Constructing an N Scale Crossing

In my latest Fast Tracks order, I also received my crossing fixture for a XX degree crossing, which will be one of the points of interest near the docks.  The crossing is conceptually fairly different from the switch, as it doesn’t involve filing rail for points or bending any rail into a curvature, but there are quite a few frogs to construct, and the guard rails are considerably more difficult to install, particularly the “diamond” configuration of rails in the center.In software, we sometimes build one to throw away, and it seems like that’s going to be the norm for me with any new type of Fast Tracks trackwork, as I often get the track very close on the first try, but make some mistakes along the way and learn from them, producing a much better second effort.One of my goals is to be able to photograph this layout (diorama to many) and get it published, and this is a pretty major challenge considering that while I’ve been armchair modeling for many years, I really have no experience other than the very basic items I did when I was in the eight and ninth grades.  This leads to an obsession with making sure the trackwork is bullet proof, one that the Fast Tracks tools supports really well with their adherence to standards and attention to detail.I started this entry quite a bit ago, and so have no completed both crossings (the throwaway and the permanent) and my only real challenge was cutting the isolation gaps and ensuring that the rails were perfectly aligned.  I had some issues with the fixture on making sure that things were perfectly aligned, but these were cleared up by using an NMRA gauge to double check everything.All in all, I’m very happy with the product and results.  I think that the crossing is going to add a lot of interest to the port setting, and seems to operate just fine with cars being pushed and pulled across the crossing by a variety of engines without issue.

N Scale: Hand built crossing using FastTracks fixtures with Code 55 Rail.
I’ll probably add another crossing in the maybe-never-coming third module which would involve an interchange.

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