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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may seem like a silly question but I have recently started in the hobby at the tender age of 50 something. I am trying to model a small town and small country scene. No problem with building etc as I am using kits to give me the scale but I am getting totally confused of the size of roads and tracks.
I am looking at the approximate scale width of a main road and side road for a town scene and a country scene.
I am modelling in 00 roughly 1950/1960 era.
Can someone help as I am getting strange looks from people as I try pacing out roads and tracks and every time I start working out scales I keep hearing my old maths teacher voice in my head telling me how I should have paid more attention Thanks Col
 

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It really depends on when the road was built. If the road is new it would be built to a standard size however if the road is a country area or village it can really be any size it likes. In rural and remote Scotland many of our roads are very narrow and there are often single track roads with passing places. In older towns and villages there are roads which are hard to squeeze a car through. Get to know the area you are modelling and take a few pictures of what you are trying to recreate and use this as a basis for your model.
 

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Hi Col
I'm modelling a small village in the 1960's and for what it's worth my roads vary from about 1 3/4 ins wide, which restricts things to one vehicle at a time, up to 2 3/4ins wide, which allows for my bus and a car. Two heavy vehicles meeting head-on would struggle there. I really wish I had made them wider, say from 2 1/2 to 3 1/4 ins, although I know many country roads are single vehicle only. My lane to the farm gate is 1 3/4 ins at its narrowest.

Mike
 

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Roadways (as a lot of scenics) are often "compressed" - provided vehicles are positioned with thought it does not normally notice, except, as in our case when installing the Faller Roadway System on St.Laurent we realised just how narrow the roads actually were ! Still, there is just about enough room & visually it looks OK.

One "trick" we have employed is to cut down the road markings to an absolute minimum - this has had the effect of "widening" the roads visually. So far, nobody seems to have noticed (or at least said anything).

A lot depends on the period modelled & the fact that over the years all vehicles have got wider as well as larger.
 

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Another hint is to use a couple of vehicles like a bus and a truck, and work it out on that basis. Remember that town streets are often wider than rural ones. The road I live in is one way and is still the same width as when it was completed in 1874. currently with cars parked on both sides you can normally get an 8 wheel dustcart down the middle.

Hope this is of some assistance.

Regards

John
 

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it is reasonable to state, the typical width of a lorry or bus since WW2 is around 8 foot 6"....certainly over the mirrors.......2.5 metres in Napoleon's parlance.

Allowing for a typical yard of clearance on a typical main road carriageway width...ie 18" either side [or less]...ought to give you a reasonable road width of 23 feet or so.....maybe a tad more.

roadmarkings are a vital part of road detailing.....their absence is like using unballasted,unpainted track.

However over the years they have changed considerably in style and purpose.

I find many [modern] layouts spoilt because insufficient correct attention has been paid to the road signage...which is a rather obvious detail?

wouldn't DREAM of having an innappropriate signal, would we?

With UK villages and towns, much of the road layout/size is actually dictated by historical reasons.

But it is as well to remember, back in the 50's vehicles like lorries had nothing like the length of modern trucks......so this inhibiting feature need not be accounted for.

Incidentally....if modelling a road that climbs a hill..if that hill is in the region of 1:3 or 1:4 then, if a BUS route,may be considered as a 'plated' hill......ie, there would be [handsome] signage at bottom,and top, in the corporate identity of the prevailing big bus company, warning bus drivers [and others who might benefit], to 'stop here' and engage low or 'crawler' gear, before proceeding to the next sign [at the top].....disciplinary offence for drivers to ignore.
(Example,Ruswarp bank, outside Whitby, North Yorkshire........where road narrows at bottom was a little swelling in width,the sign was on teh side of the building there....one engaged crawler until up near the bus shelter at the top.........I have had the 'experience' of having a Bristol FLF Lodekka go poorly on the first bend........and having to get the conductor to decant the passengers in the rain, to walk to the top.....whilst I got the darned thing moving again...those large ladies were a fearsome bunch!]

I also recall as a kid, riding my bike up Telegraph Hill in Devon...beating the Royal Blue Exeter-Plymouth service to the top!
 

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I would like to suggest finding photographs from the era and getting vehicles from the same, stand them on the layout as if passing/overtaking and go from there. After all, modellers license gives you the choice at the end of the day.
 

