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Urban Station

I wanted to have a main station that would enable me to store trains as well as provide a realistic looking station that you might see in a more populated suburban area.


I started with the Kato raised platform station, but I wanted to have track level access as well.  I used the station in Ridgewood, NJ as an example, but had no intention of modeling it. 


One thing that had to be done to make this station a modern day station was to make it handicap accessible.  I also wanted to have a loading dock area so I could also store s freight train there or an older smooth-sided train that has an RPO or baggage car.

Building the Handicap Ramps

The first step to building the handicap ramps was to cut the platform where the ramps would lower down towards the tracks.  Next I cut some balsa wood to size and glued it in place.  I then put a plastic backing up so you wouldn't see under the ramp.  Next I applied some Woodland Scenics foam putty to help conceal the wood texture.  Once that was dry I painted it grey.

Building the Stairs

I used the same process to create the stairs to cross the tracks as I did with the handicap ramps.  The only differences are that the stairs were make up of pieces of styrene and I scored the balsa wood to make it look more like blocks of concrete.

Creating the Entrance to the Station

I built the station entrance by creating a block using Woodland Scenics Smooth-It, which is generally intended to use for roads.  It's easy to shape when it's dry and had the texture I was looking for. 

  1. I used a hobby knife, a track cutting saw, and various sand paper and files to cut out the steps and shape the handicap ramp.

  2. Next I cut the sheathing off of a solid wire and used pliers to bend it into shape to form handrails.

  3. Lastly, I folded a piece of tinfoil over and used the back of my hobby knife to make impressions in it as if it were a metal threshold.  This is needed to give the impression that the stairs are "attached" to the station and that there is no gap for wheelchair wheels to get stuck in.

Creating the Freight Area

I wanted to have a section of the station dedicated to smaller freight items or luggage so I build an area at the end where trucks could drive up a ramp and drop off packages and other freight items.

  1. I used Woodland Scenics Smooth-It again and built up a block of it right on the layout.

  2. While the Smooth-it was still wet I pushed the end of the station into the still wet block to create an impression.  This saved me the trouble of having to dig out the area later after it dried.

  3. I used sandpaper and a file to create the ramp and get nice vertical sides.  I used a truck to check the angle of the ramp and to make sure I didn't make it too steep.

  4. Once the ramp was finished I cut a piece of balsa wood to size, used a knife to make impressions so it resembled a wooden retaining wall and glued it in place.

The Platforms

I used strips of balsa wood to create the track level platforms and crossings.  I was going to go with an asphalt color, but decided that a concrete look would be better.  I checked flange clearance between the rails constantly.  I masked off the inside areas and painted a yellow line to let  passengers know to stay behind it for safety.  I also use this area as a re-railer to put my trains on the track.