Grade Crossings...


Stay off the tracks!
It seems like one of the toughest things to make look "right" is where the road and the railroad meet. This is a triple track grade crossing that I recently put in - it still looks pretty rough.

Let's see yours!


these are really a lot harder to do than i thought when I started on mine. Part of the problem is that they tend to be foreground items and very visible!

I finally went the simple route and trimmmed a piece of sandpaper (same as I use for asphalt roads) and after gluing it to some styrene to bulk it up a bit, just glued it in place. Done!

If you are lucky enough (or plan better than me...) and have straight track at your crossings, you can use pre-scored Evergreen styrene sheet that has the score lines in it to match scale wood planking. Some brown paint like Jeff has done here and you're done.

A modern precast concrete and rubber crossing is going to take some work....anyone game?
Well, first of all, my layout consists of a 2-foot piece of scrap wood that has enough room for all of three cars. I did include a road though, even if my lil' display track is only 3 inches wide :rolleyes: . I did have two crossing signs, but I believe my math book has overcome them, as this board resides on my desk/table. The white paint splotch is a result of painting my ceiling and not being careful LoL. I apologize for the poor photo.
It looks good, Jeff. You get extra degree of difficulty points for having that piece of curved track under the road.

Hmm! gutsy aint you. Well I have to do a crossing, but no way would I tackle a three track crossing let alone one with a curve in it! I'll just follow your lead and use sandpaper. However one difficulty for me is there is very noticable grade where I want to put the crossing so I think that'll be enough challange for me. Nice crossing work in both the above pictures.
Cheers Willis

Arrrg! there's 3 pics
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One small critique on your crossing and a suggestion...

The critique is that your white lines are WAY too close. I understand the need for selective compression, but they definitely should be back a scale 10 feet at least, if not more. Even that is close, but it will look better.

The suggestion is to clean up the edges of your road a bit. If you look at a typical asphalt highway, the edges are usually pretty even, unless it's very old and crumbling. Try smoothing yours out a bit, and then put some gravel edging on them.

Here's a good example of what I'm talking about. Obviously this is a pretty minor road, it looks like it's only one lane wide. Still it's got gravel shoulders and no large drop-offs. It doesn't have any stripes, probably due to the road being tar and chips.

PS - Yes, I'm being picky, and no most folks won't notice this stuff. Part of what our company does is install crossings and signals, so I see stuff most folks never know exists.
Okay, first the wooden crossing is made by Blair Line and is a Walthers item - you can go to my homepage and click on the "new photos" story and get all the links - and the rubber ones are Walther's Cornerstone. The Cornerstone kit provides more than you need, including approach ramps and a section that will go between a double-track section. It also provides two sets of grade crossings.
The Blair Line crossing is stained, multiple times, with Minwax Dark Walnut 216.
I agree the lines look wrong. They're white art pencil... which will probably get "erased" in some fashion.
As for the edges, they aren't nearly done - I'll be using sculpt-a-mold or spackling paste to finish the edges off and give it some shoulder.
George D said:
It looks good, Jeff. You get extra degree of difficulty points for having that piece of curved track under the road.


I darn near pounded my head flat when I realized I'd stuck myself in that situation....
( By Willis) "However one difficulty for me is there is very noticable grade where I want to put the crossing so I think that'll be enough challange for me."
Thanks for the photo Bob, that's almost exactly what I want. Difference will be operating gates, arms whatever with the lights.

almost exactly (oxymoron for the day)

Cheers Willis
those do look great but making your own is all the fun!

why else would I spend hours making these when I could buy them already made?

But I guess that's the part of the hobby I like: making things. A lot of the kits you can buy are actually better looking and certainly take the guess work out of the effort but making it out of whatever I can find is somehow more satisfying to me.

It may also explain why my layout remains mosty unfinished....
My most recent roads are made of drywall compound and the rubber crossings are made of styrene glued in place and painted black. I'll try to take a pic of the crossing. One problem I have is that if I use a Bright Boy on the tracks and am not careful, it scratches the paint off the styrene, because it butts right up against the rails. Yikes.


Yes, Bill, sandpaper for roads, parking lots, roofs whatever migth be done from asphalt. 400-600 grit dark grey /black paper has the right texture for asphalt. Sometimes a light coat of grimey black will soften it up a bit.

spend a few minutes in the sandpaper aisle at the local mega-hardware store and find some that suits your needs.

and don't use the wife's good sewing scissors....;)