed.”
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I like 'Track bed' ; clearly describes the function..Track bed, once ballasted becomes roadbed.
That's exactly what I was getting at..Thanks..
I can only think of 4 types: cork, foam, homasote, and old wooden TruScale sections; all track bed..
If it catches on, who takes the credit, you, or me ? ! M 🛤🌄🛤
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
You most certainly can do what you wish. But technically it's not roadbed until it's ballasted to look like roadbed.
That Kato and Bachmann sectional stuff with the preformed and simulated shouldered ballast thus, has roadbed under the track.. But shouldering without ballast or ballast simulation of some kind, to me, is just not roadbed yet. So why not have an industry name for it which tells it like it is ?
"I need to buy some track bed soon so I can start ballasting it. Then I'll have a more realistic roadbed on my main."....(say....
Maybe we old timers would find it hard to regroup. But newbies would take right to that idea..
We'd then have: bench work, sub-roadbed, track bed, track, and ballast... the big 5 !
"I finally completed the big 5 in that area..Now for the wiring." ....(say.....
 

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We'd then have: bench work, sub-roadbed, track bed, track, and ballast... the big 5 !
"I finally completed the big 5 in that area..Now for the wiring." ....(say.....
You ballast before completing the wiring?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Right, wire first, then ballast...Bench, sub roadbed, track bed, track, wiring; The big 5.. Now for 6, the ballast.. Or, just call it all 'The big 6' .... But your post has zilch to do with my OP.
 

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But technically it's not roadbed until it's ballasted to look like roadbed.
Technically, it is.

roadbed
noun


road·bed | \ ˈrōd-ˌbed \
Definition of roadbed

1a: the bed on which the ties, rails, and ballast of a railroad rest
b: the ballast or the upper surface of the ballast on which the ties rest
 

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Wow, way to really overthink this one and be difficult.

It's ROADBED.

Track lays on the cork/form/whatever roadbed. SUB-roadbed is the plywood/whatever structure below/supporting the roadbed.

Ballast on the model does not support or secure anything or do anything functional. It's just a surface finishing layer for scenery. The model roadbed does not have to be ballasted to be "roadbed".
 

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What we call roadbed doesn’t exist in the prototype.
Actually going to go ahead and disagree with this one too. If a new track is installed, the railway does a LOT of levelling, profiling, and grading of the right-of-way before ties and ballast are put down, and you can call all of that prep work road bed...

The ballast just buries and secures the ties.
 
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