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Offline Puttputtmaru  
#1 Posted : 15 March 2021 19:05:44(UTC)
Puttputtmaru

Canada   
Joined: 15/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: Quebec, Montreal
It has been suggested in one of my other thread to use Merkur track bed for my flex track.

What makes Merkur track bed different from any other. I looked at the web site but all I can guess is that there is an indent in the cork for track placement?

Seems to me like a big investment, is it worth the benefit? If so why?
Offline Harvey  
#2 Posted : 15 March 2021 19:40:38(UTC)
Harvey

United States   
Joined: 17/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 566
Location: Glen Oaks, N.Y.
Hi,

I recently switched to K track and purchased the Merkur track bed. While they suggest gluing the bed to the surface, I have not done this, I rely on the fit of the track into the bed, the level surface and the weight of the train to keep it from moving. I have not had any issues with this except one minor item. A long straight section of track bed (1 meter) typically requires 1-2 cuts to allow all the K track cross sections to fit in the track bed. Seems the geometry is off by a really small amount. This could be I left the track bed lay around for a while and it 'swelled up' or 'shrank' by a millimeter. Very minor in my mind. I felt the Merkur product was easier to work with versus building my own bed (which could be messy)

Regards
Harvey
Offline DaleSchultz  
#3 Posted : 15 March 2021 20:00:01(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
Merkur track bet is totally worth it.

Harvey,
Different K-tracks have slightly different spacing in the ties (sleepers)
When you insert flex track into long strips of Merkur roadbed, you sometimes have to 'gather' the ties closer together, just push them along the rails.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline JohnjeanB  
#4 Posted : 15 March 2021 20:06:27(UTC)
JohnjeanB

France   
Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,860
Location: Paris, France
Hi
Originally Posted by: Puttputtmaru Go to Quoted Post
It has been suggested in one of my other thread to use Merkur track bed for my flex track.

What makes Merkur track bed different from any other. I looked at the web site but all I can guess is that there is an indent in the cork for track placement?

Seems to me like a big investment, is it worth the benefit? If so why?


What I know is Merkur started those track bed very long time ago: I used them on my N gauge Arnold layout in 1978.
So obviously they have a lot of experience.

What does it bring?
* the key difference is you only glue the track bed and not the track (flex and track pieces) which are inserted into place without gluing
* no corrosion of (K) track contacts because of the glue
* no vertical bending of the track resulting in a much better laid track
* much better noise absorption because an elastic link (foam) between the track and the layout structure
* much better functioning of junctions because of no loose ballast
* much better reuse of track afterwards (It is brand new after extraction)
* very professional finish without much work

The down sides are:
* price
* increase height of track
* not practically usable for lower levels of layout

Now using Märklin C Track I don't need much ballasting.
I have used some K flexible track but with Faller cork bed and C Track ballast from Noch. Big pain in the neck and poor result compared to Merkur ballast
Cheers
Jean
My layout videos
latest vid
hump yard
Offline PeFu  
#5 Posted : 15 March 2021 20:12:53(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 936
Originally Posted by: Harvey Go to Quoted Post
A long straight section of track bed (1 meter) typically requires 1-2 cuts to allow all the K track cross sections to fit in the track bed. Seems the geometry is off by a really small amount. This could be I left the track bed lay around for a while and it 'swelled up' or 'shrank' by a millimeter.

I learned to add the track bed to the flex track, before bending the flex track and before laying the track bed on the layout. With this method, I never needed to cut the track bed as you describe.

Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V9
Youtube Channel for the Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout
Offline DaleSchultz  
#6 Posted : 15 March 2021 20:52:25(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
the other thing to note is that most (all?) professional layouts that use Märklin, use K-track and Merkur. I have even noticed the Märklin catalog showing how to insert K-track onto Merkur roadbed.
Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline scraigen  
#7 Posted : 15 March 2021 22:49:26(UTC)
scraigen


Joined: 29/01/2009(UTC)
Posts: 296
Location: Sheffield,
Totally worth it, speaking from experience so much easier than ballasting the entire layout, which I find very tedious.
Must build something
Offline mvd71  
#8 Posted : 16 March 2021 00:02:03(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,446
Location: Auckland,
I have used Merkur for a number of years and found it to be a very good product for all reasons mentioned above. In terms of cost I think it is not that expensive if you consider that without it a modeller would have to buy underlay for sound absorption, glue and ballast in much larger quantities. When this is taken into account the Merkur looks good as you get a professional finish without pay much more per metre.
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by mvd71
Offline kiwiAlan  
#9 Posted : 16 March 2021 00:13:20(UTC)
kiwiAlan

United Kingdom   
Joined: 23/07/2014(UTC)
Posts: 6,580
Location: ENGLAND, Didcot
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
the other thing to note is that most (all?) professional layouts that use Märklin, use K-track and Merkur. I have even noticed the Märklin catalog showing how to insert K-track onto Merkur roadbed.


Not totally true. The layouts they take around the various IMA shows use C track these days.

[edit]
Whoops, I thought you were talking about layouts made by Marklin themselves. But the comment still stands, that there are significant numbers of layouts produced by commercial layout manufacturers that use C track.
[/edit]
Offline DaleSchultz  
#10 Posted : 16 March 2021 02:18:23(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
yea thats why I said 'most'....
Märklin of course has to use C-Track, and it would look bad if they had to rely on a 3rd party product to make their K track look decent :-)

Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
Offline Puttputtmaru  
#11 Posted : 16 March 2021 02:28:12(UTC)
Puttputtmaru

Canada   
Joined: 15/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: Quebec, Montreal
This is really a good endorsement by all for the Merkur., I will have to give it a try for sure.

Now to find a dealer in Canada or make a large order to make it worth while ordering from Germany I guess.
Offline DaleSchultz  
#12 Posted : 16 March 2021 03:21:12(UTC)
DaleSchultz

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2006(UTC)
Posts: 3,978
You may have to order direct from Merkur in Germany. Its not difficult it just takes some weeks to get across the pond. (And would be no different for a dealer.)

https://www.merkur-styroplast.de/


Dale
Intellibox + own software, K-Track
My current layout: https://cabin-layout.mixmox.com
Arrival and Departure signs: https://remotesign.mixmox.com
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by DaleSchultz
Offline Harvey  
#13 Posted : 16 March 2021 03:46:13(UTC)
Harvey

United States   
Joined: 17/02/2008(UTC)
Posts: 566
Location: Glen Oaks, N.Y.
No one carries their product in the US. Likely the same in Canada. Delivery in the US is slowed significantly due to the USPS issues (5 months for my last order). My first order pre-Covid, pre-USPS issues) was 5-6 weeks. If the number of flights increase significantly, DHL may switch back to air freight.

Harvey
Offline PeFu  
#14 Posted : 16 March 2021 06:54:08(UTC)
PeFu

Sweden   
Joined: 30/08/2002(UTC)
Posts: 936
Originally Posted by: Puttputtmaru Go to Quoted Post
What makes Merkur track bed different from any other. I looked at the web site but all I can guess is that there is an indent in the cork for track placement?

It’s made from a plastic foam material, not cork. This makes the Merkur track bed less noisy and more flexible.

Yes, the track bed has indent for the sleepers. We - ”The Merkur Fans” - haven’t mentioned how good these indents are for the specific turnout track bed parts. No more ballast glue in sensitive areas causing jerking turnouts.

When it comes to sleeper distance: If you are strict using flex track bed for flex track, and the other track bed parts dedicated for each standard track (including turnouts), in my experience they all fit well. My recommendation is therefore to design the layout carefully in a PC program before ordering the track bed from Merkur.

The flex track bed is 100 cm and the 2205 flex track is 90 cm. I cut approx. 10 cm from the track bed, draw the soldered track cables through the track bed, add the track bed to the flex track, and then lay the whole ”package” on the layout. I found this as a best practice for myself. This makes it easier to manage fine tuning of rail cutting at track joins. You may have use for the 10 cm leftovers in other areas of the layout. Any track bed joins will disappear usin the loose ballast they offer.


