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How to Build a Bridge for Your Model Railway
Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Nothing completes a model railway like a bridge. There is something majestic about the way trains seem to defy gravity as they pass over that narrow ribbon of track suspended across thin air.

There are so many types of bridges out there it can be hard to choose one. This article will discuss some of the different bridges and what aesthetics they are best suited for. Some bridges make the most sense for a city landscape, while others are best suited for a rural environment.
 

Read on to discover how to take your model railway to the next level!

Viaduct Bridges

 
Also known as an arch bridge, this type of design dates back to the ancient Romans, who built them to help carry water across long distances. Thanks to the incredible stability of their designs, those ancient bridges are still in use today.
 
In America, this type of bridge is most common along the east coast, where the country's first settlements were founded. They feature beautiful stonework and soaring arches.
 
If you want your model trains set to convey a sense of timelessness and history, you can't do better than a viaduct design. However, they may not fit in with more modern landscapes are environments that don't exist in Europe or America's East Coast.
 

Girder Bridges

 
Girder bridges are the workhorse of the bridge world. They don't feature fancy arches or towering lattices of iron. But they always get the job done.
 
This is one of the most common types of road bridges and you can often spot them spanning urban avenues. They look like a long metal rectangle.
 
While their design is simple, they are strong and proud. This type of bridge would be ideal for an urban model railway or for a track that crosses a small road.
 
For an extra bit of modern flair, add LED lighting to your bridge and railway models. A blinking railroad crossing sign is sure to impress!
 

Truss Bridges

 
This type of bridge is named after its inventor, Warren Truss, who first patented his design in 1848.
 
Truss bridges are perhaps the flashiest of bridges. They are most often used to allow a bridge to cross a body of water. As the train crosses the bridge, the must pass through the intricate lattice of iron that holds the bridge in place.
 
This type of bridge requires plenty of open air above the bridge. This makes it best suited for any deep canyons or wide rivers you may have built into your model railway. You may find it hard to fit a Truss bridge into a forest or small road.
 

Trestle Bridge

 
In North America, the most iconic bridge of all might be the trestle bridge.
 
American railroads reached their height during the great westward expansion of the 1800s, as the country's population grew, and citizens looked towards the frontier for new opportunities and prosperity.
 
In addition to their historical nature, these bridges boast the most intricate latticework. A seemingly endless number of wooden beams was needed to hold up an entire train, and they form a beautiful pattern beneath the tracks of the bridge.
 
This type of bridge is the most versatile and looks great in almost any setting, but it may be a challenge to construct.
 

Add a Bridge to Your Model Railway

 
If you haven't yet added a bridge to your model railway, you are missing out. A train crossing a bridge represents one of the highest achievements in ht history of engineering.
 
The rich history of train bridges also adds to their grandeur. A bridge can add can take your model railway to a whole new level of realism and imagination.
 
If you found this article useful, you're probably a creative type of person. We recommend pursuing our Arts & Entertainment section for more artistic ideas!
 
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