TRACK DETAILS- Additional Thoughts

JKitts ties

I received an interesting email from Jerry Kitts, Foothill Model Works owner.  He described his approach of preparing his roadbed for rail.   Jerry uses Dr. Martin’s concentrated water color to stain the ties.   I like the effect he has achieved.

Another point that I will mention.   Several modelers have discovered a really great scale rail that was drawn in England and sold by Karlgarin Models.  They offer several size but the Code 82 rail is the one that caught my eye.   It has an extremely accurate cross-section.   The rail head is wider than the typical Code 83 sold here.  The rail base was also wider.  Code 82 rail represents 56 pound rail.   In the world of standard gauge, it seems like very light iron.  Surprisingly, it lasted well into the diesel era on sidings, industrial spurs and yards.   Rick Leach showed me a picture of a Northern Pacific GP-9 sitting on 56 pound rail.

It turns out that you can find a few track details that will work with the Karlgarin rail.   Weisman Model Services offers a tie plate that was sized for Model Engineering Code 100 but it is a perfect fit for the Code 82 base.


Foothill Model Works is selling a Code 83 joint bar that fits the Karlgarin rail perfectly.

Code82 joiners

The above picture shows the sharp edge of the Code 82 rail.  My guess is that this light rail was delivered in 30′ lengths.  Tie spacing would need to be adjusted.    I have a spur that will get the rail shortly.   I am interesting to see the effect.   BTW, Jerry used this rail in the lead shot.

7 thoughts on “TRACK DETAILS- Additional Thoughts

  1. The pictures remind me of Mike Cougill’s excellent trackwork. Lots of good ideas and suggestions in his book on Detailing Track. If you don’t have a copy of the book yet, it is available on my website, if interested.


    • Jim
      Thanks for the shout-out on Mike’s excellent book.
      My blog is not intended to compete with or compare to the beautiful work of Mike Cougill. My approach to track building is based on older railroads standards. Simple details like 33′ rail lengths, tie length, color of the ballast, rail weight are what I have been looking at as I progress with my railroad. Remember this blog is more about building my railroad than trackwork. At this point in the blog, I just happen to be plowing through an area of other people’s expertise.

      Happy Trails,

      • It’s all P48 guys. The branch I model was built in the mid-1800s. It was rebuilt after a massive flood in 1913. The track on the line is very lightweight, while the old NYC secondary at Valley Junction still has jointed rail.

      • Mike
        You are right. It is all Proto48.
        Your modeling subject is indeed much older than I surmised. Sorry for the wrong label.


      • No apologies of any kind needed Gene. I appreciate the kind words about the book.
        Mike Cougill

  2. Gene,
    As an isolated P48 modeller attempting to create a small layout (my first since teenage years-50 years ago) without direct access to other modellers’ experience , I look forward to the progress on your layout. To me, the information such as the existence of the correctly profiled Karlgarin code 82 rail is very important. The fact that the FMW’s joint bars and Weisman’s tie plates fit perfectly is invaluable information that I might never found.

    Do Right-O-Way’s or Grandt’s tie plates fit?

    Please keep the”insider” information coming it is greatly appreciated.

    Bill Bear

    • Bill
      Thanks for participating in the blog. I was just reminded by NP expert, Rick Leach, that the Weisman plate might be a tad big buy NP standards. Not sure how that works on other roads. I need to pull up the SP, AMC standards and Soo to see what they used for 56 pound iron. The NP used re-punched 90 plates according to Rick. They were 6×8 in size.

      In one sense, most of us Proto48 modelers are lone wolves. With few exceptions, there aren’t a lot of us in the neighborhood. The closest one to me is in Grass Valley and beyond that Sonoma. Forums and websites are our stock and trade for communicating and sharing. Remember that you can visit the Proto48 Modeler website at
      and the Yahoo Group
      You can get a lot of current information on George Losse’s Shamokin Division website and blog. George has been in P48 for a very long time and used to be my webmaster for a number of years on the Proto48 Modeler site.
      Mike Cougill has an excellent site that deals with contemporary P48 modeling on a shortline. He does some very nice work as well.

      You can visit these site by clicking on the sites that I follow. I also follow Trevor Marshall’s Port Rowan blog. His approach to modeling a prototype is spot-on. Trevor picked a manageable concept and is building a simple layout that provide a complete experience.


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