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Small steel bridges for many applications
165thspc
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 07:47 PM UTC
I realize this is not a new concept but for some this may be of use.

Small steel model railroad bridges are readily available in many scales and sizes but need not be limited only to the usage (or the scale) as indicated on the box by the manufacture.


HO bridge shown here being used with the Dragon Ssy Heavy Plattformwagon and Trumpeter track in 1/35th scale.

This bridge started life as a Warren thru truss steel bridge suitable for HO and N scale model railroading. This particular one was made by the Life-Like company. As you can see it is perfectly usable with slight modifications for (in this case) 1/35th scale.
165thspc
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 07:52 PM UTC
I picked this one up used, at a local train store. As I recall I got five "scrap" bridges for $4.00 US.

I am using it here as an inverted Warren deck truss bridge which works perfectly in this larger scale.** Also by inverting the bridge this affectively hides any indications of it's original intended use as a smaller scale model bridge.



** Rivet counters may complain that the size of the rivets are too small (to count) but I disagree. Many of these bridges are molded by what I will call "toy train" manufactures but still show a good amount of detail. If anything the rivets will tend to be oversized which makes them perfect for use in the larger scales.
165thspc
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 08:10 PM UTC
For this model I am in the process of adding more internal bracing to the bridge structure but that is not truly necessary and would be up to the whim of the individual modeler.



Several similar N scale bridges such as this, glued together could easily make for a nice foot bridge with only the addition of a wood deck and a handrail.
165thspc
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 08:15 PM UTC
This same structure could just as easily support wood plank decking to make for a nice single or dual lane highway bridge. Also when used as a light duty road bridge two trusses could be spliced together, end to end, to make for a longer span.
165thspc
#521
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 08:22 PM UTC
As an alternate example;

Here is a slightly larger thru truss bridge, originally manufactured in HO scale and offered by Atlas Hobbies.

I got rid of the HO track and decking and used some Evergreen material to reconstruct the open floor structure of the bridge. I widened it for use in S scale (1/64th) and for this particular bridge I made it a "skewed" truss bridge. Meaning the stream crosses under the railroad at an angle so the two trusses have been skewed to adjust for this and therefore the left and right trusses are not directly across from each other. This forms an angled (skewed) bridge with much greater visual interest and appeal then just your regular run of the mill "square set" bridge.





Again adding wood decking to this bridge would allow it to serve nicely as a European road bridge without any other modifications.


Photo of typical original HO bridge kit.
165thspc
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 08:41 PM UTC
These bridge abutments started life as some Trumpeter display track that was languishing in my stash.

The Trumpeter track itself is excellent but I don't care so much for the track bases. The bases look like they should be given a wood grained finish and used to display a large locomotive on some chief executive's office cadenza. (IMHO) Fine for that purpose but for displaying models I prefer the Dragon track base much more. To me it is far more appealing and useful as it takes on the function of creating a small diorama base extending the ground work to surround one's model like a mini diorama.



So a couple of end caps from the Trumpeter display track set and a sheet of Evergreen "sidewalk paving" scribed in 1/2 inch squares gives us our bridge abutments. I gave a slight angular taper to the sidewalk paver walls to again provide a bit more visual interest to the build.

I AM using the Trumpeter track to cross the bridge. The trackage will run above the abutment bases rather than being set into it as the manufacture intended. I will later add scale ballast to the track on top of the abutments to blend it more into the bases.
165thspc
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 09:00 PM UTC
Here are examples of the Dragon display track bases and of the concept of working the scale ballast (and grass) into and around the ties for a more realistic appearance.


(Again the models seen here are in 1/35th scale.)

Repurposed railway flatcar used here as an end of track loading ramp. (In real life I have actually seen this done in the US with an old derelict flatcar and have also built an HO model of this one.)
165thspc
#521
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 10:43 PM UTC
As you can perhaps see here; the outside surface of the casting usually carries the rivet detail while the inner surface often has none.




Here are the three parts that make up the complete model bridge. Something could no doubt also be done with several of those bridge floor structures. Put four of them together as a box beam to make a center vertical support column for a temporary Bailey bridge????


This central wood and stone column could be replaced with such a box beam made from four of the bridge floor sections shown above.
matt
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 10:46 PM UTC
It's a great thought! I'm Always looking for stuff to re-purpose from it's original intent.... although... this is only it's original scale.
165thspc
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 10:57 PM UTC
Matt, I am not sure I follow your statement???

In both examples I am showing two similar but totally different HO (1/87th scale) bridges. The smaller of the two is being shown used in a 1/35th scale application and the other, slightly larger bridge, is being shown in a 1/64th scale application???

