Author Topic: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?  (Read 1727 times)

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reinhardtjh

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Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« on: February 20, 2014, 04:23:40 AM »
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Just a basic question.  As the title asks, is there any difference between Midwest and Model Power brands cork roadbed?
John H. Reinhardt
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sizemore

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2014, 10:44:39 AM »
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The height of the cork roadbed may differ.

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LV LOU

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2014, 11:04:23 AM »
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Midwest is smaller overall,and darker.It's narrower,and a little thinner.On my railroad,I use Midwest on the mains,Model Power on the branches.In the area I model,the LV was a heavy mainline RR,so was D&H,on both those mains,I use Midwest.The CNJ was notorious for crappy track maintenance,and cinder ballast,so on the CNJ,I use Model Power..

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 08:44:00 PM »
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Midwest is better.
Brian

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2014, 02:46:48 PM »
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I've used and love the "Vinylbed" by Hobby Innovations. I'll never go back to cork again.

Great results using their "sub roadbed and then the roadbed on top. Just looks better than what cork has to offer, and doesn't dry out/shrink over time.

Worth a look at IMO
A "western modeler" that also runs NS.

pnolan48

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2014, 08:31:18 PM »
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Never had much of a chance to buy the Model Power. From what I've seen, no real differences for functionality. It is meant to be a cheap sub roadbed that is covered. I always bought the cheapest I could find.

robert3985

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2014, 09:11:56 PM »
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I use Midwest Cork roadbed and I've used it for decades.  I've been using code 55 for mainlines before there were any turnouts available (I hand lay all of my turnouts) and I've never ever had a problem with "shrinking" and "drying out".  I don't care if it becomes inflexible after a couple of decades because it's buried under my ballast, and forms a stable, SANDABLE platform on which to lay my code 55 and code 40 trackage.

I NEVER assume that my roadbed is flat.  I always sand it, and rubbery/vinyl roadbeds don't sand too well and conform with the possibly uneven subroadbed closely enough to cause problems with dippy/humpy track, which I just don't want to worry about.

I also sometimes use a single strip of HO Midwest Cork roadbed for mainlines and the N-scale cork for sidings and branchlines, which gives me an easy way to have a prototypical looking height difference between sidings/branchlines and the mainline.

I always sand the sides of the roadbed too before applying ballast, so I can use my ballasting profile tool instead of the edges of the cork roadbed to determine my proper UP ballast profile.

Some members of "the club" decided to use different types of rubbery and/or vinyl roadbed under their ME code 55 trackage and had a lot of problems with soldered railjoiners breaking after a couple of years cleaning with a Bright Boy.  This is because the rubbery/vinyl roadbed flexes much more than cork and the constant flexing of the rails at soldered joints causes them to oxidize over time.  The flexing also causes ballast to eventually start to flake off, and some modules really looked like hell after a couple of years.  Needles to say, those "club" member now regret their choice and have gone back to Midwest Cork Products.

As for whether Model Power cork is sufficiently different than Midwest Cork Products cord roadbed is a question I can't answer, but...it's a wise and prudent decision to go with cork.

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2014, 09:22:41 PM »
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I had a batch of models power and ended up replacing it with Midwest.
Brian

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 10:10:21 PM »
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I had a batch of models power and ended up replacing it with Midwest.

Why?  Would you care to expand on the reasons?
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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 10:34:16 PM »
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I stick with Midwest. I have used MP but on a personal level I think it is junk. Seems to be larger grain and less forgiving.
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LV LOU

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2014, 11:00:15 PM »
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I use Midwest Cork roadbed and I've used it for decades.  I've been using code 55 for mainlines before there were any turnouts available (I hand lay all of my turnouts) and I've never ever had a problem with "shrinking" and "drying out".  I don't care if it becomes inflexible after a couple of decades because it's buried under my ballast, and forms a stable, SANDABLE platform on which to lay my code 55 and code 40 trackage.

I NEVER assume that my roadbed is flat.  I always sand it, and rubbery/vinyl roadbeds don't sand too well and conform with the possibly uneven subroadbed closely enough to cause problems with dippy/humpy track, which I just don't want to worry about.

