N Scale Highway Product Width

Hardcoaler Oct 2, 2022

  1. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    For those of y'all that are using manufactured N Scale highway products, how wide are the roads? What brand of product are you using? Noch, Busch, Bachmann, Woodland Scenics, others?

    I'm laying out my scenery and I want to allow for use of these, but don't want to buy anything until I'm ready to lay them in place. Knowing the width, I'll be able to provide the space in my scenery.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    I only know of Noch and maybe Busch pre-made roads? I think WS has road-making materials (Smooth-It, etc.) but not actual pre-fab roads.
    I know I have some of the "peel-and-stick" road material that came with a stash of stuff. Where? Not sure... but if I recall correctly the stuff wasn't prototypical width. I believe that even in N Scale, "proper" roads take up more space than we might want to reserve. I know I "cheat" on a regular basis.

    If you want to try your own, consider the thin foam sheets sold at big box craft stores. They come in several colors including gray which would be a good start for concrete or asphalt. They can be cut to any shape you want. When I last picked some up-- for my HO Switching Layout (sorry!) they were under a dollar a sheet.
     
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  3. Hoghead2

    Hoghead2 TrainBoard Member

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    Woodland Scenics do a funky measuring stick ruler with roadway dims on.

    P.S.-have located the funky stick. Two lane blacktop is an inch and 3/8 wide total-for both lanes. Allow additional 1/4 inch either side for sidewalks, 9/16th inch for each parking lane.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    For what it is worth legal width for vehicles in the 1 to 1 world is is 10 feet. That scales to .75 inch in N scale. Add in another .25 inch for shoulder and you have a pretty much scale one lane road.
     
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  5. sidney

    sidney TrainBoard Member

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    haha Here where i live that is the size of the roads. the road in front of my house might be a tad under 10 feet :D the main hwy is two lane probably around 25 foot wide.
     
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  6. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks everyone. I just thought to measure my Kato Unitrack crossing width. It's 1-15/16" (26' in N Scale) and when I place vehicles on it, it looks good. I hadn't thought of using craft store thin foam sheets or paving my own -- a cool idea. @Hoghead2 's Woodland Scenics 1-3/8" measurement for both lanes equates to 18-1/2' in N Scale.

    An 18 Wheeler is 8-1/2 Wide. Add say 2' to each side (adding 8'), (8.5*2)+8= @sidney 's 25 FT. But, something a bit less would still look fine I think.

    This is all good fuel for thought and again, thanks! (y)
     
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  7. Daves_Trains

    Daves_Trains TrainBoard Member

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    Here is a picture of the craft foam used as highways on my modules. I use the black foam sprayed with gray primer to add variation to the colors. My highways are 2 inches in width.

    Motel Module.jpg
     
  8. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, they look great Dave. (y) How did you apply the yellow striping? I think I like this method most, as I'll be able to add customized curves to fit.
     
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  9. Daves_Trains

    Daves_Trains TrainBoard Member

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    The foam comes in 12x18 inch sheets and is easily cut with scissors or sharp blade. I tape off the center line with painters tape like a stencil and apply craft paint with dabbing motions. For the lines on road shoulder I use a white art pen.

    20221002_122352.jpg
     
  10. Daves_Trains

    Daves_Trains TrainBoard Member

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    My city streets are 3" wide, I add 1/2 inch on each side for parking.

    20221002_124603.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  11. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    federal DOT road width requirements for two lane roads is 26 feet exclusive of shoulders. Each state has additional requirements - the engineering specs are usually somewhere on the state DOT website.

    I bought some CMR Easy Streets Aged Asphalt (https://www.cmrproducts.com/easystreets/) at the N Scale Weekend in Altoona, PA a couple weeks ago. They are printed/painted styrene. I haven't installed them yet, but I'm hoping they go ok with my painted 1mm craft foam.
     
  12. pomperaugrr

    pomperaugrr TrainBoard Member

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    Like Philip, I have been using 1mm craft foam for some of my roads. I have also been using markings from Highways & Byways, available on a big auction site. I have been sticking to 12" to 13' widths closer to the foreground. I use pan pastels to color the foam and finally seal it all with a coat of light gray tinted Dullcoat. That seals the pastels and the road marking stickers nicely. Here are before and after shots in New Milford.

    Raw Craft Foam:
    New Milford Pavement1.jpg


    Weathered with pan pastels and road markings:
    NM5.jpg
     
  13. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Wow, they look great. I didn't know anything about this brand. Much to think over here!
     
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  14. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    That's neat that highway markings are available, as that'd otherwise be quite a challenge. I'm seeing that the seams between the foam sections can be well disguised.

    I'm pleased to know that I have some great options. Without TrainBoard, I'd have never known. Thanks again y'all! (y)
     

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