Inspired by Swiss railways SBB and BLS | C and K track | CS2 | TrainController Gold V9
Youtube Channel for the Andreasburg-Mattiasberg layout
thanks 1 user liked this useful post by PeFu
Offline PJMärklin  
#15 Posted : 16 March 2021 07:12:40(UTC)
PJMärklin

Australia   
Joined: 04/12/2013(UTC)
Posts: 2,033
Location: Hobart, Australia
Originally Posted by: Puttputtmaru Go to Quoted Post
It has been suggested in one of my other thread to use Merkur track bed for my flex track.

What makes Merkur track bed different from any other. I looked at the web site but all I can guess is that there is an indent in the cork for track placement?

Seems to me like a big investment, is it worth the benefit? If so why?



Hello PPM,

I am a big fan of K track in Merkur.

Some of my previous posts explain why :

See post # 13 at https://www.marklin-user...rack-problems#post515769

also : https://www.marklin-user...erkur-roadbed#post502091

post #6 at https://www.marklin-user...ls-and-Hedges#post468476

and even :

https://www.marklin-user...rklin-K-track#post516522

and https://www.marklin-user...rklin-K-track#post516517

Regards,

PJ

Edited by user 25 October 2021 08:13:59(UTC)  | Reason: eliminate redundant link

thanks 1 user liked this useful post by PJMärklin
Offline hxmiesa  
#16 Posted : 16 March 2021 07:43:23(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,324
Location: Spain
I have used it on my 2nd and 3rd layout (I am currently on my 4th and "final" layout).
I was pretty happy with it when I used it; Nice looking with little effort.
I stopped using it, because it seemed too expensive, and I had trouble sourcing it for a long time. (However, it now seems to be "back in business")
It gives a very uniform looking layout. Maybe even too uniform. However, everything you can do to your OWN ballasting, you can do to the Merkur too, so that shouldnt really be a detracting point.

If I had lots of money and good access to it, I would probably use it, if starting a new layout.

Especially MiWuLa and Brima seems to use Merkur everywhere.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline Roland  
#17 Posted : 16 March 2021 17:30:44(UTC)
Roland

Canada   
Joined: 09/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 317
Location: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted by: Puttputtmaru Go to Quoted Post
This is really a good endorsement by all for the Merkur., I will have to give it a try for sure.

Now to find a dealer in Canada or make a large order to make it worth while ordering from Germany I guess.


EuroRailHobbies in BC might have some Merkur left in stock but you'll likely have to order from Germany. I ordered direct (as Dale suggested) a couple of years ago.
Offline marklinist5999  
#18 Posted : 16 March 2021 17:55:21(UTC)
marklinist5999

United States   
Joined: 10/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 1,345
Location: Michigan, Troy
Originally Posted by: Roland Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Puttputtmaru Go to Quoted Post
This is really a good endorsement by all for the Merkur., I will have to give it a try for sure.

Now to find a dealer in Canada or make a large order to make it worth while ordering from Germany I guess.


EuroRailHobbies in BC might have some Merkur left in stock but you'll likely have to order from Germany. I ordered direct (as Dale suggested) a couple of years ago.
No, I checked already. They don't carry it anymore.

Offline Minok  
#19 Posted : 16 March 2021 18:02:06(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,235
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
The key features that make it worth the expense from my view, when using K-track are:
1) The foam used I think has a proven long time stability (doesn't break down into soft gunk like other soft foam bedding)
2) Consistent full bedding optics from straight track through turnouts vs the 'un-ballasted open spaces' typical of using ballasting in K-track.
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
Offline Puttputtmaru  
#20 Posted : 16 March 2021 18:32:53(UTC)
Puttputtmaru

Canada   
Joined: 15/02/2021(UTC)
Posts: 98
Location: Quebec, Montreal
You got me convinced guys.