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I don't if the printable textures that Scalescenes sell would be of any use but you can have a look at this page on their website

QUOTE So far, nobody seems to have noticed (or at least said anything).
I am far too polite to say anything like that
Anyway, wider roads means fewer trains!

David
 

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for the 50's..a zebra crossing (could be an 'animated' one? flashing belisha beacons].....would consist of the stripes, within metal studs.

prior to the crossing , half the carriageway would have a double row of studs going out to the centreline.

this studded area had much the same meaning as the area today within the zigzag lines.

traffic lights existed [can be functional].....with a 'stop' line....but don't forget the pneumatic traffic sensor strip some yards before the line?

not seen these days...with induction loops etc.

street lights would not be orange....

and the copper on point duty would have the white forearm sleeve....or stripes in same place.

no neeh nahs either.

Not certain...but yellow lines weren't thought of then, either.
 

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A further tip - don't use black paint for the road surface, it will look wrong. I tend to use a mixture of greys with brown weathering. Additionally patches and filled trenches will be a different colour, just look next time you walk down the street.

Two tone sirens were definetely in use by the early/mid 60's as were blue lights.

Yet more to confuse the issue.

Regards

John
 

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One suggestion I've seen in the past for a road surface is fine emery paper stuck with the course side upwards. Most road surfaces quickly wear where the majority of vehicles go to give a smoother lighter appearance over two areas about 5ft apart and this will add authenticity if you can reproduce it. There are often sudden changes where a stretch of a road has been resurfaced and the adjacent part hasn't.
 

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just having a re-read through some past issues of Model Railway Journal.......#144.......discovering a photo [of a train on Newhaven Harbour branch].....dated 27/8/1957.......no obvious white lines, but that isn't conclusive....however there IS a good view of a typical 'direction' sign preceeding a crossroads.....and of interest is that it has been [permanently] erected by the RAC [Royal Automobile Club]...rather than as in more recent times,by the local authority,or highways agency.......it consists of a large rectangular sign....colour I ''assume'' would be RAC blue(?).....cantilevered off a large [striped, b&w,again???) pole.

the routes...ie road numbers, and [major] place names are in rectangular boxes,superimposed on top ofthe stylised black line symbol for the 'roads'....little arrow on each end of thick line.....

the 'straight on' route box has a black border, with white background, lettered for the A 259, above the name 'Seaford', which is in smaller letters.
[I assume this box format was good for all 'A''roads?]...lettering black.

the \turn right' road is a similar box, but black background, with white letters........lettered for 'B2109', with 'Newhaven Harbour'' again in smaller letters underneath.
This I assume was the format for ''B'' roads and their route signs?

The 'left' turn was an 'unclassified' road......again a rectangular box, black border,white background.........but with large empty space [where road number would have been?]....with ''Lewes'' in small letters along the bottom....again I assume this was the format adopted to sign an unclassified road?

In the top left corner of the road sign, was a large, diamond-shaped logo for thee RAC...the old style one familiar to oldfahrt UK drivers?

I cannot remember if this direction sign layout was universal,or whether organisations like the AA also had a hand in things........BUT, somewhere, I have a 'road' atlas belonging to my grandad, all pre motorway.....and that will give a clue.

nothing to do with roadwidth, I know......but I thought the above might prove useful to someone...right detail,and all that?
 

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Hi, Having set out many roads during my early days as an engineer, the width are as follows, main trunk road two lanes 10ft wide, secondary road lanes 9ft wide, estate roads lanes 8ft wide. thats since the war. Before that most roads were either 16ft or 18ft wide between faces of kerbs in residential areas, country areas could be anything from an 8ft track with 2 strips of hard surfacing to a full 16ft wide tarmacadum surfaced road.

There were others but the above is the most likely sizes you would have found, for your model just multiply the ft size by 4 and thats the width in millimetres, simple!

regards

mike g
 

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Mike,

Thanks for posting that - I have filed it in the folder of useess modelling info I may need one day!


Regards

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sorry I have not got back sooner to thank everyone for their help but I had the opportunity of an unexpected holiday.
This is was my first posting and I must confess to being overwhelmed by the response Thanks once again to everyone for their help.
I have come to realised I have been walking around with my eyes shut for the past 50 years as I though roadway never though about road marking, crossing, traffic lights let alone the actual colour of the road etc. So thanks again for the extra suggestions.


Regards Colin
 
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