Culverts and embankments are inseparable devices of railroad engineering. Where it is necessary for railroad builders to fill in the low spots along a proposed right-of-way in order to maintain a level track, that fill-in or embankment becomes a dam against all rain waters and floods. It is for this reason that culverts are necessary and will be found at frequent intervals along all real railroad rights-of-way. Culverts allow drainage to flow harmlessly under the track, from one side to the other.
In a model railroad, miniature culverts add further evidence of authenticity to the right-of-way, They are easy to make and them aterials required are not expensive. Every model railroader having a line that is elevated on embankments should pierce and protect those embankments with several culverts, like those shown here.
Naturally culverts are placed at the lowest point in the embankment and at all spots where drain water normally gathers. The collecting side of the culvert may be fed by ditches running parallel to the track, by creeks or streams running at an angle toward the track, or by both. The dispersal end of the culvert often feeds into a ditch or creek running away from the track.Culverts range in size according to the duty they must perform, to the peak amount of water that is expected. Some culverts are simple little corrugated iron pipes, others are elaborate steel and concrete structures that are not a far cry from an actual railroad bridge. On this and the following pages are models of three common types.