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N scale two Lane Road width

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N scale two Lane Road width
Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, February 25, 2006 7:22 PM
Hello,Its time for a road on my N scale Layout,Does anyone know (in inches please )the width of a two lane roadway without the sidewalk and if you have time the width of a sidewalk,Thank you
  • Member since
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  • From: California
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Posted by DSchmitt on Saturday, February 25, 2006 8:39 PM
The "standard" lane width is 12 ft. But in many roads and streets have narrower lanes. 9 ft lanes are generally the narowest that would be stripped. Paved shoulders vary from virtually nonexistant to 8 ft or even more.

In N scale 3/4" = 10'. 10' is a good lane width to model and common in the real world, so the pavement on a two lane rural road would be 1-1/2 inches plus a little more for the shoulders. Arbitrarily chosing 1/16" for shoulder width, would make a basic 2-lane rural road with centerline stripe, 1-5/8 inches wide.

Paved shoulder in town and in the country too would ideally be at least 8 ft wide to allow parallel parking of vehicles without encroaching on the travel lane. A city street with two 12 ft travel lanes and two 8 ft parking lanes would ideally be at least 40' between curbs (3 inches in N scale) but many are narrower. Side walks in residential area might be 4 ft wide (3/10" in N scale) of even a little less. In business areas sidewalks would be wider, usually in the 8 to 10 ft range.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

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  • From: Southwest US
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Posted by tomikawaTT on Saturday, February 25, 2006 9:06 PM
Two lane roads come in lots of flavors! Here's a representative sample, widths given in real-world, HO and N:

Country road in central Tennessee - 22 feet paved, about 3 feet of unpaved shoulder.
(HO - 3 inches paved, 3/8 inch shoulder, N - 1 5/8 inches paved, 1/4 inch minus shoulder.)

Downtown street in old city - 35 feet between curbs. (HO - 4 13/16 inches, N - 2 5/8 inches)

Modern rural road in Texas - 25 feet paved, 8 foot paved shoulders. (HO - 3 7/16 inches paved plus 1 1/8 inch paved shoulder, N - 1 7/8 inches plus 19/32 inches.)

1990's built residential street - 45 feet between curbs. (HO - 6 3/16 inches, N - 3 3/8 inches.)

Modern downtown streets in a major southwestern metropolis - 75 feet between curbs. (only 60 feet if there's no center turn lane) in HO, that's 10 3/8 inches (or 8 1/4 inches,) while N scale gets away with a mere 5 5/8 inches (or 4 1/2 inches.)

If modeled to correct scale, streets are not narrow!

As for sidewalks, the least I've seen is 36 inches (plus a 4 inch curb,) 7/16 inch in HO, 1/4 inch in N. (in front of my house, on that 45 foot wide residential street.)

Common sidewalk widths in downtown areas range from five feet to eight feet. In any given jurisdiction they will usually be the same, since they are set by local building code. (HO - 5/8 inch to 1 1/8 inches, N - 3/8 inch to 5/8 inches)

For roads angling away from the foreground, you can use forced perspective (full size at the layout edge, narrowing as distance to rear increases) to make streets look longer.
  • Member since
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  • From: Lone Star State
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Posted by bcawthon on Saturday, February 25, 2006 10:18 PM
Ten feet is about the minimum for a modern lane. Most modern city streets are 40 feet wide (two 12-foot lanes plus 8-foot parking lanes on either side). One of the reasons many city streets are wider is that modern trucks are 8 feet, six inches wide, plus mirrors, and some modern fire trucks can be almost 10 feet wide.

Three inches will give you a nice city main street. A two-inch width will give you a nice rural road with a 1.5-inch paved surface and bit of superfine ballast along either side for a shoulder. Other streets can be narrower

The best way to see if a road looks right is to use two of the Athearn Ford C box van trucks side-by-side. The Athearn trucks have mirrors and the box is almost exactly 102 scale inches wide, the maximum width for a modern truck. Don't use cars as they are much narrower (even the big boat Cadillacs and Lincolns of 20-30 years ago are just under 80 inches wide).

Side and residential streets can certainly be narrower. In fact, some residential streets are now 28-30 feet wide, curb-to-curb. That's about 2.25 inches in N scale and includes residential parking (most vehicles parked in driveways but some parked on either side of the street). That's enough for automobiles to be parked and allow two more automobiles to be carefully driven past each other, but it's definitely one-way traffic for a big truck or fire truck.
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, February 26, 2006 7:41 AM
Thank you for your Quick Advice,Today we pave,I find this forum a great source of info,Thanks again.

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