MODELING: Highway Crossing Construction

.NP Woodinville 43 N

In this post, I will describe the construction of a highway crossing for my layout.  The road planned to cross the tracks is a secondary asphalt surfaced road.  The photo above was taken by Rick Leach in Woodinville, WA.  He was leaning out the window of the GP-9 while taking the picture.

crossing 1

I was able to get a copy of the NP Crossing 6-10-1 drawing from Rick Leach.  It showed how the road built the crossing out of 4″ x 10″ lumber held in place with spikes.   My boards were cut to 18′ in length and beveled on the end.  I suspect the railroad beveled the boards to keep from catching any hanging brake equipment.

crossing 2

I distressed the wood with a wire brush and a knife blade.   The boards were held in place by long round head spikes that were pounded into the ties.  I used a .036″ diameter drill bit to create holes in the boards.  Since the crossing was being mounted between Code 100 rail, I added .020″ strips under the planks lining up with ties.   I used a Sepia ink to stain the wood.  Sepia color looks like creosote and is a good starting point for the boards.  Next I added black highlights to the boards.

crossing 3

crossing 5

The  crossing will connect the off-table world with a feed mill to the right and a town to the left.  The road will climb a hill while running parallel to the track.  I intend to add a few bungalows along the road.   But that is another story.

crossing 4

Next time, I will tackle the road surface.

Happy Trails,



10 thoughts on “MODELING: Highway Crossing Construction

  1. Renee and I built many of ours this way. It is what I remember as a boy near the Soo Line where my dad worked.

    Ray & Renee Grosser

    1145 Linn Road

    Eubank KY 42567-9579

    (606) 379-6590

    “I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.” General William Booth

    I hope you never have to work as hard as we play!

  2. Looks very good Gene. I like the Sepia a bit more delicate than Hunter creisote. Thank you for sharing this gem of a detail.

  3. Gene, this crossing looks perfect to me. Looking forward to the progress photos. Details like this is what makes O scale so great. I was admiring your ballast also. Have you described it earlier?

  4. Pingback: Site seeing December 24 | Andrew's Trains – Formerly

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