The track-work phase has begun!
John is going to use his own custom made spikes that are closer to 1/48 scale along with Monster Model Works laser etched tie plates, a favorite among the P48 community. John is a P48 modeler; getting him to think in OW5 is a challenge.
The decking at this point is complete and ready for rail built using Mt Albert Scale Lumber to D&RGW standards. A decision was made to remove the walkways factory installed by OMI. The walkways are an original feature of the bridge dating from 1929 and likely was included for this reason. The walkway feature would be a requirement for crews cutting cars and other functions in the event the bridge span is within a certain distance from a turnout. In this simulation the bridge spans a river that is several miles from a sidling. Leaving the walkway into the 1950’s era of our simulation would encourage trespass and in the case of our railroad holding true to Rio Grande practice cost is the upmost importance; paying for a walkway would not be something considered where one is not needed.
Prototype photo copyrights apply, used for reference only.
Erik looked for prototype photos on the C&S and D&RGW of through truss bridges and found far more without the walkway than with it. The decision to remove the walkway also allows the viewer of the exhibit to see the high filigree of beautiful detail hidden by the walkway and it also allows full view of the traln as it crosses the bridge.
Beginning this week John will start spiking rail and if we stay on time with the plan by March Erik will begin the scenery phase of the project.
After extensive reviews of bridge prototype pictures on Google and in books, we decided to remove the walkways. They seem to be rarely used and I was concerned they would block views of engines on the bridge. Erik likes to set up some wonderful shots and I didn’t want to degrade the view. Tie spacing, there is a difference in the length of the bays, the center two being slightly longer than the outer ones. I measured the length of each bay and spaced the ties by eye using the spacing of 12″ O.C.
Deck was then built on the bench to Rio Grande practice. The whole assembly lifts out for maintenance. Not real sturdy, but the addition of rails should stiffen it up. We decided against walkways for several reasons, primarily for photographic reasons. Prototypically speaking, the walkways were for train crews to access switches within 400′ of bridgework. Cost of maintenance and liability issues would have dictated their removal by the 50’s (our time period). Weathering will be minimal other than usual dirt and soot. Bridges were a large investment and generally well maintained. Found documents on bridge design stating railroad bridges were generally designed to last 100 years as opposed to highway structures 50 to 75 years. Explains a lot.
Until the next update keep on 2 railing fellow 2 railers!