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Author Topic: Grade crossings  (Read 3604 times)
SteamGene

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« on: October 22, 2007, 12:37:24 PM »

When did the heavy wooden grade crossings begin to be phased out?  My memory is the wood was replaced by metal sheets with a waffle iron pattern and the current standard is a thick rubberized pad with a similar pattern.  When did they start?
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
japasha

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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2007, 12:49:57 PM »

Gene,

It depends on where you live and the level of traffic on the crossing. Most of the wood crossings started to disappear in the 70s on the west coast. The State of California started on the rubber pieces on state highways in that period.  Other areas varied as we didn't see too many metal crossings out here. Quite a few crossings had asphalt.
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SteamGene

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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2007, 01:05:13 PM »

Yes, asphalt,too.  I know it varied - in fact thre are probably a few wooden crossings remaining on some dirt road.  But I was fairly certain that I'll be safe with wood crossings for the VT&P.  I got some from Accurail, but they are all modern.  I can use them for a pattern for wooden ones, though. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
r.cprmier

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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2007, 03:16:07 PM »

Gene;
I seem to remember the crossing on Highway 31 around Noblesville, IN around 67-68 got a rubber grade crossing-I believe  they redid the whole gate/signal thing right after a really bad truck V train accident.

Another that stands out in my mind was the one at Commercial street in E. Braintree, Mass., right by Factory Pond.  THis was wood for a long time, and still might be.

Rich
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
SteamGene

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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2007, 04:18:12 PM »

Rich,
That makes it a good ten years after September-October 1957.  I wonder if I can Dremel down the design on the Accurail crossing and then score it for planks.  Probably easier to use syrene or wood strips. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
r.cprmier

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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2007, 05:59:30 PM »

Gene;
I want to say Bar Mills makes a laser-cut one, but I am not really sure.  I know someone out there does, and it is really nice.  You can probably do it with basswood and a product called "weather it", which really ages wood, more to that silvery sheen than most products.

Rich
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Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
SteamGene

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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2007, 06:56:31 PM »

Thanks, Rich.  I'll check with Walthers and Bar Mills.
Gene
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Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
lanny

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« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2007, 04:18:19 PM »

Gene,

I remember that 'some' grade crossings remained 'wood tie' style here in Iowa, specially on branchlines or some little used country roads well into the 1990s. I would be glad to be corrected on that, but that is my recollection. I think the mainline crossings were replaced earlier. Frankly, I don't think, depending on your layout scheme and timeline, that wooden tie crossing would be out of place well into the 70s (at least in rural midwest).

lanny
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JerryB

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« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2007, 04:38:57 PM »

The Northwestern Pacific RR still has lots of wood timbered crossings, even on major streets. There haven't been trains operating on the NWP for about 5 years, but the rail authority has now set a schedule for resumed operations in 2008. They just got the funding released to upgrade lots of the crossings along with other work to get the line in condition for freight operations. The rebuilt crossings employ the rubber mat materials.

The city of Novato has sued the NWP to stop the project as they don't want to have trains running through their town. Complaints are too much noise (horns) and too much delay at the grade crossings. Instead, they prefer thousands of heavy trucks tearing up and jamming the only major north - south highway, U.S. 101.

Since the RR has been going through the town for well over 100 years, it looks like that lawsuit will go nowhere. But even after all the major road crossings are rebuilt, there will still be lots of country road, industrial and farm crossings with timber, asphalt and gravel.

Happy RRing,

Jerry Bowers
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SteamGene

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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2007, 06:12:47 PM »

Bar Mills does have grade crossings, but they come with cross bucks and a crossing shack.  I think I'll probably make my own as I already have plenty of crossbucks. 

As to the when and where, my layout is (will be) set in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia - central section (Harrisonburg/Staunton/Waynesboro) in September/early October,1957.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
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