Monday, August 30, 2010

Layout Progress Report #18 as of 08/30/2010

With the basic subroadbed in place on the upper main level and the trackwork waiting to get started,  a couple of items needed to get complete before the trackwork could start in earnest.  The first was the construction of 25 more Peco turnout machines, as was described back in Progress Report #6.  The other was the construction of some bridges for the trackwork.  I was able to knock a big dent in both of these tasks during the last week.

On my double-track mainline there is a 17" gap that needs to be filled with bridges.  I'm going to fill this gap with 2 bridges.  The first bridge I used will have to cross 3 tracks that will run underneath at an angle, so I had to pick a fairly long bridge.  Walthers Double-Track Truss Bridge fit the bill nicely at a length of 10-3/4".  It was built per the included instructions, and then painted with some flat black spray paint.  Some weathering is still to be done, before installation.

That leaves a 6-1/4" gap for the remaining bridge to cover.  This bridge also had to have a high clearance underneath, as the track underneath it was a little higher than the other 3 going under the other bridge.  After a fairly exhaustive search I discovered that there were no commercial kits available that fit my needs.  So either scratchbuilding or kitbashing was in order.

Last week as I was visiting my local crack dealer.....err hobby shop, I stumbled across the solution for my 2nd bridge as I happened to be walking thru the Hugely Oversized (HO) aisle:  Atlas HO Flatcar Girder Loads, 4 per pack.

They are a little longer than what I need, so I would have to shorten them by 3/4" as well as make a bottom for them.  Picked up some .080" styrene sheets while I was at there and set off for home to kitbash a bridge.  After some sawing, gluing. painting and decaling I had my 2nd bridge.

One final pic of them temporarily sitting together at the gap, giving you an idea of how they will look once they are permanently installed:

Next I will have to mount the track to them and then weather them to make them look more realistic, but they are basically ready to mount to the abutments.....oh yeah, I have to make those too!!

Oh well, the list of things to do on a Model Railroad layout is never ending.....


  1. Hi Frank,

    Nice work on the bridges, it really makes for a great focal point to just watch trains roll. Will you be casting the abutments out of plaster, or perhaps building them up out of styrene?
    I don't know about you, but I find it difficult to find any time to spend with my layout during the summer months. It seems as though there's always something to do around the house to keep one busy. That list of "honey-do's" never seems to get shorter!
    I really think you have an excellent layout going, I'm looking forward to see how it progresses. I've recently converted over to N scale after being in HO my entire life and it's always inspirational to see what other modelers are doing out there. I've found there is a certain amount of adjustment required working in the smaller scale, especially seeing that none of us is getting any younger and the eyes ain't what they used to be!
    Take care!

    Frank B.
    Dorval, Canada

  2. Hey Frank!

    Most of the bridge abutments here in the Southern US are made out of poured concrete, so I will probably make them out of wooden blocks with a skim coat of plaster, then painted grey. I've set the bridges aside for now, I want to get all the track below the bridges itself before blending in some abutments and scenery. I will use a temporary Masonite bridge for now.

    As for time to work on the layout, you are right about the honey-do list in the warmer months. However here in the deep south it is too hot most days to be outside after noon until the evenings, so a lot of free summer afternoons are spent in my air-conditioned trainroom. It's almost like being up north like you are in terms of winter months and saying inside, only in reverse!

    Talk to you soon!