scratch building a wood trestle

Started by rustyfawcett, December 21, 2013, 12:53:58 PM

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John B

I built this little trestle using the holding jig that I made on my Bridgeport using aluminum.  The vertical cuts are for the cross-pieces and they are undercut so the round pieces of wood will fit on top of them.  The little holes are used for pushing out the trestle, once everything is glued together. 

The trestle in the photo goes nowhere.  The track on the other side of each portal goes only a couple of inches

John B

The jig did not appear in my last post.  So let's try again



To attempt to answer your question......... I will lean to my greater experience in the west........ 

I'm first reminded of my dad who worked for the Burlington.......  "The railroad calls everything a bridge!  It can be a culvert to move water from one side of the right of way to another with nothing more than gravel fill........ it's a bridge".

With that....  I would suppose the answer to round or squared is a function of available materials and how fast they wanted to put it up.  If the line was to be a short lived logging spur that would be pulled up and moved, there was little or no treated wood and was generally constructed of available local timber as they cleared for a passage way.

By the 1950's, with larger earth moving equipment available, by guess there were more land fill bridges than wooden trestle but again that might be a local thing. In the west it was not uncommon for the various railroads to run out hoppers and dump dirt and rock over the sides of the existing trestles and slowly fill them in; leaving the wood structure there now encapsulated in dirt and rock.  Finally they would come back and set the final grade a bit above the original trestle filling with ballast and conventionally spaced ties.  Some historical books show such filling projects.

Finally........ to answer your question....... there is a prototype for everything so what looks good to you?  What sorts of timber is or was available in the area  you are modeling?  Otta be a start there somewhere ! ! !

see ya
Did you ever notice how many towns are named after their water towers ! ?


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