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Building a Railroad Crossing for Model Trains

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Build a Railroad Crossing
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A CSX local returns to the yard after a day's work, sounding its horn for motorists at the approaching crossing. A model scene doesn't have to be dramatic to capture the feel of real railroading - a simple grade crossing is a great place to start.

©2012 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Railroad crossings are one of the most common places where we interact with railroads on a daily basis. So it's no wonder they are a common sight on most model railroads as well.

Crossings come in many forms, like the roads themselves. And in addition to commercial products, there are many different techniques you can use to model these variations.

When modeling a crossing, of course appearances are important, but so too is operation. Maintain a clear pathway for the flanges on the inside of the wheels and ensure that the road is no taller than the rail head to prevent catching coupler trip pins or other low-hanging equipment.

The techniques shown on the coming pages can be used together or individually to create different looks. And they can be applied to multiple scales and styles of track.

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