The bridge, abridged

As built the bridge over the house doorway at Cuarto de Pulgada was more functional than scenic. The trains were enclosed in a safety cage made from plastic grids designed to keep leaves out of gutters. This gave rise to problems when operating, especially when it came to track cleaning or recovering derailed stock, so I’ve cut the “girders” down to half height today.

117 and train, easier to see while crossing the cut down bridge.

They are still functional in preventing derailed trains crashing to the garage floor some four and a half feet below but now allow easier access to the track.

After turning the loco runs round the train.

Another advantage is that it is a lot easier to check the alignment of the loop points when shunting or when running round a train.

42 entering the Lago Cumbre end of the bridge.

It is also easier to see where trains are as they approach the terminus, very useful when driving from the main controls on the other side of the garage!

With 42 in the loop the points can be reset for 117 to depart.

The terminus is usually viewed from this end when using the local controller.

117 departing from Cuarto.

Not many modellers photograph their layouts from underneath, perhaps for good reason, but it is a logical vantage point for watching a train cross a high bridge.

In the long term it is my intention to remove the decorative portal and water tank at the station end of the bridge and add a tubular structure above the deck to make a single track version of Brunel’s bridge at Chepstow and give a more credible span across the doorway.

Chepstow photograph from Wikipedia, used under Creative Commons, copyright John Morris as per the page linked from this text.



About Bob Hughes

Ex railwayman, life long railway modeller, lover of real ale and spicy food.
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