Still in the planning stage for my layout but Merkur, instead of cork or Woodland track-bed, is in the cards.

Unpacking old boxes of my last layout and rediscovering past memories.
thanks 3 users liked this useful post by Puttputtmaru
Offline jlopez  
#21 Posted : 19 March 2021 06:27:27(UTC)
jlopez

United States   
Joined: 28/11/2004(UTC)
Posts: 143
Location: San Francisco
I’ve been using merkur with my module l building for the module group. You don’t need to glue it down just use the k track screws and screw the track down. You can always unscrew it and adjust if necessary.
Offline Minok  
#22 Posted : 19 March 2021 07:23:38(UTC)
Minok

United States   
Joined: 15/10/2006(UTC)
Posts: 2,235
Location: Washington, Pacific Northwest
Originally Posted by: jlopez Go to Quoted Post
You don’t need to glue it down just use the k track screws and screw the track down.


Does that not defeat one of the benefits of the foam track bed by creating a rigid connection to the baseboards and thus transmitting vibrations more directly?
Toys of tin and wood rule!
---
My Layout Thread on marklin-users.net: InterCity 1-3-4
My YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Minok1217/
Offline mvd71  
#23 Posted : 19 March 2021 08:13:48(UTC)
mvd71

New Zealand   
Joined: 09/08/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,446
Location: Auckland,
Originally Posted by: Minok Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: jlopez Go to Quoted Post
You don’t need to glue it down just use the k track screws and screw the track down.


Does that not defeat one of the benefits of the foam track bed by creating a rigid connection to the baseboards and thus transmitting vibrations more directly?


Yes, it does to a degree. Although in that scenario the Merkur will still dampen the sound. Better to glue the Merkur and have the track free
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#24 Posted : 19 March 2021 09:19:08(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,206
Location: New Zealand
Originally Posted by: kiwiAlan Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: DaleSchultz Go to Quoted Post
the other thing to note is that most (all?) professional layouts that use Märklin, use K-track and Merkur. I have even noticed the Märklin catalog showing how to insert K-track onto Merkur roadbed.


Not totally true. The layouts they take around the various IMA shows use C track these days.

[edit]
Whoops, I thought you were talking about layouts made by Marklin themselves. [/edit]


The new Marklin Museum layout is K track and there's an awful lot of it that layout. Take a look at some of the pictures in the New York Times article about Marklin, there's a few of this layout.

https://www.nytimes.com/...del-trains-pandemic.html
Offline hxmiesa  
#25 Posted : 19 March 2021 11:21:10(UTC)
hxmiesa

Spain   
Joined: 15/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 3,324
Location: Spain
Originally Posted by: Bigdaddynz Go to Quoted Post
The new Marklin Museum layout is K track and there's an awful lot of it that layout. Take a look at some of the pictures in the New York Times article about Marklin, there's a few of this layout.
https://www.nytimes.com/...del-trains-pandemic.html

Hum... Actually... It looks like C-track to me!
Definitely the first part, with the camera-lok, is C-track!!!
On another overview you see some kind of "sweeping" lines, but not QUITE the same sweep as you see with K-track. They might have mixed with K, and/or tweaked stock C-track.
Best regards
Henrik Hoexbroe ("The Dane In Spain")
http://hoexbroe.tripod.com
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#26 Posted : 19 March 2021 11:50:26(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,206
Location: New Zealand
That's definitely K track, although the roadbed has been painted and partially ballasted in this picture I took in 2019.

IMG20190915104205.jpg
Offline Bigdaddynz  
#27 Posted : 19 March 2021 22:45:52(UTC)
Bigdaddynz

New Zealand   
Joined: 17/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 18,206
Location: New Zealand
This is the area where the video was taken (red circle) and you can see that area wasn't developed when I viewed the layout in 2019. It may well have been done with C track, as Henrik points out it certainly looks like C track in the video.

IMG20190915104121.jpg

Capture.JPG
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