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Monday, September 10, 2018

Walkways and sidewalks, Part 3

This series of posts in my blog addresses the topic of the paved walkway areas (sometimes in the role of sidewalks) that most of us need more of on our layouts. The previous post in the series (you can read it at this link: ) was about the Pacific Chemical Repackaging industry (PCR) on my layout, to create walkways for workmen using the doorways and equipment around the main building. I had already been thinking about additional concrete pads for storage tanks at this industry, when a comment to that previous post raised exactly that issue (the comment is appended to that post, cited above).
     Looking at several industries on the layout with storage tanks, I could see right away that I needed to add some concrete pads. I began by evaluating further needs at PCR. In my usual fashion, I took some scrap paper and sketched what pad sizes would work at each location. The paper patterns were then placed under the various tanks, and the fits adjusted as needed. Then I cut out styrene “Sidewalk” (Evergreen sheet, either No. 4517, 3/8-inch squares, or No. 4518, 1/2-inch squares), following these patterns. Lastly, I painted each new pad with a “concrete” color.

The white pieces at right are the patterns for the PCR pads, alongside the finished pads.These are of course just rectangles, but by cutting paper patterns and checking them for fit, I could be sure I would be making the right styrene pieces.
     I like to keep many of my structures unglued to the layout surface, to facilitate both minor rearrangements as needed, and also so a bump by a careless elbow has less chance of significant damage. But in a few cases, I do like to make a complete unit of multiple items, as I did for my high-pressure unloading rack at PCR (see, for example, this post showing the concrete pad: ). I decided to do the same with the tanks on the larger of these new PCR concrete pads. They were simply attached with canopy glue.

This is the larger of the two pads shown as patterns in the uppermost photo in the present post. The smaller pad was used under the vertical tanks and a material bin at the left edge of my PCR property. (I will be adding a fence along this side of the property. Here is how it looks now.

     A second place I know has needed walkways is my caboose service facility, alongside the caboose track at the Shumala engine terminal. I have a couple of service buildings, one of them a former box car, but have not had any walkways. These should be there, and I want to add them. (For more on what caboose servicing was, in Southern Pacific terms, you may enjoy reading this post: .) In a later post than the one just cited, I described selection of the service buildings for the caboose track (you can find it at: ).
     An overhead photo of the caboose service area (below) shows what is needed. A walkway along the track edge, in front of the buildings, is the first step, and a walkway between the buildings is also logical, to reach the engine service area and turntable behind the caboose track.

     As usual, I measured the area and made patterns, but these are not very interesting patterns, and they are simply slender rectangles. But they need to be assembled into a “T” shape.
     In a situation like this, whenever it is necessary to splice pieces together, I simply use styrene glue to butt-joint the pieces to be joined, then add a splice on the underside, made from Evergreen No. 9009, which is 0.005-inch styrene sheet. It is not enough thickness to alter how one of these walkways will lie on the layout surface, but solidifies the joint. Here is the caboose-service walkway, butt-glued and with the splice strip underneath, and painted a concrete color.

As is probably evident, this walk is made from the Evergreen sheet with 1/2-inch squares.
     This design works well alongside my existing service buildings. I will be adding detail appropriate to caboose service. As cited above, examples of that detail from the SP prototype were shown in an earlier post (here is a repeat of the link: ). Here is the walkway in place:

     These two additions of walkways and sidewalks improve the realism of how my structures look, at least to my eye. I am still identifying more such needs, and will report them in a future post.
Tony Thompson

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