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Embedding rails in concrete

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  • Member since
    December 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 19,016 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 4:28 PM

What is your final goal?  Are you creating something like above, a container terminal, or is this street running through a town, or is this a trolley line?

I used a short section of Proto87 girder rail, which is really more suitable for trolleys.  My application was a carfloat terminal.  I liked the look but construction with this stuff is pretty difficult.  They sell various sheets of street material which is exactly the right thickness to cut and surround the rail sections with.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Fullerton, California
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Posted by hornblower on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 3:52 PM

I use Creatology Fun Foam sheets over a .040" styrene base for all my roads, including areas where rails are embedded in concrete or asphalt.  I first fit the styrene sheet (which I buy in 4' by 8' sheets) around and between the rails.  When all is trimmed and looking right, I place the styrene sections atop the Fun Foam sheets and use the styrene as a guide to cut matching sections of Fun Foam. Spray adhesive works well to glue the Fun Foam to the styrene and I use adhesive caulking to glue the styrene to the layout and track. The Fun Foam comes in different colors (choose one close to the color of your finish surface) and it takes paint quite well.  I use either latex caulking or WS Foam Putty to fill joints between pieces of Fun Foam.  You can also disguise the joint as a large crack by overlapping the ends of two pieces of Fun Foam and making a jagged cut through both pieces.  The Fun Foam is easily embossed to simulate expansion joints and can be scored or cut with a hobby knife to simulate cracks.  Much faster than plaster or putty and much less mess.  I used this technique to embed two rail spurs in asphalt paving for a large lumber yard, the interiors of two roundhouses and all of my paved roads and parking lots. Visitors always comment favorably about my roads.

Hornblower

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, February 11, 2020 8:11 AM

I looked at your picture, turning out nice.  WAIT!  You have a Gern plant?  Surprise Laugh.

I didn't know that other branches were opened.  I only know of the home factory, in Dr. Wayne's world.

Mike.

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    July 2007
  • 152 posts
Posted by barrok on Monday, February 10, 2020 9:50 PM

I have used both styrene and drywall mud for concrete -- I have to say the mud looks much more realistic; it is not perfect like the styrene.  It is easy to use and can be made to look relaistic with cracks and broken chunks etc.  It also takes paints and stains well.  My favorite part about it is that I can "wet sand" it by dipping my finger into water and running it over the drywall mud, smoothing it.  It is also easy to carve.  As far as inside of the track goes, I fill the space between the rails and level it with a scraper.  One dry, I use a small screwdriver to scrape out space for the flanges.  It is easy to rough it up to look abused, and it takes scoring well for expansion joints.  The pic shows the process of weathering.  Just my two cents....https://photos.app.goo.gl/dwbqsHqjWjmHxb2h7

Modeling the Motor City

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    February 2005
  • From: Vancouver Island, BC
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Posted by selector on Monday, February 10, 2020 4:46 PM

Plaster of Paris?  It screeds pretty well, and while it's still soft you can make the alteration to allow flanges to pass through it nearest the rails.  Rails will clean up nicely when it's dry by rubbing them with a scrap piece of dimensional 'lumber'.

If you want to make it look more like cement, or more aged, simply mix some tempera powder or masonry dye powder into it before adding water.

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  • From: Reading, PA
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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 10, 2020 1:32 PM

 Steve Brown on It's My Railroad used drywall mud. Seemed to come out OK, trains seem to roll over it fine (and he's doing N scale, which is lighter and pickier about track contact than HO). It's two different episodes on MRVP to see the spreading of it and then the cutting in of the flangeways and running a test train.

                              --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, February 10, 2020 10:35 AM

Some of us use Durham's Water Putty for roads.  I think it simulates asphalt quite well.  I also use styrene to fill the space between the rails.

This is a hardware store product, not a hobby or craft store product.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, February 10, 2020 9:27 AM

Styrene works. I've seen a couple YT's on doing it, and read some articles.

I used drywall mud, for the whole process.

Mike.

  • Member since
    February 2008
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Posted by kasskaboose on Monday, February 10, 2020 9:21 AM

I didn't have luck embedding rails in concrete with putty on the 1st layout.  The dust went everwhere when I smoothed it down.  I even ran extra wheels across the wet putty to create groves so I wouldn't need to carve it out.

Stryene makes more sense.  You just paint and glue it.  No mess made!

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Posted by NVSRR on Monday, February 10, 2020 9:07 AM

You could also use DasClay as your subbase.  Or your concrete road, or cobblestone, or asphalt.  Takes carving and imprintint well.  

tile grout will work for the puddy as well.  It is cheap and comes in small containers.    Or big ones

 

shane

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, February 10, 2020 7:04 AM

 The brand Pelle used is probably not going to be available in the US anyway. Pelle lives in Denmark.

                                   --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    May 2010
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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, February 10, 2020 6:18 AM

He doesn't give the brand in the article, and you can't get a good look at the container.

Google light weight putty, you'll see all kinds, most availiable at local hardware stores.

You can also use lightweight drywall compound, and Woodland Scenics has a product called Foam Putty, maybe check that out.

He uses it to set the section of track in place, before "pouring the concrete".  You could probably use latex caulk.

Mike

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 40 posts
Embedding rails in concrete
Posted by DSteckler on Sunday, February 9, 2020 9:22 PM

In the Feb. 2018 issue, Pelle Soeborg filled in the spaces between the ties with lightweight putty before applying Woodland Scenics Smooth-It on top of MDF sheets.  What brand and type of putty?  I looked at Home Depot and Lowe's web sites and they had different types of putty but no "lightweight" putty.

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