The World Is Not Flat

The New New Project Part 7

In this installment we get to the more difficult parts of the track surface, or sub roadbed. The next two areas have grades and in the final area, there are two levels of tracks. This meant cutting and layering plus the installation of grades.

Warning: The next section may contain boring technical information. Readers not using caffeine may experience drowsiness. Operating a motor vehicle or heavy construction equipment is not recommended after reading this. Read on at your own risk.

For track grades I like to use Woodland Scenics grade kits. They are flexible and they take all the guesswork out of creating a reliable grade. My design called for a 4% grade. This means a 4″ rise for every 100″ of length. Woodland Scenics cheats a bit. They create their grade sections in two foot lengths so that they accomplish the total rise in 96″ as opposed to 100″. I find this works well in practice. I usually buy the grade starter kits as they are the first section only (meaning 0″ to 1″). I use them with the pink foam and I find this gives me more flexibility.

End of boring (well, more boring than usual anyway) section.

I planned to have one set of tracks drop down 3″. Using the 2 foot sections of the grade kits meant that each section dropped 1″. I then used the foam to create a terraced effect.



Terraced effect. Tolkien is clearly not impressed.

To achieve this I needed to work from the bottom up in 1″ layers. Using my drawing to temporarily layout track and pinning the grade kits in place I determined the areas where I need to cut out sections of the foam to accommodate the rising track. I traced it out on foam and cut out the required piece.


I then used the removed piece to start the cut on the next layer. I also repeated the process of layout out the tracks and grade kits. It looks something like this:

Yadda-yadda-yadda and I had created the rise from 0″ to 3″. The end result, with some plaster filler looks like this:


A bit rough, yet but it gets better.

So what about the 2 layer area? More on that next time.

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