The Roads in SCARM – Part 6 – Railroad Crossing

This is the next tutorial in the blog about how to use the new feature for laying roads, intro­duced in SCARM v. 0.9.24. This post will explain how to create railroad crossing on existing road section that passes over the tracks in the track plan.

With the new roadways in SCARM, you can cross the tracks in the plan almost every­where and this will look good both in 2D and 3D. However, in order to make a real railroad crossing, properly aligned to the level of the tracks in 3D, a small adjustment is needed.

Lets start with a simple straight track, that is crossed by a road, swapping from one side to the other.

It is clearly visible that in 3D viewing mode, the road is passing below the track and this should be corrected. To fix that, we need to lift up the part of the road section that is over the track and to make two ramps on both sides.

As our road is constructed with flex sections, we need just to split in four places to make 3 parts – one part for the lifted section at the middle and two more parts for the two ramps.

To split a flex section (either track or road), select it first, then right click over it in the place where you want to split it and use “Split” from the context menu. If you are not happy with the result, undo the split (Ctrl-Z) and try again.

After splitting, the road should look like in the picture below. The arrows are pointing to the places of the splits.

Now it is time to lift the center part of the road at a height that will be enough to hide the sleepers in 3D viewing mode.

Before continue, activate the Heights in SCARM by use of “View” > “Show Track Heights” menu command.

Depending of the scale and used track system, you will need to figure out how much to lift the road. In the current example, I am using Tillig Elite HO tracks and the road needs to be lifted with 5mm (0.2″) in order to hide the track ties, but to leave the tracks still visible.

To lift the center road part, select it first, then select one of its heights (no matter which) and adjust it using the mouse wheel or ‘<' and '>‘ keys. When ready, press Enter – that will make the other height value the same as the selected height. Lifting of the center road part will automatically make the ramps. Now, the road crossing should look like the one below.

Note that the zero height in the exact center of the road actually belongs to the join of the tracks below the road. If you wish, you can select the lifted road part and the two ramps and remove the dashed center line markings by use of “Edit” > “Road Surface Marking” command.

The current version of SCARM allows adjusting of the road surface markings only for single selected road section.

Finally, you can add a barriers and your railroad crossing is ready.

To see how to create a barriers in SCARM, read the previous article about railroad crossings which describes how to make a ramp and barriers with the figures interface of the program (in the links below).

See also
The Roads in SCARM – Part 5 – Exact Straight And Curved Parts
How To Create Custom Level Crossing With Barriers in SCARM

7 thoughts on “The Roads in SCARM – Part 6 – Railroad Crossing

  1. How do you get the terrain to come to the bottom of the road?

  2. Thanks for the reply, Milen. I found the problem, there was a “snap to bottom” terrain contour at a lower elevation than the road and overlapping it and that prevented the terrain from rising up to the road level. I thought the road above would override the terrain contour, but that doesn’t happen. I just had to reshape the contour polygon so as to not be under the roadway.

  3. Hi Milen, what are the default colors for grass and roads. Also, I have built some of the Lionel postwar accessories and have posted them in the io group. The group is looking forward to the change in track colors in the 3D. I know you said it may come about; just wondering if you had a future date for that. Thanks, use your software to show newbies and other members track layouts of the past from Lionel. and help them with their designs. Rob co-owner of the above group.

  4. Hello Robert,
    The default color for the roads can be seen here: – it is #808096 hex.
    For the terrain, the default “green” color is clrForestGreen from GLScene, defined as (0.137255, 0.556863, 0.137255, 1) – i am not quite sure how that is translated to Windows RGB colors, but probably the GLScene range 0-1 for each base color should be translated to 0-255 byte range and you will get it.
    Unfortunately, I haven’t detailed roadmap of the upcoming improvements as COVID resulted in massive slowdowns in every aspect, including SCARM development. Just check the website regularly for updates, that’s all I can say for now.

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