Trackside details: Wooden gates at grade crossings

Grade crosssings make for great scenes. I love them all, from dirt roads crossing the track with just the help of a few roughly hewn planks to crossings protected by bells, flashing lights and automatic gates.
In this post we will take a look at the wooden gates used on most railroads here in Norway from the first railways was built in the 19th century. On branchlines they could last well into to the seventies. Their design is fairly standard as the pictures show.
This type of gate blocks either the track or the road. It is a design that was first used in England from 1839 and onwards.

Grade corssings adds interest to any model scene. A crossing with gates should be a nice project for a couple of evenings, but you could of course go totally overboard and make working gates. Personnally, I would settle for gates that can be operated manually.

Wooden gates at grade crossings are as old as the railroads themselves. This picture from 1897 was taken on the narrow gauge line from Trondheim to Støren.


On branch lines, the wooden gates survived intothe seventies. Here we also see the classic paint scheme for such gate: white with red warning discs.


1914 drawing of a standard Norwegian State Railways (NSB) gate. (Click on image for downloadable PDF-version)


Drawing of standard type of gate used on the Thamshavn Railway (Click on image for downloadable PDF-version)

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