My last two posts have focused on the construction of a simple bridge based on the Hall’s Creek bridge on the abandoned section of the Merriwa Branch line. I am now at a point where the bridge structure must be ‘planted’ on the layout so the final landscaping can be integrated with the overall landscaping of the module.
I fashioned the bridge abutments from stripwood and the other retaining walls from Wills timber planking. The check rails were fabricated from a length of Code 75 track, glued to the sleepers, and then painted with Rail Brown (part of my dwindling stock Floquil paints).
My activities are now concentrating on the construction of the surrounding landscape and laying the track leading to the bridge. Once the adjoining track height has been established, the position and height of the bridge will be adjusted to ensure the correct alignment. With the bridge finally located, the surrounding terrain including the actual water course can be shaped and sceniced.
I am reasonably happy with the outcome, but as always, there is room for improvement. As a whole, the bridge looks OK, although some individual components are below par if subjected to close scrutiny. Perhaps the most disappointing elements are the concrete columns. After several attempts, I couldn't replicate the impression of the timber formwork planking that can be seen on the prototype. I probably should have cast something in plaster, but if it bugs me too much, I can install these retrospectively.
|Photo from "NSW Steam Train Ride To Merriwa - John Gaydon (http://steamtrainstories.com/category/australia/nsw/)|
I could spend more time tweaking the detail but I need to keep moving towards the helix and upper deck construction, otherwise the bridge will become a "bridge to nowhere" and end up like its prototype.