Attractive Grade Crossing, USA
If you’ve visited the site before you may have noticed one of the background images is a fairly typical North American rural grade crossing.
It’s another example of a photograph I found on the public-domain photo sharing website Pixabay. I choose to use it not only because it’s a particularly nice photograph but because it also reminds me of a similar crossing, although perhaps not quite so photogenic, that I stumbled across whilst out for a drive in Tennessee.
I’d always thought a simple grade-crossing scene like this could make a great module to watch-the-trains-go-by.
Here are some shots from the location I found in Lawrence county, Tennessee.
You can see the road slopes slightly up towards the tracks and then drops off again on the other side of the crossing. Replicating this feature could help add a sense of depth and perspective to a relatively narrow module.
There’s nice dense vegetation either side either side of the crossing along the tracks. I’ve always liked the idea of having to look around the scenery somewhat as it replicates a perspective we often have in real-life and not being able to see the whole train helps disguise the fact that a module and any trains on it might be quite short. Only being able to catch glimpses of the train through the vegetation and then while it’s on the crossing could be quite interesting and really focus the viewers attention.
You’ll have noticed the corn growing in the fields on either side of the road and luckily enough a company called Bluford Shops makes plastic corn stalks that would help to recreate those corn fields a little more easily. You can see the details of that product here.
Finally, here’s a view down the tracks. I suppose it’s not an angle you’d see that often in model form but I thought it was quite interesting seeing how close the vegetation is to the tracks.
These tracks were actually in fairly regular use by an interesting short-line operator called Tennessee Southern Railroad. The trains I saw always consisted of an interesting mix of wagons and freight so the railroad and some of the locations along the line would actually make a fairly interesting project.
However there’s no reason why a scene like this couldn’t be modified to suit any railroad in any part of North America. All that might be needed would be some minor changes to the track and vegetation…