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Here's a twofer:

Train Building Track Vehicle Urban design


As you can see, I had the same problem, created by using legacy O27 track around a perilous corner (actually, all four corners!). My solution (after a painful real-life confirmation of my peril!) was to drill holes through the covering and foamboard into the chipboard base, and install sections of some quarter-inch dowels I had laying around, then run two levels of some thin wire wrapped around each dowel and secured to a ground-level nail at each end. So far, it's survived an out-of-control Marx 1829 smoker, so I think it could survive (and protect!) almost anything thrown at it!

When I decided to add an elevated track later, I knew the turns would be an issue, so I was proactive: after mulling my options, I ended up hot-glueing tabs of 1/8th inch hardboard out from under the hardboard base, and using repurposed bamboo coffee stirrers (thanks, Einstein Bros. Bagels!) to secure a 'rail', also of made of hardboard, around the curves. Since I tend to run light-weight stuff on the el, there's been no definitive test yet, but several times I've managed to hook the end of the guard rail on my pants in passing (which is why I installed a warning flag, just out of sight above the top of the photo!) with no more damage done than repeatedly creating the need to reglue a few stirrer strips and supports!

The point is, as others have said, that there are are a number of free/low cost methods to make sure your rolling stock does not inadvertently do a credible simulation of a lemmings herd. But, if instead you favor Gomez's model train philosophy from "The Addams Family," well, there are other options . . . :eek:
 

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Oh, and if you really want some form of cheap see-through barrier (rather than trying to emulate some prototype with an obscuring barrier), there's no reason why you couldn't recycle some form of stiff, transparent plastic, cut into, say, half-inch-wide by a couple of inches high strips, and staple them to the edge or otherwise affix them along the track. Depending on the recycled plastic used, the strips will either flex on impact or collectively act like the roadside crash barriers and slow and deflect any wayward rolling stock. Properly finished, this could be a permanent solution, or later replaced when you can afford a more elegant solution. In any event, good luck!
 

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I used Carrera safety wall fencing around my 10x6 slot car table. I cut the track clips off and used two screws (each piece) to attach to the edge of the 1/2 birch plywood table. I also used their metal clip to joined adjacent walls.
Very nice looking product! The only mild comment/criticism I'd offer is that this seems wildly out of scale, even for O scale (from the photo, it looks like the "Jersey wall" part of the wall is 5 or 6 feet high, and the top of the fence is roughly16 feet, in O scale), so for HO it would be even more so. And of course, the cost would not be inconsiderable for anything other than short sections. If you like the look, though, you might be able to replicate it at low cost. Full 'chain link fence' can be fairly simply recreated with some window screen, metal or polystyrene rods, and some paint and superglue, and scale Jersey barriers are available at reasonable cost.
 
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