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Grade Crossings

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  • Member since
    April 2003
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Grade Crossings
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 7:11 AM
does anyone have any suggestions on what or how to do some grade crossings??...i am in the process of building a new layout and it has been awhile...i was thinking of using the walthers rubber inserts...do they work well and look good??...i have about a dozen i need to do....shy of using the plaster method that is....i am always looking to try something new....my layout is transition era based on northeast lines....so i have a lot of industry crossing to build....thankfull for any ideas.....tim
  • Member since
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  • From: Milwaukee WI (Fox Point)
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Posted by dknelson on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 7:52 AM
Basically grade crossings are of wood planks, concrete, asphalt, or rubber. Way way back they used to mke them of scrap rail side by side -- imagine trying to ride a bike over that! I have seen a crossing where scrap rail was imbedded in concrete.
The asphalt and concrete types can be modeled using plaster -- note that some concrete types are outlined in steel, so if you used plastruct plastic to make a steel outline maybe the plaster method would seem less daunting to you. Note also that concrete and probably also asphalt could be modeled using sheet styrene, properly colored and weathered.

I don't think I saw any of the rubber kind (some of which have steel inside of them) until the 1970s, though that is not to say that they did not exist in the transition era.

Since the wood kind was definitely used in your era why not try making one out of strip wood? Just be careful about leaving an adequate flangeway (this is where the NMRA tool is needed). Also remember that Kadee coupler "hoses" need clearance.
Dave Nelson
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 9:06 AM
A quick and dirty method is use atlas rerailers. Also 1/16 balsa or basswood is easier than plank by plank. Just cut it to size, use a razor saw to simulate planks, and color. This works well on crossing in turns as you can lay the balsa on top of the rail and tap lightly with a hammer to mark the rails into the wood. Then cut leaving flange clearance, plank it, and color. You can also press wire into balsa and cut it off to simulate spiking. You can also buy castings that simulate the big star washers used on some crossings. I glue this wood in with clear automotive silicone. FRED
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  • From: US
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Posted by Puckdropper on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 2:19 PM
If you use plaster, be careful while spreading it (and pre color it!) I painted the plaster after I "installed" it, and had a hard time getting continuity back from the track there.

A big help in the look of grade crossings are the Circle RXR signs and crossbucks. One issue (I think it was like 1977 or so... I'm in college now, so I can't check) had an article on grade crossing signs and also some suggestions for building them. The signs were in HO scale, but could probably be photo-reduced.
  • Member since
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  • From: Corpus Christi, Texas
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Posted by leighant on Monday, October 13, 2003 10:15 PM
The February 1975 Model Railroader magazine has railroad right-of-way signs in N, HO and O on page 44, according to my personal index.
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Posted by GDRMCo on Thursday, October 16, 2003 4:33 AM
Industry crossings are usually gravel. see the april 2003 issue and the may 2003 issue

ML

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
  • 13,757 posts
Posted by cacole on Thursday, October 16, 2003 10:18 AM
Modern day grade crossings on the UP (formerly SP) Sunset Route through SE Arizona are pre-stressed concrete cast inside an angle-iron framework. How they prepare the roadbed and crossties under these crossings, is unknown, because I have never been there when they were installing them; however, when you consider the height of the rail, the concrete could be 5 or 6 inches thick.
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, October 18, 2003 9:38 AM
thanks everyone for your input....i have attempted a couple using plaster and a couple made out of styrene....both seem to look pretty decent altough with time i am sure i can get them better!!....thanks again....tim

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