Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Building a curved steel trestle - Part 1

Some time ago I had picked up a copy of the Model Railroader Bridges & Trestles book as a reference.  More recently I picked up a Micro Engineering steel trestle set which should have more than enough parts for this particular project.
While the prototype bridge that this model will represent is in a straight alignment, it will be necessary for it to be curved to fit in where it will be on my layout.  From the book and some photos on the web I studied how these type of steel trestles were curved.

Micro Engineering track holds it shape very well so after getting a section of track aligned over the path of the bridge I used that to make a cardboard template matching the needed curve of the bridge.

Using the template as a guide I assembled the basic bridge structure with some of the girder sections from the kit.
The bents in this kit were much taller than needed for this project.   I cut them to the length needed to reach the edge of the shore on each side of the river and made some concrete footings from styrene tube and glued these on the bottoms of the legs.  For added strength I filed notches on the outer sides of the top on each side of the bents so they would lock into the under side of the small sections instead of the girders just resting on them.

This is the stage that the project is at right now.  The cardboard template is seen sitting on the top of the bridge.  Quite a bit of fitting and testing to get everything the way I want it but it's getting there.  The scenery in the back will need to get done before this bridge is permanently installed so I'll save that for a future post.

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