This question has many answers:
> I have purchased some of the IBL cork road bed and while the product
> looks nice, it seems that it will raise the track up off of the
> scenery an awful lot. Is it just me or what?
The answers depend on the prototype road (or effect) you are looking to
Roads built in areas where natural drainage is not a problem literally build
their rails "at grade." Where flooding is part of the natural weather cycle,
there is no upper limit on how high the roadbed might be built up above
grade. It might be well to spend some time on the web looking for pictures
of the road(s) you plan to model before you come to any conclusion.
And don't forget the ditches that are all too common on both sides of the
roadbed. Few modelers take the time to pick up on this detail, but it really
does look nice when you do it. Obviously, if the cork is micro thin, it
becomes more difficult to model that feature.
For those of us here in Texas (Z-Bend Track), we use N scale cork with each
half of the split cork cut down to 0.5 inch. The flatness of the land
required SP, T&NO, UP, MKT, RI, etc., to build roadbeds from 3 to 5 feet
above grade in 2/3rds of the state. Approaches to bridges over waterways may
have up to 8 feet or more, to protect the tracks when the waterways overflow
their banks. N scale cork captures that look perfectly. Only working yards
in cities with storm drain systems are at grade.
Hope this helps.