Do you have a Railroad crossing?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by webmaster, Mar 2, 2006.

  1. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    If you do, or you have had one in the past, what materials, if any, did you use to cross the tracks?

    I'm looking for techniques that are used for when I start on my HO layout Coyote Plains. I have built a crossing before in 'N' & I used plasticard to go between the rails, but I wasn't very happy with the result, it looked to false & really looked like painted plasticard between the rails LOL.

    I was thinking of using plaster for the HO layout & then scribing out for the wheel flange.

    So what do you guys use?
  2. Papa Bear

    Papa Bear Member

    Scale lumber works pretty well. Cut it to length and glue it down in between the tracks. Just be sure that the top of the lumber is slightly lower than the top of the rails.

    I've also built one using the method you've described but used joint compound instead of plaster. It works pretty well for an asphalt or dirt crossing. Again, be sure that the top of your crossing is a little bit lower than the tops of your rails.
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Yes, I built a crossing on my N scale some time ago. I used balsa wood strips glued together. That seemed to replicate some crossings we have in this area fairly well. To be sure, I liked the looks so much, that just the past few days I used the same technique for platforms for my passenger and freight stations. I weathered these a bit more using a wire brush before I stained them with acrylic paint and an ink wash.
  4. Relic

    Relic Member

    I know you said N but I haven't stuck my ore in for a couple of days and I need a fix. In HO I cut popsikle sticks into boards (about 4x6) they are just the right thickness , all y'gotta do is add a few "spikeholes "and "creosote" em
  5. stewynofly

    stewynofly New Member

    In the past I have spot glued styrene strips along the inside of the rails. Then coated the platic strips with a release agent (I used petroleum jelly) then made the crossing out of plaster poured in between. 30 minutes later pry the styrene strips out and you have instant flangeways.

  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    For "wooden" crossings over my Atlas code 83 track, I use strip styrene, distressed with a razor saw and painted an appropriate colour. Between the rails, I use four strips of .080" x .125" stock, glued together and then cemented with suitable solvent cement directly to the ties. The .080" height puts the top surface just below the railhead, and the .500" width sits neatly between the spike heads, leaving an ample flangeway. On the outside of either rail, I glue a strip of .040"x.100" on the flat directly to the top of the moulded spike heads, then abut that with another strip of .080"x.125", also on the flat.


    You can make easy dirt or gravel crossings by replacing the two middle boards between the rails with suitable scenic materials, and either use the same material on the outside of the rails or keep the boards. This picture's the best I have at the moment to illustrate this.


    I do paved crossings and street trackage using plain .060" styrene sheet in place of the strips, building-up the thickness between the rails with strip stock glued directly to the ties.


  7. johnny b

    johnny b Member

    Since my roads are made of shirtbox cardboard I use it between the rails too. Its easy to cut and adjust and easy to make look like cement or wood ( with a little paint) It takes a few pieces to get to the right level but it seems to have worked fine for me .
  8. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    other ideas.......

    I discovered wooden coffee stirs are almost perfect for crossings on straight track...but I haven't used them on my layout yet so I don't know if they're easy to work with or not. I'm going to try to use them on my Nscale layout, using an xacto knife to score lines along the length to simulate multiple boards leading up to the tracks and between them. Then try to paint them with a black/brown mixture. With a ruler, the wood is easy enough to rip with a knife blade to get them more to scale and size. Oh yeah...they're free too. I've also used grey sandpaper cut to size and rubbed on to get rid of the "new" look and add the typical tracks/dirt from vehicles with chaulk dust.

    I'm going to try to build up some plywood loads for my flatbeds with these stirs too...they might look pretty good when stacked-bound-painted and loaded. Since they're pretty straight, I might use them to add to some buildings on my layout...might make a great roofing material too.
  9. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    On my long gone N scale layout I made my roads out of plaster of Paris (POP) which was toned down with powdered black pigment. It is easy to pour the POP up to the outside of the rails. For the part between the rails I glued two short pieces of rail profile between the track rails (much like guard rails on a bridge, also bending the rail ends a bit inwards). Then I filed the space with a blob of POP and levelled it out.

    This is N scale, and I admit that it isn't a masterpiece (so stop clapping your hands like mad! :D:D:D). From this angle it looks quite coarse, but from the normal viewing perspective it looked better.

    On my new H0 layout I'll use the same technique, but this time I'll try to make the gap narrower and tone down the slit with a black wash.

    Just wanted to offer another technique for doing a road crossing.


    Attached Files:

  10. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Actually, I'd say it looks pretty darn good. I like the colouring, too.


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