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Paved Streets and Sidewalks
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Author:  Perryo [ Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Paved Streets and Sidewalks

My new garden railroad (under construction) has a couple of towns that require at least the look of paved streets and sidewalks. In some cases these streets will include an embedded trolley track.

Any ideas on possible materials to use and construction methods would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dennis

Author:  paulrace [ Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Paved Streets and Sidewalks

Dennis, some of us fasten our buildings to scrap plexiglass rectangles painted gray to represent sidewalks.

I've see black or gray roofing materials cut into strips. Friends have also used those 2x8x16 landscaping pavers to represent streets. With the fake sidewalks sticking out over the edge they can be more convincing than it sounds.

Most of my towns come and go seasonally, so I just pour fine gravel where I want to represent streets. If you do that with crushed limestone, it may congeal enough to become fairly stable. (Unless you live in an acid rain state.)

For embedded trolley tracks, I know folks who have cast the track right into real concrete up to the top of the rails, then run something along the inside of the rails between the time it started to stiffen and the time it started to harden. I haven't done this myself, or seen a good example, but I'm told they exist.

Anyone else with other suggestions please respond. . . . :-)

Paul

Author:  Perryo [ Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Paved Streets and Sidewalks

I am finishing up the first building for our new garden railroad and have decided to keep the sidewalk method simple (and cheap). I am using a 12in square concrete paver for the building's base and sidewalk. The building bolts down to the base and I have added some shallow cuts in the concrete in front to give an appearance of sidewalk slabs.

I am still pondering the method to use on the streets.

Dennis

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Author:  paulrace [ Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Paved Streets and Sidewalks

Dennis, the gouges in the block look great! Thanks for sharing. I use the blocks as foundations for many of my buildings already.
I'll confess, I've tried a number of different street techniques, but the moles keep making my streets bulge and buckle, so mostly I just pour fine gravel. For temporary railroads or streets I sometimes use Pea gravel, as it's easier to pick up if I need to move it.

Lots of friends use the 2"x8"x16" blocks, lined up end to end. Once the blocks start to weather they look better than you'd expect.

I believe it would be possible to trench where the street is going to go, then use crack-resistant concrete to fill the trench, smoothing it out as you go. I made roadbed that way (using a 6-8" deep trench) and it's pretty stable. If you want your streets nice and permanent it might be a way to go.

I've known guys who buried "trolley tracks" in concrete poured this way, just making sure to leave a nice gap at the inside of the rails where the wheel flanges will need to go. On the outside, you can bury the ties right up to the rail surface.

Best of luck. Let me know what you wind up trying and how it works for you,

Paul

Author:  Perryo [ Fri Aug 21, 2015 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Paved Streets and Sidewalks

Just thought I would give an update on our paved streets and trolley track adventure. We recently attended a seminar at this year's NGRC in Denver, CO given by the folks from Stoneworks. It appeared that their procedure might work well for embedding our trolley tracks in "cobblestone". We gave it a try, and this is our result thus far. The flange-ways of the track have been cleaned while the polymer concrete is still "green". We will now let the casting sit and cure for several days before doing any additional finishing and then install the track section outside on our railroad as part of the overall street.

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Author:  paulrace [ Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Paved Streets and Sidewalks

VERY NICE, Perry O. I bought a sheet of bricks to try that sort of thing once, but never got around to it. Now I wish I had.

Author:  Perryo [ Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Paved Streets and Sidewalks

This is the final result of our sidewalk, street, and trolley track installation in the small town of Mt Holly on our railroad. The track was precast in polymer concrete and the adjacent street was done in place with a fine aggregate bonded with a diluted solution of concrete bonding liquid. The sidewalks are concrete pavers that also serve as the bases for the buildings. So we now have a method for our small town streets and sidewalks that seems to work for us.

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Author:  paulrace [ Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Paved Streets and Sidewalks

PerryO, that looks great! Thanks for sharing,

Paul

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