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Has anyone built a bridge from scratch or online plans? I would be interested in trying my hand but would like to work off a set of plans. Would like to incorporate a rather big one in my layout.

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There's a guy here who builds bridges (at least one guy), but I forget who. Maybe look through the 'structures' forum.
 

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Has anyone built a bridge from scratch or online plans? ...

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Yes.
I almost always build a 'jig' to make the repetitive bridge parts, and I also cut pine wood down to 1/4" or less for my supply. King post. Queen post, trestles, never done a polystyrene girder bridge yet. Planning a 3-track short low trestle soon.
 

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I started my bridge project about 3 years ago. Starting out with a big gap area in the benchwork I searched online the many bridges that might be worth the while for my south west setting. I came across the Diablo Canyon bridge on the BNSF mainline between Winslow and Flagstaff, AZ.
This bridge would fit the bill for what I was looking for.
I searched for comparable kits but nothing was available. I set out to build it from scratch and examined wood, brass and plastic. Plastic won out for its ease of use. The only way I could get the measurements was by estimating based on the pictures that had trains crossing the bridge. I finalized my plans then transferred them to HO scale on a large sheet of drywall. I began ordering the plastic material for the beams, trusses and cross supports.
I built the bridge on the line drawings of the drywall on my kitchen counter.
I just finished painting it and began building the scenery where it will stand. The bridge footers are cast from a mold I made and I'm currently working on the bearing footers.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I started my bridge project about 3 years ago. Starting out with a big gap area in the benchwork I searched online the many bridges that might be worth the while for my south west setting. I came across the Diablo Canyon bridge on the BNSF mainline between Winslow and Flagstaff, AZ.

This bridge would fit the bill for what I was looking for.

I searched for comparable kits but nothing was available. I set out to build it from scratch and examined wood, brass and plastic. Plastic won out for its ease of use. The only way I could get the measurements was by estimating based on the pictures that had trains crossing the bridge. I finalized my plans then transferred them to HO scale on a large sheet of drywall. I began ordering the plastic material for the beams, trusses and cross supports.

I built the bridge on the line drawings of the drywall on my kitchen counter.

I just finished painting it and began building the scenery where it will stand. The bridge footers are cast from a mold I made and I'm currently working on the bearing footers.
Wow..amazing!

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I built several, but mine are O gauge. I made jigs for the wood trestles, and used a lot of clamps for the soldered steel open deck girder bridge. I have several pics on pages 7 & 8 in the Need All Your Threads on How To's in the General Model Train Discussion Forum. Not sure if it would help
 

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I built several, but mine are O gauge. I made jigs for the wood trestles, and used a lot of clamps for the soldered steel open deck girder bridge. I have several pics on pages 7 & 8 in the Need All Your Threads on How To's in the General Model Train Discussion Forum. Not sure if it would help
Thanks I'll take a look.

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If you're looking for wood pole trestles, I built one of them too. Also a Truss bridge and some low deck girder bridges.
It's just a matter of studying the bridge type that you want to build, check the detail real close then find the material.
 

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If you're looking for wood pole trestles, I built one of them too. Also a Truss bridge and some low deck girder bridges.
It's just a matter of studying the bridge type that you want to build, check the detail real close then find the material.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuYOKGOkoLk
Great info...not sure what materials to use...

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Great info...not sure what materials to use...

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The Diablo Canyon bridge is Plastruct material and Central Valley beams. The Truss bridge is a Campbell kit of Bass wood. The trestle is just dowel rods and scale size lumber. The low industrial bridges are Plastruct material and a side beam girder from an old Tyco bridge, repainted and weathered.
 

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The Diablo Canyon bridge is Plastruct material and Central Valley beams. The Truss bridge is a Campbell kit of Bass wood. The trestle is just dowel rods and scale size lumber. The low industrial bridges are Plastruct material and a side beam girder from an old Tyco bridge, repainted and weathered.
Thanks! They look awesome!

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Here's an example of a girder bridge I built for my incline/funicular train. It was easily strong enough not to need supports under the girder but I added them anyway for appearance. Santa brought me a hot wire cutter that I used to shape the "concrete" base for each support. The box frame columns are made from strips of .020 and .040 styrene.
 

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Here's an example of a girder bridge I built for my incline/funicular train. It was easily strong enough not to need supports under the girder but I added them anyway for appearance. Santa brought me a hot wire cutter that I used to shape the "concrete" base for each support. The box frame columns are made from strips of .020 and .040 styrene.
Very nice! Thanks for the response.

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Great info...not sure what materials to use...

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Both styrene and strip wood work very well.

You could even do a wireframe on your PC and 3D print the individual pieces.
 

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Plans and photos

Has anyone built a bridge from scratch or online plans? I would be interested in trying my hand but would like to work off a set of plans. Would like to incorporate a rather big one in my layout.

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tommy24a;

The bridges in the following photos are some I built for my N-scale model railroad. The big steel trestle is a major kitbashing effort using parts from two, much modified, HO-scale, Micro Engineering "steel viaduct" kits and a half dozen N-scale 80' deck girder bridge kits from the same manufacturer.
The rest of the bridges are all scratchbuilds. The small wood coal dump trestle was built from plans published in Model Railroader Magazine. The covered bridge was built from photos published in the book "Northwest Rail Pictorial." My model is based on the Allentown covered bridge that once stood south of Seattle Washington, which is where my model railroad is set.
The big wooden truss bridge was made from plans published in an old Kalmbach book "Bridges and Buildings for Model Railroads" The three deck girder bridges in the last photo are made up of scratchbuilt brass interior structures with printed circuit board ties, code 55 running rails, & code 40 guard rails soldered to the PC ties, and Micro Engineering's 80' bridge girders glued to the outsides.

Scratchbuilding is lots of fun. You can work from plans, photos of real bridges, or your imagination. If you read up a bit on how real bridges are built, you can build a "plausible" model bridge, even if it's not an exact copy of a real one, or taken directly from a plan.

good luck, have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

Garrison creek trestle good view.JPG

Molly McGuire's coal trestle.JPG

Allentown covered bridge.jpg

Wooden road bridge at Black River Junction.jpg

Wye at Black River Junction.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #18
tommy24a;

The bridges in the following photos are some I built for my N-scale model railroad. The big steel trestle is a major kitbashing effort using parts from two, much modified, HO-scale, Micro Engineering "steel viaduct" kits and a half dozen N-scale 80' deck girder bridge kits from the same manufacturer.
The rest of the bridges are all scratchbuilds. The small wood coal dump trestle was built from plans published in Model Railroader Magazine. The covered bridge was built from photos published in the book "Northwest Rail Pictorial." My model is based on the Allentown covered bridge that once stood south of Seattle Washington, which is where my model railroad is set.
The big wooden truss bridge was made from plans published in an old Kalmbach book "Bridges and Buildings for Model Railroads" The three deck girder bridges in the last photo are made up of scratchbuilt brass interior structures with printed circuit board ties, code 55 running rails, & code 40 guard rails soldered to the PC ties, and Micro Engineering's 80' bridge girders glued to the outsides.

Scratchbuilding is lots of fun. You can work from plans, photos of real bridges, or your imagination. If you read up a bit on how real bridges are built, you can build a "plausible" model bridge, even if it's not an exact copy of a real one or taken directly from a plan.

good luck, have fun!

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

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Wow...very cool stuff! Just need to get some materials..wood? Plastic?

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