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Goods Yard - How to raise the ground level to rail height

2790 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  SRman
I have finished laying the track in my goods yard. I would like to raise the ground level up to the rail height as was done in real goods yards to facilitate access to the wagons. I have a few ideas about how to do this but first I would like to know how others have achieved it.

Thanks in advance,

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Simply, layers of thick card up to sleeper level, then artists mounting board up to just below rail level. The mounting board I used came from an arts and crafts shop as off-cuts from picture framing, and has one side coloured with a slight texture. I choose colours like blacks, greys (including a sort of concrete colour) and browns.

The first two pics show the black faced card, with a little weathering (plus some dust, but we won't mention that!!).

The last one is not technically the goods yard, but shows the approach road to the goods area, using some of the concrete coloured card, again weathered with powders.

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As SRman so ably described above.....simply use card to raise the ground surface easy and cheap way is to utilise an old cardboard box [with the corrugated card].... lay a large sheet over your goods yard area....[remove stock, buildings and personnel first]......then using a digital rubber [finger in oldspeak] rub the area where the rails are located, creating an impression on the underside of the cardboard.

then cut the card,following the marks, but just inside them....accuracy is unimportant....which will give you a set of wibbly templates.....glue these down in the ground areas between the sidings.

this should bring the ground surface up to at least the sleeper tops, if not the rails themselves.

then either use thin card, again marking out as above, but cut to fit the outsides of the rail edges, glued over the box card.

OR....mix up some repair plaster like Polyfilla or even fill the gaps up to the rail edges..paint or surface texture to suit.

thin card between the rail heads is ok.....

If you REALLY want to go posh...use some of those nice, embossed cards/plastic sheets, to represent cobbles.

always try a wagon over the track, to ensure clearance for wheel flanges.

either way, a lot easier than hiring a router to cut out a wide groove for your track to sit in....?

best idea is to obtain a photo of a real goods yard, in the timeframe of your choice.....ignore the main subject, and look closely at the track and ground.
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Thanks guys for taking the time to reply.

i have got some spare mounting card that I will use for the base layer. I'm still not sure if I want to paint the top layer or use some detailed plasticard...

I had also toyed with the idea of using some of the large amount of wood filler I have left over from a previous job, still an option I guess but I'll see how the card goes first.

On another forum I read that DAS could be used, and detialed to show what I liked, so i may try a small area like that and see how I get on!


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I've used plaster and polyfilla for this before but I guess it comes down to how confident you feel using those mediums. They can be quite messy especially plaster.

I've also used wood strips for crossings with good effect.
That's a really good idea,Rob. Try out any techniques that appeal to you on a small area first. There is no one single "correct" method, it really boils down to what works best for you.

One thing I didn't mention before though: past experience means I now leave any such surfaces just below the top of rail level, so as not to interfere with running with our overwidth model wheels (in most scales!) and to allow for ease of track cleaning without destroying or damaging the surrounding surfaces.
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