Bridge and No River is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.

Brakeman Hal

Well-Known Member

I have an O-Scale-2-Rail layout with 127 feet of track spiked to 3/4" plywood supported on 2x4 framework and 2x4 legs.

The layout is flat over the entire area , and has no Canyons, Ravines, Creeks or Rivers...just a large Desert area covered with Scale Mountains, Boulders, Gravel and Cactus and a couple Wild Horses. No structures of any kind.

I would like to place a Truss Bridge somewhere on the layout, but there's no way I'm gonna cut through this heavy surface just to create something for a Bridge to cross!

Would a Truss Bridge look phony on a flat layout with nothing to cross?

Brakeman Hal
Last edited:


BN Modeller
I'd clear the scenery and at least paint a creek under it, that would help and might look ok.
Can you slightly raise the track to get just a bit of elevation for the bridge?


Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
Way back when, I had a girder bridge and a truss bridge on the floor with my Lionel trains. At the time it looked fine with me - I did a lot of pretending during those years.


Well-Known Member
Hi Hal,

First I would like to say that your layout looks GREAT! I am a big fan of open spaces and you have them in spades.

Second, to be honest I think it would look " phony" if you don't have at least a dry wash to cross. Buy a couple large sheets of that 1 mil plastic and either enclose the area you cut or cover up everything else and at the end of the day I think the mess will be manageable.


Brakeman Hal

Well-Known Member
No, I'm not going to install a Bridge, because that would mean I'd have to saw through 3/4" plywood and make it look like the edges of a Canyon or Ravine or River or Creek bank.

I don't like having to unspike and cut my 2-rail track to allow for the's all too much work for an 83-year-old man with a bad back.

The Bridge is out, because it would look too phony, and I like the way my layout looks as it is, because the only man-made structure is the Track!

Thanks for your replies...
Brakeman Hal


Product Tester ACME INC.
Staff member
Looks Fine Too Me!
You have done a nice job.
At least you can watch a train running!


Gandy Dancer
In the town of Weimar, TX, there is a truss bridge that was moved onto the road that leads to some ball fields. The bridge does not cross any depression (river, ravine, ditch) that I can discern.

There's nearly always a prototype for what we may want to do on our layouts.



Active Member
Know model RRers love bridges, but to the real RRs they are VERY EXPENSIVE! In a yard situation, a drainage of any size would be avoided or filled in/rerouted. Out on the mainlines, that's not always possible. Through time, especially in the modern era, wooden trestles would be replaced by steel ones because of fires.


Active Member
Right. Bridges aren't built in real life just to look neat, they're built to cross a gap (water, ravine, valley, road, etc.).


If you really want the bridge, install it on a couple 3' concrete piers along a road and put up a two room shack with a big sign for "Brdges Construction Co.". Add a parking lot with a couple trucks.

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.