I also sometimes use a single strip of HO Midwest Cork roadbed for mainlines and the N-scale cork for sidings and branchlines, which gives me an easy way to have a prototypical looking height difference between sidings/branchlines and the mainline.

I always sand the sides of the roadbed too before applying ballast, so I can use my ballasting profile tool instead of the edges of the cork roadbed to determine my proper UP ballast profile.

Some members of "the club" decided to use different types of rubbery and/or vinyl roadbed under their ME code 55 trackage and had a lot of problems with soldered railjoiners breaking after a couple of years cleaning with a Bright Boy.  This is because the rubbery/vinyl roadbed flexes much more than cork and the constant flexing of the rails at soldered joints causes them to oxidize over time.  The flexing also causes ballast to eventually start to flake off, and some modules really looked like hell after a couple of years.  Needles to say, those "club" member now regret their choice and have gone back to Midwest Cork Products.

As for whether Model Power cork is sufficiently different than Midwest Cork Products cord roadbed is a question I can't answer, but...it's a wise and prudent decision to go with cork.
+1..I've never had problems with any cork after even 20 years,especially if it's ballasted.I block sand all my cork dead flat before putting down track,and I even sand in superelevation..

reinhardtjh

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2014, 03:21:41 AM »
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Thanks for the input.  I don't plan on switching from cork roadbed. The reason I asked is that Toy Train Heaven has "flash sales" fairly often and I've seen boxes of 25 pcs Model Power cork discounted to around $7.  They usually have nearly 80 boxes so I guess that explains why they can't sell it.
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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2014, 02:25:16 PM »
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Thanks for the input.  I don't plan on switching from cork roadbed. The reason I asked is that Toy Train Heaven has "flash sales" fairly often and I've seen boxes of 25 pcs Model Power cork discounted to around $7.  They usually have nearly 80 boxes so I guess that explains why they can't sell it.

Sounds like a bargain to me!  :D

Seriously, how much worse or different can it be than the other cork roadbeds?  If you read LV LOUs response, it seems to be very helpful, and informative.  He uses it without any problems.  Others do too (as the replies indicate).

"Less forgiving" than Midwast?  "Crap"? Maybe so (whatever that means), but it is still workable and useful (at a fraction of a price).  Come on, after all this is roadbed.  You install it once, cover it up, and forget it is even there.
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reinhardtjh

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2014, 05:36:48 PM »
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Sounds like a bargain to me!  :D

That's what I thought, too!

Seriously, how much worse or different can it be than the other cork roadbeds?  If you read LV LOUs response, it seems to be very helpful, and informative.  He uses it without any problems.  Others do too (as the replies indicate).

People have their favorites and their dislikes.  Kato vs. FVM GEVO's anyone?  :trollface:

"Less forgiving" than Midwast?  "Crap"? Maybe so (whatever that means), but it is still workable and useful (at a fraction of a price).  Come on, after all this is roadbed.  You install it once, cover it up, and forget it is even there.

Sounds reasonable to me.  If the stuff dried out and flaked away that would be one thing but it it's just a little stiffer or takes a little more pounding to nail (if you don't glue/caulk it) then I don't see a problem.  The savings should be worth it.
John H. Reinhardt
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LV LOU

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Re: Cork roadbed. Any difference between Midwest and Model Power?
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2014, 06:09:36 PM »
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Sounds like a bargain to me!  :D

Seriously, how much worse or different can it be than the other cork roadbeds?  If you read LV LOUs response, it seems to be very helpful, and informative.  He uses it without any problems.  Others do too (as the replies indicate).

"Less forgiving" than Midwast?  "Crap"? Maybe so (whatever that means), but it is still workable and useful (at a fraction of a price).  Come on, after all this is roadbed.  You install it once, cover it up, and forget it is even there.
Actually,Midwest used to be much different cork than MP.Midwest was light colored,and had a finer grain,MP was darker,and looked to be coarser.Lately,the actual cork in Midwest is much more like MP.If I was starting a railroad right now,I wouldn't hesitate to use MP at that price.The only real hard upside to me for Midwest is,my LHS sell it,and I can pick up 3-4 pieces if that's all I need to finish something..