Building the Canyon Diablo Bridge

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Deane

New Member
I would think that to build that bridge to the level you would be happy with would require some sort of tool system that's not going to be very practical to acquire. It almost has to be done in brass, which I would think would need a computer guided laser cutting system. It would also require some extensive measurements rather than estimates or guess work. And that would be only the beginning. The soldering together of the parts in a fashion that would be acceptable in terms of neatness and precision would be another major challenge.

Even that N scale kit in the other thread looked like a monster to undertake, and I believe it had the brass already cut.

We already have computer guided 3D printers, at least in a primitive form, now we need a computer guided home laser cutter.
 

santafewillie

Well-Known Member
Been lurking on this thread. While this looks to be a rather complex undertaking, I truly believe that Ken is the one who can do it successfully. Just look at the rest of his layout. However I do believe that it can be made from Plastruct structural styrene which would be easier than brass. Either way, I look forward to the build. It will be time-consuming. I thought that I remember a BNSF engineer by the name of Ron (2869ral) over in the Coffee Shop indicated that he might be able to get some measurements for you. As I recall, he drives that bridge occasionally as well.
Good Luck.

Willie
 

Greg@mnrr

Section Hand
Ken:

Aside from the bridge construction chat...great looking unit train!

What locomotive is pulling the train?

I'm a fan of ore car unit trains and I am in the process of detailing basically Walthers and some older Roundhouse ore cars. I have approximately 120 ore cars with 50 or so completed. I replaced the plastic wheels sets with metal, added KD couplers, weathered the cars (from extreme use to light) and added Chooch ore loads which I covered with WS ore materials.

Hope you have success on your bridge project.

Thanks.

Greg
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Just a quick glance at their web site shows pretty much the same on others. I would still have to drill the oblong holes in the square tubing. The added expense of shipping from overseas puts a damper on it.
 
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D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Bridge Plans.jpg


Did some preliminary measurements of the bridge. All material will be ABS I beams instead of the square tubing that I had intended to use.
I'll transfer these measurements to a full scale size drawing of the bridge on a sheet of drywall.
I'm still looking for material for the truss pieces that hold the vertical pieces together and the bridge foot plates that sit on the concrete caissons.
 
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montanan

Whiskey Merchant
Looks like you are t the starting line getting ready to go. Having some measurements should make the project a bit easier. You should be able to fabricate something from styrene for the pieces you need. Looking forward the see the build. It should be a really nice addition to the layout.
 

John P

Member
A possibility that I haven't seen mentioned yet is getting parts 3D printed. It's not incredibly expensive and it allows you to get components made from drawings, instead of building up other parts into assemblies. For something like steel lattices, this could really be useful.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Transferred the measurements to a full size drawing. This is just the profile of the bridge. I still have to do the cross sections. Lots of detail will be in there.
The kitchen counter is a great place to work, with the big screen TV right there and football playoffs just getting started.

Full Size.jpg
 
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2869ral

Member
I do know the bridge deck is 550' and the arch is 300'. I dont know how quickly you are going to start building this, but i do intend to go there and get you some measurements and pics. Im also going to build this bridge when i build my layout as im going to model this area. Im excited to see you build this! I do belive you are right on the beams 1/2"x3/8" if thats what it turns out to be i plan on useing styrene. Im going to glue two 1/4"×3/8" tubes together to make the 1/2"×3/8" beams. I will measure the beams, width of deck, and get lots of pics. Anything else you need?
 

otiscnj

Well-Known Member
2-3 years ago, I believe one company from PA, had a kit for this bridge in HO scale. I saw it at the Amhearst Model Railroad Club show in West Springfield, at the end of January. The price was about $700, mostly wood. Not sure the company is still around or not. They were located a bit north of Allentown, I believe. A kit might save you some time. What they had on display looked very good, and could be a nice focal point on a layout.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Ral,
I've committed to building this using I beams instead. I tinkered with the square tubing and without sharp corners and rivets, it just looks like plastic tubing.
The one picture of the construction of the bridge answers an important question for me about the construction of between the uprights and the deck support.
I appreciate your efforts on this but as I said, I'm on track now to build it with I beam structure instead.

OTISCNJ,
I've seen the wood version and it only looks like wood which to me, is a distraction from the intent of a large steel structure.

Got a few football games to watch today so I don't think I'll get to much done on the drawings till tomorrow evening.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I think you're gon'na find almost everything you want on that page Ken http://www.cvmw.com/bridges.htm apart from those main heavy girders, part #'s 19015 (as shown), #19005 laced, and #'s 19055 and 19065 punch plate. The bridge's main girders only seem to have punchouts on the bottom side, so not so noticeable.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
Yeah, I'll probably use the punchout and window beams for the uprights and diagonal components. There is still the cross lattice pieces that I will need to find a substitute for. I placed an order for a couple of bags of the parts so I can see how they will work out.
 

2869ral

Member
Looks like just in materials $450.00 range. Not including the wood deck.
 
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