Since my track plan is pretty much in place, it’s time to consider the city planning aspects. So along with buildings and related areas I want to have some nice thoroughfares. What process do you recommend for laying out your streets?

Thanks,

Jay

Original Post

Jay...this topic was moved the the appropriate forum category since it was not a question about 3-rail traditional trains.

There are some prebuilt sidewalks you can buy out there that can be a good gauge and then you can scratchbuild with 1/8 hardboard/masonite for a good price.

I'm more of a visual person, so for streets I'd start with the vehicles you want to use and then place them along with your buildings to figure out how much selective compression you can get away with (ie how narrow you can make the streets for it to still look realistic).  I've seen some layouts with full scale streets but that takes up a lot of layout space.

Another technique that is great for road planning is to use diagonal roads which gives more illusion of depth and road continuing on.  Straight grid roads at a 90 degree angle tend to look too short.  Also ending a street at a building is a less abrupt stop than ending at the wall.

For what it's worth, I am using:   Single sidewalk 1.5 inch wide (6 scale feet) , double sidewalk 2.25 inch (9 scale feet) , road 4.75 inch (19 feet)

A search on this forum will find many more discussions on this topic but hope that gives you a good start.

Last edited by EmpireBuilderDave

Since my track plan is pretty much in place, it’s time to consider the city planning aspects. So along with buildings and related areas I want to have some nice thoroughfares. What process do you recommend for laying out your streets?

Thanks,

Jay

Jay- Start with size. How big are the roads and sidewalks going to be? If you want to get close to scale, an 8' wide sidewalk would be 2" wide at 1:48 scale. A 24' wide road would be 6" wide at scale.

I use a scale calculator on my phone to do the calculations. Check out ScaleCalc in the app store/ play store.

Bob

Here is another hint for making and taking “scale” dimensions. Get yourself an “architectural scale” which is marked in a number of different ratios. For instance, there is a 1/4” to a foot scale. This is perfect for us O Gauge guys.

As an old school Structural Draftsman, I have quite a few.

Donald

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Thanks you Bob and Dave. These are the insights I was looking for. I think I will try to draw something to scale first and go from there.

Jay

Thanks you Bob and Dave. These are the insights I was looking for. I think I will try to draw something to scale first and go from there.

Jay

Jay,

I think that is your best approach.  Below is a drawing I did for my highway overpass; such a sidewalk would be much narrower than a city.

And here's the a finished section of it.  Note the holes in the side walk for telephone poles.

George

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Part of the equation is how much available space you have to devote to streets and sidewalks. As someone pointed out, you'd need a 10" wide path for a scale street and two sidewalks. That's a lot of layout real estate to devote to streets and sidewalks. In addition, many pre-built structures come with a built-in front (or side) sidewalk.

I didn't have enough room for all that on my layout and basically put two 1/43 scale cars side by side and figured out how much extra clearance I would need to make the scene look viable and settled on a 4" wide street with no sidewalks.

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Street widths of course vary a great deal based on when the street was built and the kind of traffic that street has.  Most of us who model transition era in the 1950's can get away with smaller streets and sidewalks.  On a city street you could get away with a scale 10' lane which would translate to 2 1/2" per lane for a 5" wide street.  That would accommodate your cars, still be selectively compressed a little, and feel realistic.  The 4" you selected sounds just fine too even if it might be a hair tight.  Since our buildings are a little under scaled too, 4" would give a nice tight urban feel in a town.

You might consider in some areas varying the width of your roads too.  Consider that in a congested downtown parallel parking might be desirable so adding two additional 8' or another 4" down main street might help your scene.

Sidewalks vary from 4' in width to as much as 12' based on the size of your city or town.  Again the scale could vary depending on the location on your layout.  Of course many country roads or residential streets wouldn't have any walks at all.  In that case you might consider also adding a shoulder to your roads even if it is minimal.

I really like the cracked pavement look on the streets you are showing in your photos!

@GG1 4877 posted:

Street widths of course vary a great deal based on when the street was built and the kind of traffic that street has.  Most of us who model transition era in the 1950's can get away with smaller streets and sidewalks.  On a city street you could get away with a scale 10' lane which would translate to 2 1/2" per lane for a 5" wide street.  That would accommodate your cars, still be selectively compressed a little, and feel realistic.  The 4" you selected sounds just fine too even if it might be a hair tight.  Since our buildings are a little under scaled too, 4" would give a nice tight urban feel in a town.

You might consider in some areas varying the width of your roads too.  Consider that in a congested downtown parallel parking might be desirable so adding two additional 8' or another 4" down main street might help your scene.

Sidewalks vary from 4' in width to as much as 12' based on the size of your city or town.  Again the scale could vary depending on the location on your layout.  Of course many country roads or residential streets wouldn't have any walks at all.  In that case you might consider also adding a shoulder to your roads even if it is minimal.

I really like the cracked pavement look on the streets you are showing in your photos!

I'd like to take credit, but it was pure luck. The latex paint I used to cover the 3/4" foam layout topper created the cracks in the foam when it dried. The grassy areas were covered with sprinkled fine turf which hid the cracks, but I left the streets alone.

The first thing I do is remove any sidewalks on buildings such as the ones attached to MTH's and Menards buildings.

Second, I make my own sidewalks to keep them consistent in height and width around each building.

the lowest point is the street. If the street thickness material is 1/8" then the sidewalk is 1/8" (scale 6") higher. The curb is created by routing the sidewalk edge that is above a street.

Dont forget cutouts for sewers.

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Last edited by AlanRail

I am going with 5" wide paved streets and 4" wide dirt roads as my compromise between scale and layout reality. I am also modeling the late 40s, so my road markings are all white.

No fog or side lines.

Rural roads - no markings or maybe solid thin white with no dashes.

In town - solid white or maybe no line at all if a small town.

Out of town:

- Solid white - no passing

- Dashed white - passing.

- A solid white line and a dashed white line meant that there was no passing in the lane with the solid stripe but the lane with the dashed line could. This was on major roads so may not use it.

Stop signs 3/4" (3') tall and yellow with black lettering.

Smudge pots for safety markings, maybe some saw horses with black and white stripes on cross bar (at work site only).

My streets are 6 inches wide (scale 12 feet) which fit my 1/43 cars very well.  I used foam core board and the sidewalks are from Bar Mills models.  I avoid the MTH buildings because I don’t like the out of scale clunky bases that they’re mounted on.  Used Woodland Scenics asphalt topcoat paint with some light gray chalk for weathering.  Lines are 1/8” auto striping tape.

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@Jim S posted:

My streets are 6 inches wide (scale 12 feet) which fit my 1/43 cars very well.  I used foam core board and the sidewalks are from Bar Mills models.  I avoid the MTH buildings because I don’t like the out of scale clunky bases that they’re mounted on.  Used Woodland Scenics asphalt topcoat paint with some light gray chalk for weathering.  Lines are 1/8” auto striping tape.

Really nice roads. yes, foam core, although, given the rising prices of foam core,  I also use thicker cardboard, 5 inches wide,  painted with benjamin more satin black paint. Also will add some sand in next time for the coarse look.

Gary

What are the options for striping? I don’t think trying it free hand is workable