A new bridge for Phil's RR



Phil S
11 Sep 2015
Ann Arbor, Michigan
My latest empire expansion requires a long low bridge over the water feature. I'd been thinking about building something over the winter and just putting a board across the water as a temporary expedient. Last week I was at Menard's (A big box home center somewhat akin to Home Depot and Lowes) to pick up some crushed limestone paver base for the blocks I was putting in. I had not been to Menard's in quite a while as HD and Lowes are much more convenient to me. While looking around I spied these in a rack by the flooring materials. They are 8 foot long aluminum extrusions for transitioning ceramic tile to other types of flooring , but to me, thinking about bridges at the time, they looked an awful lot like trusses.

Trusses - 1 _1_.jpg Trusses - 1 _2_.jpg These are pics of the leftover pieces .

It just happens that 3/8" thick PVC facia board is a perfect fit in the gap of the extrusion as seen in the next pic.

Trusses - 1 _3_.jpg

Two 8 ft extrusions and the 8 ft PVC facia board cost about $65.

The next shot is of my new bridge temporarily installed.

Trusses - 1.jpg

I cut the PVC board into five 300mm pieces plus one shorter make-up segment. One end of each segment will be epoxied into the extrusions and the remaining PVC left to float for the final installation. A small gap will be left between the segments for the differential in expansion and contraction between aluminum and PVC. The bridge will probably be installed upside down from what is shown once I've got the abutments in place. The low "trusses" make more sense for a deck type bridge where they are in tension rather than compression when installed as shown above. But, it is quite sturdy enough to support my heaviest trains as a single span even installed as shown.
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9 Jul 2017
United Kingdom
A brilliant idea. Could be just what I'm looking for. I've been looking for ideas for making some bridges.