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LGB rubber roadbed

By Kevin Strong | April 20, 2006

Weatherproof roadbed

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Kevin Strong

Rubber roadbed
LGB of America
6444 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego CA 92121
Price: $7.99/section
Web site:

300mm (1′) rubber roadbed (# 61000) to match LGB 1′ sectional straight track (other roadbed sections are available to match all of LGB’s other track sections). Dimensions: Length, 300mm (approx. 1′); width, 138mm (5½”); height, 15mm (5/8″)
Pros: Durable; crisp “ballast” detail molded in; track sections fit snugly into rubber
Cons: Result does not look very prototypical

I’m not entirely sure how to categorize this latest offering from LGB. It is rubber roadbed-weatherproof, UV stable, and durable as all get-out (it’s made of the same rubber used to make tank and bulldozer treads). It’s designed to go under the track, providing support, a fair amount of noise abatement, and a visual base for the track that is intended to resemble “real” ballasted roadbed. It can be painted any color you’d wish, too. I wouldn’t call it a garden accessory, though, as I don’t think it’s best suited for that environment.

Our review sample is for LGB’s 300mm (1′) section of straight track. These rubber pieces are available for each and every section of track the company makes, including switches and crossings. Although it’s tough, the literature says it can be easily cut with a utility knife to fit specific track situations.

The first question that came to my mind was, “Where would one use such a product?” It would be great under the Christmas tree or other temporary indoor set-up. The rubber reduces noise and protects the carpet or floor on which the track would be laid from the grease and dust of the passing trains. It also could be used on a deck or patio. Some modelers build their railroads on beds of green outdoor carpeting. This roadbed would work well in that environment, as it gives the track a visual roadbed, separating it from the “grass.”

I wouldn’t expect to find this product used outdoors in a real garden setting, though. It’s far too artificial looking to blend in with a natural landscape. It’s certainly robust enough for the task but, aesthetically, it’s a touch off kilter. LGB admits it’s “not for everyone,” but says those who do get into it will find it worthwhile.
For what it’s designed to do, this is an excellent product. It’s not going to tear and it does a good job of deadening the sound of a passing train. For an indoor railroad, or an outdoor one in an artificial setting, it looks fine.

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