Bridge to Nowhere...DONE!

A bridge to nowhere (for now!) is complete!  This is primarily an auto bridge that extends from the 'south side' of my city, across a depression, to an as-yet-to-be decided area.

This was a critical part of the tram line....now there really is a destination outside the city for the little people to visit!

The construction was fairly simple....Atlas flex track forms the core of the bridge, with two 1 3/4 or 45mm pieces of sintra attached to the outer edges of the sleepers/ties (regular styrene would work just as well).  This gets a color of the same paint that I used for my city streets.  The sidewalks are just pieces of styrene, however, I did score them with a knife to give a more realistic look, and then applied some weathering to make the scoring stand out more (I used the same method as I describe in the video in this post.  Its very easy and looks great!).

After thinking about several methods, I ended up masking out the yellow lines for the street markings.  This method worked pretty well, despite the masking tape taking a little of the gray paint off the plastic base.  I will be working on adding this to the rest of the city, which will be much more complicated!

The 'guard rails' on the sides are really the key element.  These are from the Kato 23-213 guard rails and road fences.  While it was always obvious where the guard rails could go, the road fences had a distinctive design to them that I wasn't sure about....but they sure did come in handy for this bridge!  They were attached by drilling very small holes with my Dremel and then inserted and glued into the holes!

The lights are from my favorite manufacturer for street lights...Viessmann.  While they are incandescent and not the far more reliable LED's I'd prefer, I'm not aware yet of any good looking, 'warm white' LED street lights in N Scale yet.  And yes, in the above photo you can see that (finally!) I am able to start putting buildings back on the layout after this very long revision to my layout!

So this is what's been keeping my busy (well....that, and a little house-keeping on the blog, which was starting too look a bit too cluttered for my test and was due for an overhaul. I hope you like the new look!).


  1. The bridge looks great! But I wonder, it looks like it needs some pylons around the middle to support all that weight. Or at least girders or a truss. Anyway, it seems too long to be entirely unsupported. But I absolutely love the tram line down the middle, and the overall design and paint job is very good. The last photo is also really cool.

  2. Don, you're absolutely right, and I forgot to mention that I still need to add those! :-)

    I need to realign the tracks that go beneath this, so want to get that done before I add the pylons!

    Thanks as always for your comments and great suggestions!

  3. Hum... I was thinking the same thing. Also, I was wondering if the sidewalk wasn't a tad too small. Can't really see but I have the impression it's not biger as the streetlamp base. Na, that's not important. This bridge is quite cool and it will be even more with some truss. Were are you going to put the catenary?

  4. Jerry, I like the new format of the site. Bridge looks awesome. My only feedback would be... Howabout adding some ashfelt between the tracks on the bridge? Just a thought. Look awesome buddy!


  5. WOW! Some really good comments!

    La Saucisse, you are right, now that I look at it, the sidewalks are a bit tight! On the other hand, I'm not sure that I want to make them much bigger as I don't want this bridge to be big so as to 'hide' the level below it. Good thought though, now when I look at it I can despair of my failure! :-)

    Catenary....good question! I haven't got plans yet, although I will likely add just poles (no wires) at some point. I am avoiding this as I still have some children who really like to 'drive cars' on the streets (and who can blame them! Its still fun!) and the cantenary poles would be one more thing that would get damaged. There is enough 'detail' work to worry about small hands accidentally harming without adding more at this time!

    Bob, thanks again for your compliments! I know what you mean, there is a 'depression' between the road and the rails...I'm not sure what to do with this, if anything. My original plan was to make this 'flush' with the street as you suggest, but after I got done painting, etc... I started to think its not necessary as the road markings protect this area of the tram roadbed...and also, I felt if was 'good enough for now' so that I could move on to other projects.

    I have a tendency to claim things 'complete' when, as these comments show, there is a lot more to do! Part of it is, as I say above, you have to get to a point where your happy with a certain level of completion so that you can at least start to address other priorities on the layout. At least, that's what I tell myself to keep my momentum on the layout going!

  6. The more I look at it, the more I like it.

    I was thinking, if you ever want to enlarge your sidewalks you can concentrate only on one. You don't need to have two sidewalks. A bridge can be asymetrical... or I think it can.

    As for the catenary poles, it will make sense to add them (or you can pretend that your trams are equiped with onboard batteries) but I really don't see how you can pull that off without baning finger-runing car altogether frome this bridge. Things will be much simpler if you hadn't put the tram line in the middle of the bridget but, instead, on one side.

    Like allways, I'm looking forward your next updates. :)

  7. Thanks LS! I was following Martjins progress on his non-Japanese layout on the JS forum, and he's done a really nice job using 'cheap' Tomix cantenary poles for his layout (there is no way I will be going with real wire any time soon!) which seem to do the trick! They are also pretty cheap and I think can be inserted with little difficulty while still allowing 'little hands' (not so little as they once were though, so the years of their interest in trains is fading sadly!) to 'play' on the layout.

  8. If they get bigger, they also get a little more acurate. That's the nice thing about it. And as far as the hobby is concerned, those not-so-little-anymore hands might come to it one day.

    Yes, Martijn work is quite impressing with those poles. But maybe, you could look at something like that for the bridge part of the tram line: http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10091772

  9. Check this thread: http://www.jnsforum.com/index.php/topic,2574.0.html


  10. That is awesome! I had no prototype reference! Now I have something that's very close (at least the street, obviusly no 'truss' or girders!)

    Thanks for sharing this with me, I would have missed it!

  11. This is awesome.