City Scene

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by iis612, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    I am trying to figure out how to either elevate my mainline above grade or place it below grade to make a decent city scene. Can anyone offer some suggestions?

    I have been looking at alot of other people's layouts and I really like the look of the downtown railroad. Maybe I will drive into Chicago and take a look there as well, but in the meantime, any ideas would be a great primer.

    Thanks,
    Matt
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Hi Matt: By "city", do you mean downtown or suburban area,or some of each? Street level rails are common in downtown areas. Yards and sidings can even be slightly below street level since the railroad facilities usually predated city planning.
    Many industrial sidings sag and twist. Suburban areas have grades to suit the terrain. I think your idea of a tour is great. Take photo's for reference. How about a street underpasss to add some interest? Have fun. Jim K.
  3. CNJ999

    CNJ999 Member

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    Here's the approach I used - with the RR running in a "cut" (trackage just out of sight at the bottom of the frame) and the city above.

    [​IMG]

    And as seen from just above tracklevel.

    [​IMG]

    Alternately, here's a portion of elevated rapid transit line in my city, which could just as easily carry regular railroad traffic.

    [​IMG]

    CNJ999
  4. Art Decko

    Art Decko Member

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    For ideas for an elevated line, you could check out Spokane, which has a major elevated railway crossing its downtown, three or four tracks wide.

    For details, take a tour using Google Streetview - Spokane was recently mapped, so the resolution of the images is very high. Below is an example of one of the viaducts. I reduced this image to fit the forum, the original images are closer to 1,000 pixels wide.

    Attached Files:

  5. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    Thank you for all of the ideas.
    I am thinking that I am not going to elevate my trackage but rather drop it below grade. This will assist with the forced perception issue of trying to make a big city in a 30" area. I will have the trackage in the foreground with a 2-2 1/2" retaining wall and then the city scene. Any local switching that needs to be done will diverge from the main at the outer edge of the city, in the suburb area.
  6. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

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    For what it is worth I am dropping most of my scenery by 2 - 2 1/2 " by layering up foam. That way the trains are at grade, water features are a snap and the major change in elevation is reserved for staging: below grade and below the main layout.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I put my "city" tracks on two different levels - the lower level represents the original main line through town, now relegated to industrial switching. The upper level, on a grade separation inspired by that of the TH&B in Hamilton, Ontario, is the "new" mainline, double tracked and also serving the main station. The rest of the "city" will be implied by some backdrop work, where visible, at the streets which end at the wall.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's the prototype that inspired it:
    [​IMG]

    While the separation between the two levels is greater than I would have liked, it was necessitated by the fact that the layout will eventually be partially double-decked, and I had to gain elevation anywhere possible. Just out of town, the upper line drops somewhat to meet the rising lower line, then both rise as they continue on.

    Wayne
  8. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

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    I love it! Outstanding work! Very similar to Vancouver in Canada, North Philadelphia, PA and Easton, PA to name a few.
  9. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    The only thing I have to offer is this on my layout.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and if interested Huntington West Virginia is the home of the CSX locomotive shops and a not so small yard. the streets go under it for the most part Mapquest has descent aireal photos of it
    Les
  10. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    Wow!! That is some great modeling guys. I hope that my city scene turns out half as nice as that.
    Thank you for sharing your shining examples.

    Matt
  11. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

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    Some great examples of city railroad elevations can be found in the Northeast. The West Philadelphia Elevated and Deleware Extension (collectively referred to as "The High Line") of the PRR in Philadelphia.

    See Wilmington, DE. Now Amtraks NEC, the "new" main is a high speed elevated line while the "old" main and secondary tracks reside below on a grade with the city streets, etc.
  12. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    I live 30 miles south of Wilmington De.where is the new Main line for Amtrak ?
    Les
  13. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    I might be moving to that area. Middletown, DE or just over the border in MD
  14. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

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    The PRR main line was originally on a grade with the rest of the city. The main line as you know it now, elevated above street level, is the "new" main. The Wilmington improvements were made beginning in 1902. Much of the trackage that now exists at street level were there before the improvements and elevation took place. I believe most of the old actual main line existed below what is the current elevated main line, however there was some realignment to reduce curvature, particularly between the intersections of 1st. & Popular and 5th & Church Sts. There are some excellent photos illustrating this in the Roberts/Messr book Triumph VI, PRR Maryland Division.

    Even though there doesn't currently exist two main lines in Wilmington, my point was that secondary tracks are at grade, the main is elevated.

    Dave
  15. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    If and when this happens let me know. I live about 6 or 8 miles (never measured it) south of Middletown in rural Townsend.
    Les
  16. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    I will certainly let you know. If it happens, perhaps we could set up a regular operating session?

    Matt
  17. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    I operate the third Saturday of every month. Let me know if you are in the area looking around we will get together.
    Les
  18. lester perry

    lester perry Guest

    If this is a double message sorry.
    I have operating sessions the third Saturday of every month. If you are in the area for any reason let me know we will get together.
    Les
  19. iis612

    iis612 Member

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    Sounds good to me. I will definately let you know.

    Matt