The Geologically Improbable Railroad

A Cement Grade Crossing

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cement grade crossing At one point on the branch line to the garage, the track had to cross the walkway to the backyard. This was also the only wheelbarrow route to the backyard so the track needed protection from being run over. A ramp type grade crossing was formed from RapidSet patching cement and it has held up very well. I would guess that it would hold up to 1:1 scale vehicle traffic as well.

The cement should be formed so that it is not quite as high as the railheads. This allows track sliders and cleaning pads to rest on the track and not on the cement. Also, the flangeways must be cleared all the way down to the tie strips. There should be no rail joiners inside the cemented section. The track is also held down to the brickwork below with TapCon masonry screws.

Update 13 March, 2010

100313_girr_adjusted_grade_crossing_8309.jpgSeveral years after the grade crossing was built, it shifted in level. The far 1/3 of the crossing changed such that the left rail was too low. This caused derailments as longer cars were backed through the crossing.

I used a masonry chisel to hack away at the crossing on the low side to break away the sloping cement at the ends of the ties. Then I used the chisel to wedge under the ends of the ties. This probably broke the bond between the cement and the bricks because with further tapping, I caused the low side to rise so that the track was level again. Then the derailments vanished. I am going to leave it this way for awhile to be sure that it won't shift again and then patch it. The removed section isn't really needed anyway and I haven't pushed a wheelbarrow through there in many years.

© 1998-2010 George Schreyer
Last Updated March 13, 2010