Love can ‘Build a Bridge’

Well love may be able to build bridges but if you want a bridge in O gauge you have to build it yourself and this is what I’ve been doing recently as I focus on board No.3.

In my last blog, I showed the hole that had been cut out for trains to pass from the traverser to the scenic area. I decided from the outset to set this bridge at an engle to avoid some of the ridigity often seen in model railway layouts. Quite often roads to not cross railways at right angles and yet in many layouts, everything appears to have been positioned on a grid resulting in lots of parallel lines and strucutres. While my space is limited on this layout, I have tried to do this where I can. I accept that the station tracks are still parallel to the edge of the baseboard but if I had boards 5ft deep I might have been able to address this.

I drew the outline of my bridge structure on the baseboard and then used panels of laser cut brickwork to form the main base board the bridge. These are made by lasercutrailwaymodels.co.uk and very good value. I collect a lot of the spare pieces from my kits and some of these pieces of laser cut wood became very useful when adding the strips of wood to the top of the bridge, representing the concrete base section that the steel bridge would eventually sit on.

Since things were going so well and I am a bit impatient, I gave the bridge base sections a quick dusting of bauxite primer. I do often get very impulsive when modelling which is one of my bad habits!

Having established where the bridges base would be, I turned my attention to the steel panel that would face out and span the two tracks. I chose to build this with plasticard and had purchased a sheet of thick material some weeks ago for this job. With the bridge base in place, I could now work out the size of the pieces I needed.

The strange 4 sided shape was the shape between the bridge supports and shows the extent of the angle I had settled on. I then measure across from one support to the other ensuring that I had measured from the widest points on the concrete base sections. This would be the width of my bridge sections.

I decided to cut this at a scale 6ft high thinking this should look right and keep any pedestrians crossing my bridge on the correct side! I cut two sections for the bridge and stuck these together, holding them with clamps while the glue dried.

As you can see in the above picture, I didn’t leave the bridge as a flat rectangle blog. I fixed a 10mm strip of plasticard all the way around the bridge section. I then had some ‘I’ section of pasticard which was used for the strenghening beams running from top to bottom. There are lots of variations on bridge designs but I do like this design and it will eventually feature some rust and weathering detail on the steel bridge section. I might think how I can add some rivet detail too!

I nearly forgot to mention the ‘I’ girders under the bridge. I have put these on to represent the framework of the bridge under the road.

Well, here are all the current bridge sections together. They will go together in their correct position but a little adjustment is needed yet before they are finally fixed in place. I think the painting and weathering will really bring them to life. Let me know what you think.

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