This Site Updates Every Few Minutes, Don't Miss Out. Bookmark this site!

Building Highways and Roads on Your Model Railroad Layout

 
Highways and roads are usually among the first features a hobbyist will add to his or her model railroad layout. What is a village without a main road? Also, part of the charm of a model railroad layout is the crossing gate and there is only a gate when there is a road it must protect. If you have a mountain with a cabin on top, it has to have an access road which will more than likely be gravel in some parts. Highways and roads are easy to add to your model railroad layout.
 
Sketch out where the roads will go on the mounting surface of your model railroad layout. If you are a beginning model railroader you probably have set up a 4x8 or 5x9 tabletop model railroad layout. This table size is great for starting out but no doubt it is small. If you want to give an illusion of it being much larger, plan your roads so that they are not parallel with the tracks. Highway crossings should come in at an angle as they typically do in real life.
 
Don't paint roads black on your model railroad layout. It's true, we call it a "blacktop" but roads are not truly black. They are more of a dark charcoal gray. Roads built in coastal areas are typically a much lighter gray because beach sand and sea shells are mixed into the asphalt. You will also notice that if you live in coastal areas and roads are the light gray color, there will be variations of skid marks and oil stains that can be seen clearly.
 
Begin building the road on your model railroad layout with thin strips of cardboard. You can use something like poster board or cardstock. Don't use a water-based adhesive such as white glue either. Doing so can cause the roadway to buckle as it dries. You can also cut thin strips to represent sidewalks. Sidewalks will be built with a couple more layers of cardboard to give the impression of a curb just like a real street.
 
You can also build realistic railroad crossings on your model railroad layout. It requires gradually building a slope on your roadway so that it will clear the top of the rails. This is accomplished by inserting pieces of cardboard underneath the surface so that it will gradually rise. Be careful that it does not go higher than the rails or else you will experience derailments at the crossing. There will also be a roadway section in between and at the same height of the rails. Make sure that it is not too wide causing interference with the inner flanges of the wheels on the rail cars. You could use a re-railer section of track that oftentimes comes with a toy train set and trim it so that it fits under the edges of the cardboard roadway. Then use modeling clay to blend in the edges with the plastic re-railer component.
 

Add the finishing touch to your model railroad layout roads with stripes and markings. The best way to do this is to cut out your own stencils with the card stock for stripes, on-road warning signs, directional indicators, and crosswalks. Colored tape can be cut into thin strips and used for stripes as well.

LIONEL HIGHWAY BARRELS (6) o gauge train construction roadway road work 6-32922
LIONEL HIGHWAY BARRELS (6) o gauge train construction roadway road work 6-32922
Price: $9.84 (0 Bids)
Sale Ends: 2h 3m
LIONEL LTI HIGHWAY FLASHER AND 252 CROSSING GATE W 153C AND 145C TRACK TRIPS +++
LIONEL LTI HIGHWAY FLASHER AND 252 CROSSING GATE W 153C AND 145C TRACK TRIPS +++
Price: $21.75 (0 Bids)
Sale Ends: 8h 22m
Lionel 2154 Automatic Highway Flasher from 1970-87
Lionel 2154 Automatic Highway Flasher from 1970-87
Price: $20.00 (0 Bids)
Sale Ends: 11h 2m
N scale HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT by imex resins #6334
N scale HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT by imex resins #6334
Price: $26.00 (0 Bids)
Sale Ends: 11h 21m
HO scale Bowser #55562 53' Highway Plate Trailer 'The Dart Advantage'
HO scale Bowser #55562     53' Highway Plate Trailer    'The Dart Advantage'
Price: $11.00
Buy It Now: $14.00
Sale Ends: 14h 35m
The Model Railroader Magazine November 1963, Highway & Mars Light Flashers
The Model Railroader Magazine November 1963,  Highway & Mars Light Flashers
Price: $9.99 (0 Bids)
Sale Ends: 17h 24m
Jordan Highway Miniatures HO #360 229 - 1934 Ford 21 Passenger Bus
Jordan Highway Miniatures HO #360 229 - 1934 Ford 21 Passenger Bus
Price: $21.00 (0 Bids)
Sale Ends: 17h 39m
HO Scale - Double Highway Lamp Posts - Package of 2 each MDP-496
HO Scale - Double Highway Lamp Posts - Package of 2 each MDP-496
Price: $9.89 (0 Bids)
Sale Ends: 18h 8m
Modern 150' Highway Overpass Bridge Model Railroad building kit RIX 113
Modern 150' Highway Overpass Bridge Model Railroad building kit RIX 113
Price: $34.95 (0 Bids)
Sale Ends: 18h 15m
Early 150' Highway Overpass Bridge Model Railroad building kit RIX 103
Early 150' Highway Overpass Bridge Model Railroad building kit RIX 103
Price: $34.95 (0 Bids)
Sale Ends: 18h 15m