A view from the line #18 Inset track on Canute Road Quay

This latest “A view from the line”  post takes for the first time a closer look at Canute Road Quay and more specifically the track work inset within concrete along the quayside.

USA Tank No. 72 shunts across the inset track. Picture copyright and courtesy Model Rail / C Nevard.

There are a number of methods of re-creating inset track and this post describes the method I have used on Canute Road Quay and hopefully its relative simplicity and the effect gained will be of use to other modellers. Although I have covered the process before in multiple posts about Canute Road Quay I thought it would be useful to details the steps I used in one post.  The trackwork on Canute Road Quay  is  a mixture of open sleepered and inset track as seen around such docks / quays to give some variety to the surfaces. For the open track I have used C & L Finescale flexitrack whilst utilising Peco small radius LH / RH  and ‘Y’ turnouts and within the inset track areas plain Peco track.

Stage one.

Stage One

To start with check rails were added inside the running rails, by gluing with lengths of code 75 rail, obtained from C & L Finescale,  to every 3rd or 4th sleeper using cyanoacrylate glue (super glue). Then the first layer of 2.5mm cork, the approximate height of the sleepers, was  glued down either side of the track, and also a strip added between the check rails.


Stage Two

Stage Two

Another layer of  cork, this time 1.5mm thick was then glued on top of the original base layer of cork from stage one, that also extends right up to the outside surface of the main running rails totally covering the sleepers. Any gaps were filled using air drying modelling clay. I was careful around the one inset point to ensure that the check rails and the cork were spaced to ensure that the switch blades can still operate correctly (this does leave a slightly larger gap than one might ideally want but it is a necessary compromise).

Stage Three

Stage Three

The surface was then painted with Green Scenes textures concrete paint ,I also smoothed the texture slightly once dry as to my eye it was slightly too textured for the effect I was trying to achieve, but was a good starting point. It was then slightly weathered.  A representation of the expansion joints between the concrete panels was drawn on, pushing down into the painted cork surface, using a sharp HB pencil , spaced every 60mm to represent 15 foot concrete panels. Then weeds,  creeping grass and the such like added using a mixture of grass tufts and static grass. Etched brass Drain and manhole covers, from Langley Models (F73), have been also been inset into the surface at relevant locations.

USA tank No. 68 passes the quayside office. Picture copyright and courtesy Model Rail / C Nevard.

I hope this post helps explain the process I used in simple stages and will be of use for any others looking to replicate inset concrete trackwork.

Check my exhibition diary here to see where Canute Road Quay will be exhibited next. At the time of writing it will be Railex organised by the Princes Risborough and District MRC, on the 26th / 27th May at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Stadium Approach, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP21 9PP


2 thoughts on “A view from the line #18 Inset track on Canute Road Quay

  1. Dear Graham

    As usual, I much enjoyed your most recent post on Canute Quay – I am hoping very much to get to meet you with Fisherton Sarum or Canute Quay one day.

    A query for you, if I may, following the recent ordering of a Hornby Merchant Navy in “pre-rebuilt” condition to join my SR/BR roster. Although an ardent GWR fan, I do have a very soft spot for the Southern, helped no doubt by the adjacent MHR and Swanage lines, the latter of childhood memories as well as more recent visits. The imminent arrival of “Holland-Afrika Line” has prompted me to re-visit the question of SR and BR/SR locomotive couplings, consulting my Irwell “Books of” the Merchant Navies and Light Pacifics to glean some prototype information. My ‘OO’ standard couplings are “screw” and “3-link” (and Instanter, where appropriate !), and I have attempted SR-style 3-shackle loco couplings modified from PC Models etches which I originally fitted to my M7s and others before seeing prototype photos showing the ‘normal’ two-shackle couplings. However, all the Merchants seem to have the three-shackle version, so I have ordered the Albert Goodall version to suit, but wonder what policy originated their introduction and which locos were fitted. The RT model website mentions also fitting to BR 9Fs (of S&D origin, perhaps – I don’t remember any allocated to the southern Region.) SEMG On-line doesn’t appear to have any references I can find so far.

    Any ideas ?

    Yours, Aye


    Eur. Ing.

    John R. Wesley

    BSc., CEng., MICE., MAPM., FPWI., AIRO., RD., VR*.

    Cherry Trees,

    Woodman Close,



    Hampshire SO21 2NT.

    01962 776476

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