My point being that there are literally dozens of ready made model railroad bridges in scales from the tiny OOO and Z scales up to the huge G scale bridges that could possibly be repurposed for use with 1/35th scale armor and rail models.
ivanhoe6
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 11:05 PM UTC
Mike, great idea ! Thanks for sharing !
matt
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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 11:25 PM UTC
Most people think of re-purposing stuff in a way it wasn't intended originally. Your case you re-purposed it in a different scale, it's not as out-of-the-box thinking as most would think when looking to re-purpose items, so it might not be as obvious to look at a 1/87 scale rail bridge as a 1/35 scale pedestrian one.

It's early, I'm not fully awake or caffeinated.
obg153
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 03:23 AM UTC
Thanks for the useful info, Mike. It's easier to see how these work with the photos you included. I've also seen similar ideas with tunnel portals being used for pedestrian or light traffic road bridges.
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 04:39 AM UTC
I think this is very clever, since bridges are often impossible to find in 1/35th scale. Bravo.
JPTRR
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 05:20 AM UTC
Mike, great demonstration! I syndicated it over to RRM.
165thspc
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 05:48 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks for the useful info, Mike. It's easier to see how these work with the photos you included. I've also seen similar ideas with tunnel portals being used for pedestrian or light traffic road bridges.



Not to mention using them as small to medium sized bridge archways under model roads and tracks. Even the smallest RR tunnel portal can be used as a drainage culvert in 1/35th.

Consider the scenario from Band of Brothers where the Paratroopers first ambush those freight wagons driven by German soldiers. They surprise them as they pass through a very tight tunnel/bridgeway passing under a railroad track - this same scenario could be built using a couple of HO, S or O scale cast tunnel portals.
165thspc
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 05:53 AM UTC

Quoted Text

It's early, I'm not fully awake or caffeinated.



Matt -
Even though you and I are in the same time zone - for you it was very early, for me it was VERY late. I don't think either of us were exactly at our best!

Cheers

Mike K.
165thspc
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 06:18 AM UTC
p.s. Many of these same model manufactures that offer bridges also offer moldings that look like cut stone bridge piers and bridge abutments. Therefore several of these bridges can be linked together to form longer spans it desired.

.
165thspc
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 06:41 AM UTC
As mentioned above - these plaster cast, highly detailed model railroad tunnel portals can make for some great looking bridges, viaducts and culverts in 1/35th scale!


'
A sketch I did a few years back for a possible long viaduct bridge dio using the above casting as a building module. All that is needed is to sand the ends of these hydrical moldings square a smooth in order to butt any number of them together for a longer bridge.


Spielberg's "Alamo Bridge" under construction for the movie "Saving Private Ryan". (This modular, temporary bridge structure was manufactured by the same British firm who now own and sell the modern version of the "Bailey Bridge".)




And finally a stone arch bridge from a popular video game.




Does it count as being "Off-Topic" when I am talking about cut stone arches in a thread that is supposed to be about steel bridges?????
bill_c
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 08:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Does it count as being "Off-Topic" when I am talking about cut stone arches in a thread that is supposed to be about steel bridges?????


NO!
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 09:31 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Does it count as being "Off-Topic" when I am talking about cut stone arches in a thread that is supposed to be about steel bridges?????


NO!



You are still talking bridges
165thspc
#521
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 10:40 AM UTC
Just kidding guys - but my thanks to everyone who is showing interest in this topic.
165thspc
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 03:36 PM UTC
A small WIP project: (Not some of my best work.)
A tiny tunnel portal being used in S scale as a culvert under the tracks.
I still have a couple of stone angled wing walls yet to add. (If I can find what I did with them!)

KoSprueOne
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 04:36 PM UTC
Very interested in this topic. Thanks for all your research and reference.




KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Friday, January 25, 2019 - 06:14 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I realize this is not a new concept but for some this may be of use.

Small steel model railroad bridges are readily available in many scales and sizes but need not be limited only to the usage (or the scale) as indicated on the box by the manufacture.


HO bridge shown here being used with the Dragon Ssy Heavy Plattformwagon and Trumpeter track in 1/35th scale.

This bridge started life as a Warren thru truss steel bridge suitable for HO and N scale model railroading. This particular one was made by the Life-Like company. As you can see it is perfectly usable with slight modifications for (in this case) 1/35th scale.



You should be mindful of the engineering realities of bridges. A span that short (less than one car length) would not typically have any sort of steel truss bridge; a plate girder bridge would be used instead. I would say that nearly all of our 1/35 bridges would be plate girders. Truss bridges are used where the span is so long that a low weight to capacity ratio justifies the cost and complexity.

KL