track elevation transition

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by eric halpin, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. eric halpin

    eric halpin Eric Halpin


    I am in the process of building my layout. I have several sections of track on elevated main line roadbed that will run into an engine service area as well as a small mine site that are not on roadbed. I have made several graduated ramps out of what we call bristol board in Canada (it is essentially thin cardboard). It struck me that this material may be a problem during ballasting due to the water and glue mixture swelling the bristol board. Do you think so and what other methods do you recommend to allow track to gently flow from one level to another?

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    If it is a minor transition like you are doing, you can create the slope with layers of masking tape, which are more impervious to water-based scenicking.

    You can also take the (belt, palm, orbital) sander to the cork (if that's what you're using), being careful to create a slope to the lower elevation that does not tilt to one side.

  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You could use luan door skin material which is a thin plywood. It would need support to keep it from sagging so it can't span long distances. You don't mention what scale you are working in. For ho, I would support the luan every 6-12 inches. It can be bent vertically which will give a natural transition from level to grade which is necessary to keep trains from uncoupling.
  4. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Why not just paint the bristol board to seal it?
  5. eric halpin

    eric halpin Eric Halpin

    track elevation change

    thanks fellas. Good ideas all. I appreciate the input as always.

  6. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Eric: if you have some foam insulation to spare, you might consider this (you'll also need a radius template):
    mark two parallel lines on the foam showing the distance to go down, then another marking the thickness you'll need at the bottom.
    Take your radius tool (I'd use 36" or 60" because I have them) and mark a curve from the top parallel line downwards. Then mark one that meets it from the bottom parallel line going up. Now cut that out very carefully! and cut out the bottom line. Place that on your sub-road-bed.
    You might fudge it by cutting a straight slope instead.
  7. eric halpin

    eric halpin Eric Halpin

    The bristol board covered in masking tape and then painted 'grimy black' worked great for slight (<1/4") transitions. However, I now have transition to feed elevated track from roadbed to the coal track leading to the coaling tower. This transition is about a 1" rise. I shall use the rigid foam method you described. Many thanks.

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