Road barriers and fences for your railroad layout

“Hi Al. Update on making metal looking fence’s.

1 nylon road crew flag. Cut up to make fence’s or can leave it to look like the construction orange fence ya see. And already weathered. Paint with crafter’s acrylic water base paint. You can wash it off. Make sure you rub with small paint brush all the bubble’s out. Take metal wire to make post’s and instant glue them on. The road barrier is made from plastic food container’s.and glued with instant glue and painted crafter’s paint.and for the post’s i used wooden match sticks.


“Hi there, I run 00 H0 and I’ve found that the empty 2 litre plastic milk bottles when cut down on the ‘bulk’ part and sprayed matt black on the inside and glued into place make ideal single tunnel entrances, and the 5 litre plastic liquid containers when cut down and sprayed do the same for double tracks. You can of course join several together if you wish for a longer run



“I’ve found that old cotton sheeting or muslin dipped into a solution of polyfilla or similar is cheaper than mod roc, easy to mold and dries a lot quicker than papier mache. You will need to play about a bit with the polyfilla solution. Also, beware…… can get a trifle messy.

Kind Regards


And don’t forget the ebay ‘cheat sheet‘. Still amazed at the comments I get on it.



27 Responses to Road barriers and fences for your railroad layout

  1. some great ideas,they look very good and easy to do.


  3. Al,

    You continue to have insight: examples: instructions: of so many different people. Each person showcasing their knowledge: talents: skills: for everyone to share.

    I want to thank you and all the people who share on this website and for the dedication of model railroading. This is like familly sharing with one another.

    So Al, to you and all that share with all of us … I thank you!

    Tom N

    Keep on Training!


  5. Very inventive…………

  6. Cotton sheeting and muslin with Polyfilla good … try ‘way out of date’ bandages cut into strips and finishing plaster … cheaper than Polyfilla and can be layered.

    If you want a more ‘textured’ finish use Carlite bonding or similar … slightly more expensive then ‘normal’ plaster but very realistic.

    The advantage of Modroc … with the ‘alabaster’ within the fibre it is easier to control during ‘wetting’ and stays workable for longer. You take your choice … all model railway modellers are after all very resourceful!

  7. Neat work Kim

  8. Thank’s Paul and everyone.I have many idea’s and wish there was 2 of me.Right now trying to work out issue’s on makeing a ferris wheel run with a hidden rc servo.I bought a model aec welder,Takeing it apart to make my own.I payed tomuch for such a simple idea.Going to show it on here for everyone to make one.My fred or end train flashing light i made while working on makeing power pickup’s for the track to power it.Glad the idea’s help.also save’s money.injoy more to come.

  9. I wanted to start a train display looking at all the great idea’s but i really don’t know were to start and what type of train set i wanna go with.. it would cost alot of money to start one. can some one pint me in the right direction .

    thank you

  10. Hats off again to the people who are placing their inspirations on the top of my list of references for my future “N scale” project of recreating the Homestead Works steel mill documented by photos taken by the last man off the giant United States Steel’s property,my Grandfather, who worked there from 1936 at age 20 until the mill’s closing in 1986…great work and advice here on Al’s page for wayward boys…Thank you,Al

  11. Great road barriers. I need to see if containers like that appear in our kitchen recycling.

  12. One previous tip warned about derails in tunnels and how to avoid them. I think using plastic bottles to line the entire tunnel would help prevent construction material from interfering with the trains. Larger diameter bottles would allow your arm to reach more easily (and more comfortably) into the tunnel.

  13. Sandor.I would go DCC.Yes it is expensive to begin with.Buying the ez control centre.But you can run many engines same time.Your limited with Ho DC.Myself becuase i couldnt let go of my DC.I have both DCC and Ho DC running next to each other.And would only take a track piece to join both dcc and dc.That’s not a good idea joining both.most likely burn out your control station.And DC engines.So if you cant let go of DC run it along side your DCC.But i would start with DCC and spend the money on a unit.Ebay you can get a ez command unit and engine for deal’s.I payed brand new $70 but that was bidding against 12 others.And if you have DC unit’s that dont have the pancake motor can always upgrade them to decoder’s.So check for cheap decoder’s that will fit your dc engines on ebay.Keep your pancake engines for running on your DC track.Pancake motor’s cant handle the 28 volt’s your DCC unit will put out.Go DCC sell off your older models put money towards DCC.hope this helps

  14. Ralph thanks.It’s easy.If you like my road barriers going to like my metal fence from nylon road flag’s.I have disected a ho welder kit to make more.will show it on here on a how to make your own super cheap arc welder kit for Ho soon.

  15. Hi,do you have a picture of the plastic bottles being used in the tunnels.I don’t see it and it sounds interesting and creative.What is the ground cover in pictuure 3 it runs under the guardrail also.
    Thanks Joe

  16. TRULY IMPRESSIVE old boy, This shows true imagination and intuition, the guard rails have impressed to no end.

  17. Derek,
    Can you please describe how you cut a plastic milk jug in order to make a tunnel entrance? Providing a picture of the cut out piece before painting would be even better.

    Ralph – Eureka, MO, USA

  18. Hi Kim
    that’s is really good idea!
    I never thought of that.

    Eugene & Doreen

  19. brill ideas on here. just wondering tho if there’s anyone from northants u.k would like give pensioner who’s just starting up doing some track laying? also maybe after seeing area I’m laying tracks on might have an idea or two which may work after mentioning few ideas I have? thanks

  20. Sandor,
    Definitely start with a digital “Starter Set”. Most Controllers will handle 6 engines or more. The wiring is easier and you can expand your pike to include some very cool digital accessories!
    By the way, most Digital Engines will run on normal DC, so you can run your trains as a guest on other non-digital layouts.

  21. I love these ideas. Don’t throw away those scraps of pine boards, cut them down on table saw into scaled dimensional lumber for trestle building, racks of wood for lumber yards, flatbed loads, etc. to purchase precut wood for these purposes can get expensive. This saves money, gets rid of scrap lumber and you can make any size you prefer.


  22. Interested in contacting the person who is attempting to re-create the Homestead Steel Works. I also worked there from 1964 until 1984 in the Transportation Division & may be able to assist.

  23. Most DCC systems have a switch that lets you select the voltage for your scale N, HO/S and O/G. If are running at 28 volts you must have it set for O/G gauge. Trying setting it for HO.that will give only 14 volts.

  24. Great ideas. Especially like the Guide Rails.

  25. I down loaded the three garages, i use a epson work force printer. i do have problem. i ordered ho gauge automobiles. the garages are way too short, can’t
    close the doors.

  26. TO THE GUY TAKING THE WELDER APART. You did not leave your name. I have a Lincoln Hobby Weld that runs great on 110 volts. Be careful what you’re doing. It’s not the volts but the amps that will kill you. If you are not 1000% sure of what you are doing, don’t do it. It is a recipe for disaster. I don’t know what your ultimate goal is, but if it’s what I think it is, spend the money and either buy a new one or get a registered tech to do it for you. Good luck. I have cabin fever too, but safety is always #1. I’ve been hurt enough times to know. Best from cold snowy Southern Ontario.

  27. the road barrier is great

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