Monthly Archives: September 2020

Naches river bridge

Bridge walkways

Adding a maintenance walkway to the railroad bridge on my layout gate can not only increase the visual interest of the railroad bridge, but also narrow the space between the bridge and the plexiglass walls on the sides of the gate. While I wait for the plexiglass to be cut, I have been looking for a reference for the width of such a maintenance walkway and height of an outside fence on the walkway. I have yet to find such a reference and don’t know of a real bridge with a walkway that could be measured. References are welcome.

Ballast test strips

Ballast acquisition

Since I recently started thinking about ballasting track I have visited Model Railroader Video Plus and YouTube to learn more about ballast. Also Chris Jacobs, a friend from SWWMR club, gave me a suggestion of using “Play Sand” for ballast. A 50 lb bag of play sand from Lowe’s cost me less than $5 while Woodland Scenic’s ballast is ten times more expensive. As previously illustrated I just have to sift the Play Sand into three sizes. The attached photo shows two test strips with various sizes of ballast.

Sifting Ballast

Sifting Ballast

After buying a 50 lb bag of Play Sand I have started sifting it into three different sizes fine, medium, and course using two different size screens. I will try using the fine on the mainline tracks, the medium in yards and the course on my fill areas at the ends of the gate-bridge.

Gate Bridge

Finishing the bridge / gate

I have recently gotten active in trying to finish the gate-bridge at the open end of the layout. I had to learn how to cut and shape foam and how to secure ballast on the sides of the fill area on both sides of the bridge. This involved watching a lot of YouTube and Model Railroad Video Plus documents. After a lot of introspection I think I am ready.