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Make Your Own Realistic Model Train Walls and Bridges

Making Linings For Inside Tunnel

making tunnel linings ho scale trains

Online Train Club member Ross sent this:

“I have a plan to make the lining for my tunnel using foam-core board. It doesn’t matter if I use black foam board or white because it will be covered anyway. My thinking is to cut out three pieces (2 sides and tunnel roof) to 16 inches in length. I saw where you cover each piece of foam with plaster gauze before applying Sculptamold. When dried properly, I will spray each length with matt black paint before gluing the 3 pieces together. Once in place, I intend attaching the portals and retaining walls I have already made from plans I downloaded. They turned out good. Then I will build the mountain and greenery on top. I think it should all come together nicely. Have I missed anything?”

Download plans for tunnel portals

13 Responses to Making Linings For Inside Tunnel

  • Docsays:

    You can use cardboard which I cut on my table saw or with a knife and straight edge and it works fine and is cheap.

  • Peter Murraysays:

    I only line a limited length of my tunnels, just enough to look like the whole thing is a tunnel. Reason being that if you restrict access then Murphy’s law stares that, that is where a derailment will occur and then the “fun” begins getting at it.

  • phil johnsonsays:

    I use black poster board for the first 9-12″

  • Stevesays:

    Well done that’s a great idea very helpful thanks

  • Jack Eaglessays:

    Similar comment. I used matt black card from an art supply shop – cut pieces to size as required and curve to same shape as tunnel portal. You only need to line tunnel as far as you can see generally and no more. Like mentioned previously – the more tunnel you have inaccessible – then the chances are you will have a derailment that you cannot reach. Keep it simple.

  • Henry W. Robbinssays:

    Always make sure that the area inside the tunnel is easy to get at. Even if the track is straight, the train will find a way to derail inside the tunnel. You also have to be able to get in to clean the track. I cut open a large juice can and paint the inside black. I put one at each end of the tunnel. Works good for me.

  • Donald R Davissays:

    I use aluminum foil. Spray paint it black. After it dries crumple it then smooth out. Glue this to the inside of the tunnel shell. This will give the appearance of chiseled rock.

  • Paulsays:

    Good input, thnx.

    Thinking tunnels reminded me of bridges which led to web hits on the Starrucca Viaduct (built 1848, still used today ) which then led to a site with categories and links which might have at least one article of interest as there are plenty at the site. https://www.american-rails.com/

    Starrucca Viaduct: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starrucca_Viaduct

  • Don Cheekssays:

    Great idea!! I think I will go with either gray or flat black sprayed cardboard. Maybe 6 inches deep as to allow access for the inevitable derailment. I am thinking crumpled aluminum foil sprayed as above might look like hewn rock.
    Thanks for the great idea.


    One fellow uses scothbrite scouring pads in long lengths. Or whatever this stuff is. Simply curl , fasten in side the tunnel and perhaps paint it black.

  • Alan Robertssays:

    For single bore tunnels in 00/H0 I use empty cans (fruit or veg) I cut them from top to bottom,
    open them up a little and place them at the entry painted soot colour. For N gauge could be
    ok for twin track

  • stevensays:

    Paul , Thanks for the link to American Rail , very interesting site

  • Vytenis Radzivanassays:

    I think Woodland Scenics has a plaster mold for tunnel walls.

    I have used 3″ wide strips of brown paper that I have crumpled & roughed up before opening back out. Then painted misc rock colors & glued to the sides of the tunnel inner (don’t really need to do roof).

    Lightweight, cheap & easy to work with & glue. Creates a decent effect.

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