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Railroad Level Crossing - stuff between the rails

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Railroad Level Crossing - stuff between the rails
Posted by brakeman618 on Saturday, May 06, 2017 9:25 AM

I saw this on the cover of an MR issue some years ago (not sure which issue) but I haven't seen it since. The cover depicted a scene on a layout with a cement trucjk about to cross the tracks. I was intrigued to see a different style of "stuff" between the tracks in the form of a few pieces of rail between the main rails (think cattle guard style only for a gravel road). I've seen and researched asphalt and wood and so on. Has anyone seen the cattle guard style crossing on the prototype? It would be interesting to model and I have a place to do it.

Tags: crossing , Prototype , road
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Posted by BroadwayLion on Saturday, May 06, 2017 9:46 AM

MOO...

 

There is a prototype for everything. Go ahead and build it, let the nit pickers prove that it was never done like that.

 

ROAR

The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, May 06, 2017 10:27 AM

I’ve seen them (rails) and driven over them but I can’t remember where they are, I’m old!  We lived in New Mexico for twenty years before moving to Bakersfield so they must have been in the foothills or the mountainous areas of New Mexico.
 
 
 
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Posted by dknelson on Saturday, May 06, 2017 10:33 AM

I have seen a crossing where between the rails it consisted entirely of lengths of rail, presumably retired rail.  It was in an industrial area where heavy trucks crossed constantly and I assume the idea was to not have crossings of timbers, or asphalt, or gravel, or rubber mats, or cast metal, or even poured concrete within steel frames -- in other words, the more usual crossing materials -- take a beating and need frequent replacement.  I cannot imagine it was a very smooth crossing but again, for the most part only very heavy trucks would have used it.

I just checked my 1939 Railway Engineering and Maintenance Cyclopedia (one of the most interesting books in my collection and a trove of useful information for a prototype modeler) and it has an entire section on highway crossings.  It shows the all-rail crossing, which it says some railroads refer to as the armored crossing: scrap rail set parallel to and between the running rails, with the intervening spaces filled with bituminous compounds, concrete, cinders, crushed stone, or gravel.  I think the one I saw had asphalt.  

It also mentions that the all rail crossing presented a skidding hazard for motor vehicles when used at acute angles.  I suspect that was not a problem for the slow moving heavy trucks I saw.  The book makes no mention of bicycles but I have to imagine it is bone-jarring!

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by RR_Mel on Saturday, May 06, 2017 11:13 AM

Dave’s post triggered what’s left of my 80 year old brain, the all rail crossing was near a lumber facility in Alamogordo NM.  The track was a spur for shipping raw cut logs (unfinished lumber) and sawdust from logging operations in the New Mexico Mountains.
 
There were several crossings made from rail within the mill yard to shake trucks that hauled material from the mill to minimise spillage on roads.  The mill sold end cuts to locals for firewood ($6 per truckload).   The siding may have been built and mailtained by the mill.  The mill is long gone so I doubt if anything exists now.
 
 
Edit:
The mill is defunk as expected.  Google Earth doesn’t get close enough to see the tracks on the right .
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, May 06, 2017 1:36 PM

I've seen such crossings, too, and while I don't recall their specific location, I suspect that many were within the steel plant where I worked for almost 40 years.
Many vehicles used there would have been prohibited from public roads, due to their excess weight and/or size.  
In a car or light truck, such crossings were surprisingly smooth, although on public roads, I usually take railroad crossings (those with which I'm familiar) at speed...hit the first bump, and fly over the rest. Stick out tongue

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, May 06, 2017 1:53 PM

The crossing in the old Florida Rock quarry in Fort Myers, Florida were made like that. Some of the trucks that used this crossing were HUGE! Much bigger than you would ever see on a highway.

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I crossed these crossings many times in a full size service truck, and they were not as rough as you might imagine. Being in a working quarry they gaps were all filled with crushed limestone. The railroad equipment kept the flangeways clear.

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Several years ago Florida Rock moved their quarry operations to a new location further down Alico Road, and is no longer served by rail.

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I have never seen this style of crossing on a public roadway.

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-Kevin

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Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by brakeman618 on Saturday, May 06, 2017 4:37 PM
All good thoughts and thanks for sharing. As my cement plant is in the aisle, I can happily justify this different style of crossing. Thanks again for all your input now and in the future.
ACY
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Posted by ACY on Saturday, May 06, 2017 7:19 PM

I know rail was used like this at a number of locations on the Akron Canton & Youngstown, and I'm certain it was commonly done elsewhere. 

Tom

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, May 06, 2017 7:36 PM

Tom provided this photo to support his reply above:

DeGolyer Library, SMU, Dallas, TX.

AC&Y 0-8-0 number 37  switching cars near North Main St. in Akron in 1937. [Correction: 1947] Crossings in foreground are probably N. Broadway. Note coarse brick paving stones, and several parallel lengths of rail at the crossings. Ohio Edison building in the distant haze used to be the Northern Ohio Traction & Light Interurban Terminal. AC&Y used rail for crossings at a lot of locations. Detail of a Bob Richardson photo.

c/o Ed

ACY
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Posted by ACY on Saturday, May 06, 2017 7:51 PM

Thanks, Ed.  One correction: The photo was dated 1947, shortly after the photographer returned from Army duty overseas. I guess I wasn't paying attention when I told you 1937.  

Tom

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Posted by jasperofzeal on Saturday, May 06, 2017 8:25 PM

..

TONY

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Thursday, May 11, 2017 9:44 AM

There is also, still, (as of two weeks ago today) a crossing this type, across a public road, on the WNYP tracks in NW PA. 

It is located on a siding that sits south of the main that crosses Mead Ave. in Corry, just north of a manufacturing business. 

This crossing, surprisingly, is smoother than the actual roadway it crosses!

Ricky W.

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Posted by Redore on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 12:57 AM

Missabe and other local lines in NE Minnesota used this style crossing where mining equipment crossed the tracks.

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