Making Your Very Own
Model Railroad Tunnels
Guest Contributor: Frank
Tunnels are a must when it comes to making model
railroads. Not only do they give a sense of realism, they also make your
layout look like the work of a pro. In the market there are a variety of
ready-made products available that you can purchase if you don’t want to
make the tunnels yourself.
On the other hand, making everything from scratch can
be a lot more fun and fulfilling. If you have no idea how to make
tunnels, then you have come to the right place. This article will explain
many of the things you need to know about how to make model railroad
tunnels on your own.
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Tunnels Made of Styrofoam
One of the
easiest ways to construct tunnels is from Styrofoam. You can easily get Styrofoam from the
packing boxes. Use a sheet that has a thickness of half an inch so that it’s easy to cut.
Simply use a sharp knife to cut Styrofoam into pieces, to make the walls and roof of the
tunnel. Glue these together and paint them the color that matches the surrounding of your
To make a
mountain over the tunnel, wad up newspapers and stick them on top. Spread plaster cloth on top
of the newspaper and then paint it. Be sure to paint everything the right color so that it
Great Stuff Mountainous Tunnels
If you don’t
have Styrofoam or don’t want to use it, you can even cover the train track first with
newspapers and then with cellophane or plastic. Spray a product called “Great Stuff” on the
entire structure, leaving out both the ends for entry and exit. Leave the thing to dry over
night so that it completely hardens. Don’t touch once you have sprayed Great Stuff or it might
Once it has
dried completely, take out all the newspaper wads and shape the mountains however you wish with
a serrated knife. You can even add some plastercloth on top for
also be constructed with cardboard. Cut up a cardboard sheet into the shape of your tunnel and
stick all the pieces together. Then add wads of newspaper on top and cover with palstercloth.
Color it according to requirements.
is another material often used in tunnel construction. However, before making any tunnels make
sure that you first measure very accurately the size of your trains. There needs to be enough
clearance so that trains don’t derail inside the tunnel. You don’t want to end up with tunnels
that are either so small that the train is unable to enter or so large that they look
The interior of the model railroad tunnel
is just as important as its exterior. Especially the part that is visible to all. To make the
tunnels look authentic, take a sheet of black or dark gray construction paper. Cut it according
to the size of your tunnel, roll it up and insert it inside your tunnel. Position it in such a
way it covers the inside walls of the tunnel and makes it look like the dark interior you see
when you peek inside a real tunnel.
Accessing Your Tunnels
It is important to remember that there will
be times when you trains get stuck inside a tunnel. If your tunnel is short, you can easily
insert your fingers in and pull the train out. But if the tunnel is too long, you would have to
come up with some other trick. What you can do is make a small hole in the side of the tunnel.
This way you can take out a train if it derails or gets stuck.
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