Large Scale Central

Roadway methods

Collective hive,

What’s the successful and unsuccessful methods you have used for creating asphalt or concrete roads? I seem to remember Bruce had some decent looking roads.

I’m ready to start experimenting with some various ideas.


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Polymer sand has possibilities. I have used it where I don’t want dirt splashing up on buildings. Home Depot, Lowes or most of a bucket free at my house along with I think 2 or 3 50lb bags of ballast. My layout has been dismantled. Still a lot of stuff here. Most is for sale but there are some freebies. E-mail me.

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Good topic. I tried polymer sand and did not have much luck, rain would wash it away.
I made mine with a sticky black bucket of asphalt patch. It did work and lasted for several years before breaking up. And messy to apply. Maybe with wood or some kind of curb might help

Now I am using left over 3 tab roof shingles cut to width and laid on dirt with some roof repair tar to adhere the overlap.

Oh and I also made a concrete road as well. Only 1 inch thick if that, still there but cracks now and then.

So far no miracle answer



I first put down some stone dust to level the base, then cut some pieces from rolled roofing. Safe to walk on.


So not exactly roofing shingles but rolled roofing. I’ll have to check this out next time at the big box store.

I was thinking maybe that even styrene painted or Sintra painted might make a decent road.

I’ve used rolled roofing and shingles both depending on the size I need but I use it bottom side up that way it doesn’t matter what color it is. It’s all black on the underside. You can hit it with a fog of grey primer to vary the tone a little.

I’ve used mortar mix and sand to “pour” roads an inch or so thick and it works pretty good to look like a concrete highway. It does crack but then it just looks like I-5 :smiley:

I would think that possible problems with Sintra or Styrene would be breakage if too thin and not forming to the roadbed if too thick as well as keeping it painted.

I installed most of the roads on my railroad back in 2005 . I live near Chicago where we have hot summer days and freezing winter days and the roads have held up good . I first prepared the area where the roads will go , leveling etc . Then I cut "chicken wire " the width of the road and fixed it to the ground with clothes hanger staples about 3 inches long . A approximate one inch thick pour of mortar mix was poured over the mesh and when the mortar dried I brush on driveway asphalt sealer . The roads do buckle and crack in places but in the spring I go to the trouble spots and repair them just like the real one’s around here.

Just call it eminent domain, modernize and build an intermodal yard!
Only a suggestion ?

Sorry Rooster I’ve got two lumber distribution centers that needs a paved area, plus a few main city roads plus some more parking lots…

Interesting approach. I wonder if I could adopt that method on my raised layout. I’ve got 1/2" hardware cloth down already. I wouldn’t imagine that a 1.5" thick mortar mix is going to be much heavier than the sand I already put down in other areas.