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tunnel construction

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  • Member since
    April 2003
  • 305,205 posts
tunnel construction
Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, May 9, 2002 12:03 AM
I have a couple of questions for you folks that have prior experience in tunnel making! This is my 3rd layout, but the first to incorporate a tunnel into the scenery. I'de like to know if anyone has scratchbuilt a tunnel liner and what material they've used. Styrene is out of the equation at this point for me. I'm assuming the liner for either entrance need only extend as far as the eye can see inside.
Also what have you guys been making that would serve as a "safety net" in case of a derailment inside the tunnel that could be severe enough to cause an engine or cut of cars to sma***o smithereens if it fell off the subroadbed,through the open-grid benchwork, and to the floor.
I have provided for access to the tunnel through the back in case of track or train problems that may occur inside.
Thanks for any advice you can think of.
Matt--Hershey,Pa.
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, May 9, 2002 7:14 AM
Hi Matt, I never saw any need to model a full tunnel liner either as the whole thing would not be seen. What I have used for a liner is a piece of crumpled extra wide heavy duty aluminum foil about 6-8 inches long spray painted flat black. Paint the foil after you have crumpled it and straightened it back out. Then bend it into a U shape and staple the sides to the subroadbed. When viewed from the tunnel portals it looks like rock. As for a "safety net" how about a strip of 1 inch lattice tacked to each side of the sub roadbed. That should be high enough to stop anything from falling in the event of a derailment. Just some ideas....Take Care and Have Fun...Vic
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, May 9, 2002 8:45 AM

Hey Matt
I have been working on my first layout as I'm only 16 but I'd recommend this as I have used it and enjoyed some success. Note that mine is a corner tunnel so I'm not sure how this would change over to your layout. What I did with mine was first securely attach a cvouple of pieces of strapping to the wall behind the tunnel. Next build the frame of how you want the tunnel to look. I used wood pieces but You could use whatever you can get your hands on that will be strong. After this I stretched an onion bag over the whole structure. Make sure to staple it tight. Then I covered it with strips of newspaper dipped in plaster. Wait for it to dry and paint and voila. I also went over it after with plain plaster to make a rock formation appearance. Also As my tunnel is in the corner I need some way to be able to service the track so I left a whole in the bottom of the tunnel right next to the wall. I can now pop up inside the tunnel to fix the trains. Again you could cut up another onion bag to stretch along the track to use for catching any trains that fall.
Good Luck
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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, May 9, 2002 9:22 AM
After many different methods over several decades, I found one that suits me best, very recently. From making scenery, I had a number of pieces of 1" and 1 1/2" polystyrene foam [ pink and blue ]. I place my tunnel portal over the foam and trace around the profile with a marker.
The outline is cut with a small bandsaw, but a jigsaw with fine blade works ok too.Just trace and cut as many pieces as you need for the tunnel depth you're looking for.Cutting angled vertical slices off these pieces lets you go around curves. I just paint the inside with black acrylic craft paint.Glue the pieces together with white or yellow glue. Good luck and regards / Mike
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    March 2002
  • 62 posts
Posted by relation on Thursday, May 9, 2002 5:57 PM
As for a safty net I used an old bed sheet that I cut up to the size which I needed and then used velcro with a peel and stick back to fasten it under my train track and if something does happen you just pull the velcro for access and push it back into place. Mike- Iowa
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: Guelph, Ont.
  • 1,476 posts
Posted by BR60103 on Thursday, May 9, 2002 9:49 PM
Matt:
for safety inside the tunnel, we've used stiff cardboard tacked to the edge of the roadbed and coming up about half the height of the cars. You need to make sure that the cardboard is clear of anything you want to run through. We found that a new gas-electric car and a Northern steam loco caught or rubbed on places that nothing else did.
Also make sure you can reach in or under because at some point you are going to have either a derailment or a stall inside the tunnel.
Depending on the light and the angle of visibility, the crumpled black foil is good but a smooth wall may be less effort. Also, the foil by itself won't hold a brass loco for very long.
David

--David

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, May 10, 2002 10:08 AM
Thanks guys!!

Matt
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 11, 2002 3:42 PM
I just thought I'd mention that you can gain access to your tunnel by making the top removable to rerail your cars. A little scenry around the seam with a few bushes around will disquise just great........Jamie
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, May 11, 2002 8:48 PM
The foil is not intended to hold or catch anything in the event of a derailment. Just enough of it is applied to give the apperance of something, like rock, beyond the portal. Take care and have fun....Vic
  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, May 12, 2002 1:52 AM
Hey Vic! I tried your method today and I think it looks great. I didn't have any heavy duty foil so I used regular old household foil glued to a piece of paper grocery bag to give it some strength. I crumpled and then un-crumpled the foil before gluing it on and brush painted with an acrylic "anthracite" gray and then dry brushed with some off white acrylic to bring out the highlights in the "rock". Now if you peer into the mouth of the tunnel it looks very real inside.
Thanks for some great advice!!
Matt--Chocolate-town,Pa.

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