How do you make your pedestrian grade crossings?

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Olie

Active Member
#1
I have done some practicing and searching on how to make a pedestrian grade crossing. Like this one:
cimg1991-650.jpg

The way I'm leaning is using joint compound to fill in the space then carve out the inside rail edges. I'm wondering how you all do yours?
 

migalyto

Active Member
#2
I used the same method with spackle , or joint compound. I haven’t tried this, but I’ve seen fantastic results done with styrene. I would imagine this would be less messy, and you would have more control over the final product. There are fairly decent commercial ones available as well.
 
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Olie

Active Member
#4
When you cut your styrene pieces, do you cut them inside the "spikes" or over them? I was messing with some card stock and it seemed to teeter a bit once i trimmed it enough for the flange from the wheels to clear.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#5
I cut them as close as possible to the rails, usually over the spikes and then file them down enough for the flanges to pass through without any ontact with the styrene. It does take a bit of work, but it works.

20180512_141222.jpg


IMAG1155.jpg


20180325_150905.jpg


The crossing in the first photo does need a bit of ballast added at the ends of the styrene.
 

KB02

Well-Known Member
#6
I've built a few out of balsa wood. Cut thin strips then lay/glue them in side by side. Then I take a flat exacto blade or razor blade and shave them flush with the rail height.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#7
The way I'm leaning is using joint compound to fill in the space then carve out the inside rail edges.
That's pretty much what I did with a grade crossing, pedestrian or vehicular. The only thing I did different was to place a business card along the inside of the rails so I didn't have to carve anything out, just smooth and tidy it up.
 

Olie

Active Member
#8
That's pretty much what I did with a grade crossing, pedestrian or vehicular. The only thing I did different was to place a business card along the inside of the rails so I didn't have to carve anything out, just smooth and tidy it up.
Hadn't thought of a business card, genius.
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#9
I buy them pre-made from Omega Industries in Portland, OR. That appears to be the manufacturer of the ones in your photos. Here's a photo of one from their website, giving you a but more detail on how they're made. The black part is hard rubber.

ADA-Flangeway-900-1.jpg


Oh, wait... You mean for model trains? Joint compound should work well as you suggest.

If you truly want to model that specific crossing, they should be rectangles that are 8 feet wide. Those panels are pre-fabricated and are just a touch over 8 feet long. You could probably do a 6 foot version and get away with it looking good. If you want to be really picky, you could put the metal edges on them as well (Paint them on).

For most railroads, especially any that aren't in the modern era, pedestrian crossings would be made of wood planks, or asphalt paving. You'd only want concrete panels if you're modeling the recent era, and that style would only be used on a main track in a high traffic area. So you'd see it on a mainline or more commonly a streetcar / trolley, but a typical branchline is just going to use asphalt.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#10
I once walked through a freight yard on a ped path constructed of gravel. The path's gravel was smaller stone than the ballast which made walking easier. Needed to be careful when the small gravel met the rails which could cause a trip hazard due to a change in elevation.

At the end of my walk through the yard I was greeted by a police officer who warned us that it was not 100% safe to be walking in the freight yard at night.

This was 15 years ago in Canada.

Greg
 

Olie

Active Member
#11
I buy them pre-made from Omega Industries in Portland, OR. That appears to be the manufacturer of the ones in your photos. Here's a photo of one from their website, giving you a but more detail on how they're made. The black part is hard rubber.

View attachment 28383

Oh, wait... You mean for model trains? Joint compound should work well as you suggest.

If you truly want to model that specific crossing, they should be rectangles that are 8 feet wide. Those panels are pre-fabricated and are just a touch over 8 feet long. You could probably do a 6 foot version and get away with it looking good. If you want to be really picky, you could put the metal edges on them as well (Paint them on).

For most railroads, especially any that aren't in the modern era, pedestrian crossings would be made of wood planks, or asphalt paving. You'd only want concrete panels if you're modeling the recent era, and that style would only be used on a main track in a high traffic area. So you'd see it on a mainline or more commonly a streetcar / trolley, but a typical branchline is just going to use asphalt.
I should clarify, this grading will be on the track located at the concourse of the station I am building.
Capture.PNG
The picture shows the additional two platforms added. I will not be adding those and will only have the two inner tracks, one of which will go through the concourse. So the pedestrian grading will be for this area. I'm still thinking about using joint compound. I did some testing on a spare piece of track with Alex Flex spackling which worked OK, just gave me trouble when I went to carve out along the rails. Flexed too much leaving a jagged edge. Maybe the business card trick will solve that one. I've spent a lot of time using joint compound over the years so I'm comfortable with it.
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
#12
Could a modeler make a mold(s) out of strip wood and then pour soapy plaster or Hyrocal into the mold to make a ped crossing?

May save making a mess on the layout where you are installing the ped crossing.

Greg
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#13
I should clarify, this grading will be on the track located at the concourse of the station I am building.
What era are you modeling? If it's not modern, then I'd go with concrete, or asphalt style materials, but don't try to get the look of those modern ones.
 

montanan

Whiskey Merchant
#14
Could a modeler make a mold(s) out of strip wood and then pour soapy plaster or Hyrocal into the mold to make a ped crossing?

May save making a mess on the layout where you are installing the ped crossing.

Greg
Greg - A long time ago I used hydrocal ( because trhat's what I had on hand ) and put stripwood along side the rails and poured the hydrocal between the rails. It was a learning process.
IMAG0637.jpg
 

bob

Administrator
Staff member
#18
I would suggest one minor change though. The ends should be straight, not V shaped. That is something you see on those model railroad re-railers that are designed to guide trains back up on the track. On a real railroad, they would be straight across, with a 45 degree bevel. The bevel helps prevent something that's dragging from catching on the edge of the crossing. For example a change or a low hanging air hose. It would hit the bevel part with would act like a ramp and lift it up. At least in theory, if the object is to heavy, it will just rip the whole thing up. As with most things on the railroad, there are exceptions, and you'll find some that don't have the end bevel.
 

Olie

Active Member
#20
I would suggest one minor change though. The ends should be straight, not V shaped. That is something you see on those model railroad re-railers that are designed to guide trains back up on the track. On a real railroad, they would be straight across, with a 45 degree bevel. The bevel helps prevent something that's dragging from catching on the edge of the crossing. For example a change or a low hanging air hose. It would hit the bevel part with would act like a ramp and lift it up. At least in theory, if the object is to heavy, it will just rip the whole thing up. As with most things on the railroad, there are exceptions, and you'll find some that don't have the end bevel.
Now.....you tell me!
 



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