Grade Crossing Ideas Sought for Kato N Scale Double Track

Mark Ricci Jun 20, 2021

  1. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Interested in ideas for a non-plaster solution to add grade crossing(s) over 2 separate parallel pieces of Kato straight track with approximately .25" in between the inner edges of the Unitrack road bed. Bought the Woodland product but didn't think, even with the supplied spacers, it fit well and would still need something to bridge the space in between the 2 tracks. Any thoughts on Blair Line? A little concerned of wood warpage?? The BLMA plastic ones seem to be best? Thought about purchasing an extra set, regardless of manufacturer to use as planks over caulk to fill in space in between the inner edges of the plastic roadbed. Also, initially was going to do just a painted road however looks like only option is to mate with gradual decline with a gravel road instead. ???
     
  2. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Scratch build with styrene.
     
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  3. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have used several of the Blair Line wood crossing sets and have never had any warping.
     
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  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have also used Blair Line, I simply stain both side at the same time with India Ink in alcohol. GreenMax also makes a crossing set with a guard shack and crossing gates all out of plastic which are both in use on my layout.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Greenmax-N...ing-Set-1-150-N-scale-New-Japan-/162088031398
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
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  5. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the input. Watched a Youtube Video from someone who used styrene and have similar look to BLMA product. Certainly something to consider..
     
  6. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the info. How did you measure and or place on ties to endure sufficient space and clearance for smooth unobstructed wheel movement?
     
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  7. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Curious, thought they made pre-stained version.. Any particular reason you opted for separate staining?

    THANK YOU! I really like the Greenmax product because it appears to address the needed decline from roadbed to road though wondering about, when looking at the eBay listings diagram, how to address the Kato angular road bed decline as compared to fitting it against the square sided edge of the rail ties where the top of ramp meets the outside rail. Also, presume in between the parallel track, center pieces can be added or removed to address various space distances. I'd be thrilled just to find the 2 ramps and center pieces!! The extra pieces are just an added plus. Wish a Kato version was available..
     
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  8. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    The straight ones just drop right in with no problems. Blair Line offers curved ones in several different radius that can be tweaked to match any situation. As someone already mentioned, it is also not hard to make your own with styrene. I would suggest practicing on some small grade crossing dioramas to build up that skill set.
     
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  9. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Unless you are REALLY good at getting the track seperation distances right....premade crossing can come up short or be to long. Either will make some filing or some filling to make them look ok. I make my own out of styrene. JMO (y)
     
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  10. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I was using some before they came out with the pre-stained version. But having the ability to stain gives me the option of having a newer grade crossing versus an older one. The Greenmax ones are made to fit Kato unitrack. Pieces are notched to fit up to the track.
     
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  11. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member

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    When placing grade crossing on a curve remember that the tighter the radius the wider the gaps have to be between the inside of the rail and the road-insert otherwise the flanges of a long wheelbase locomotive can jam-up between the rail and roadbed.
     
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  12. Mark Ricci

    Mark Ricci TrainBoard Member

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    Liked this TomyTech as the pic clearly shows the ends seemingly matching angular cuts of roadbed but the space looks more than the 1/4" inch so you are spot on regarding separation distances. Think will have same issue with the greenmax product too!
    upload_2021-6-21_13-58-15.png
    Fortunately, only have 1 straight double crossing and no singles.
    upload_2021-6-21_14-6-25.png
     
  13. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe that's why with the real thing they look for straight sections to make crossings. At least in this area.
     
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  14. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Did I miss something?

    Why not use the standard Kato Unitrack grade crossings? They come with spacers to match standard Unitrack double track spacing (33 mm between centers). There are also versions with functional or non-functional crossing arms.
     
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  15. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Andy...

    The OP said ....
    That would almost certainly exclude using the prefab Kato dbl track grade crossing as I think it would make his track centers less then the 33 mm between centers. Just a thought.
     
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  16. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

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    All of my crossings on my Tomix track door layout is made by the Blairline wooden crossings. They fit easily in-between the tracks and the sides. With a little moisture, I had to bend some of my outside crossing beams due to the indifferent curvature that is offered. Over a month later and no warpage or disfigurement which might cause any derailment. The first photo, the inside still has plenty of room for even pizza cutter flanges to roll by.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2021
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  17. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

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    Hello Mark, With the Blair line they will fit in between the tie plate area of the tracks and there's enough room so the flanges will slide through easily. Also enough for the bottom of the gear section of the trucks to clear also.
     
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  18. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

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    Hello Mark
    I bought both Stained and unstained, they were about the same price. It all comes down to how dark you want your crossing to look.
     
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  19. Mo-Pac

    Mo-Pac TrainBoard Member

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    Big Jake Probably the same reason I didn't use the tomix version. Too me the were too unrealistic for North American railroads. I am resulting to kits to achieve my goal.
     
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  20. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    So you simply cut down the included spacer to fit...
     
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