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Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
On the layout my Dad and I are building (see link in my signature), we're going to need a bridge over a river and 2 tracks. The bridge that my Dad suggested was the Green Lane bridge in Philadelphia suburb of Manayunk. The car road next to the bridge is actually Green lane rd but everyone calls the RR bridge that name. Here's a link to the Library of Congress site that has 15 pix of the bridge. Some others below I found on the web.

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I'm going to scratch build the whole thing, probably out of styrene covering and wood main structure. If anyone has any suggestionson constructions, I would appreciate it. Also, if you know anyone that built this bridge or a version of it please provide a link or pix.



Diesel Detail Freak
I'd suggest building the track base out of plywood, and each of the pillars also, then adding styrene or plaster around it for the cosmetic part, to make it look like the prototype.

grove den

naturally natural trees
Hello Ron,

Just like Josh writes:
I'd suggest building the track base out of plywood, and each of the pillars also
But why styrene:confused: ..It is much easier to use a good quality thin cardboard and a sharp knife.You can model the relief of the bridge sheet over sheet.( also carving too)
And there are so many types of cardboard with a different surface...Just look for one that looks like " concrete"
After the bridge is modeled I suggest to give it a( or 2 ) primer with aerosolpaint( matte) Paint it in a basic color. Than comes the most difficult part: the weathering ...... ;)

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Diesel Detail Freak
Never thought of cardboard myself Jos...

P.S. I like that collapsing billboard in the 1st shot...


Hello Ron,

Just like Josh writes:
But why styrene:confused: ..It is much easier to use a good quality thin cardboard and a sharp knife....

I prefer styrene over cardboard since it is not affected by moisture. Depending on where your layout is located, you may have humidity problems. Over time cardboard can absorb moisture and warp or bend. Styrene will not have those problems.

In my opinion though, this bridge would be a great one on to model in hydrocal. Of course that would also be a lot more work...


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
My experience with the cardboard is warping also, even if it's just slightly. If this is going to be one of the major focal points of the layout (what large bridge expanse isn't?) then I want it to be as rock solid and non-moving as possible. I like working with styrene and have had good results.
I can't wait to start building this bridge in the future. It will be awhile because the track in that area hasn't even been laid yet. There definitely will be pix of the construct once it starts.

Any further tips or pix would be appreciated. If you live near there, snap a few pix if you could?

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grove den

naturally natural trees
Bob and Ron I forgot that very important point:eek:
it is not affected by moisture


BTW found something about making bridges in HO scale but it is made of plaster of paris and hydrocal. It is in German language but the pix speak for themselves. He is an master in engraving plaster of paris( if you've got the time for it just have a glimp on this website and the articles "Thias" wrote...;) website:
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Lazy Daydreamer
...Any further tips or pix would be appreciated...


Have you thought about sculpting it in extruded foam? That's what I always see demos of at the Timonium train shows, the hot-knife vendors are usually making viaducts and/or tunnel portals. Of course, you could use foam for the underlying structure and cover it with a veneer of styrene.

Here's a link to one of the vendors I've done business with:

Steve B

Like Josh, plywood for the top deck but everything else you could make from Blue foam insulation, i have used 1" thick foam and it's very easy to cut and carve to any shape you want, for the curved arches use a fine sandpaper wrapped round a tube or anything round of the correct diameter to sand the arches to perfection. After it's done cover it in a good coating of jointing compound and sand smooth.


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
I'm going to do a little experimenting with the foam. That way I'll master it for the real bridge on the layout.

Jos, I signed up for that german forum and That guy THIAS does some amazing scenery. His grass and weeds are real show-stoppers. Also the stone carved bridges he does blew me away.


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
Finally more progress!

After a long hiatus from the construction of this bridge, I have made some good progress over the last week.

I put on the last details and trim on the bridge. I mainly used Rix Products highway divider. You can see the trim under the mini arched section at the top of the towers. Also there is a small keystone like detail that is in between each of the smaller arches.

The next picture you can see the trim on the right tower, but not yet installed on the left tower.

Once I finished all the trim, I FINALLY PAINTED THE BASE COLOR!!!

The color I used is Polly Scale Concrete.





Once the paint had dried, I turned my attention to weathering the bridge. I used a few different techniques; India ink washes, dry-brushing, and chalks. The paint colors are Polly Scale Aged Concrete and Aged White. These colors are used to create the spalling of the concrete and leaching colors from the bridge. The chalks were mainly black, dark brown, dark brownish orange. I got most of my inspiration from photos of the bridge I found on the internet.




I'll get some quick videos of the progress up on Youtube over the next day.

Thanks for checking it out.


old school
Very nice work! 2 weeks ago I went under that bridge for my first time. I cant recall the date on it but I want to say it was built in the 1930s? What a great bridge it was. Is it still in use today? again nice work!

Gary B

The Fox Valley Railroad
WOW! Very impressive! Could you give some info on how you did your brick and stone work? I need to replace a cr***y bridge on my layout and yours is inspirational to start on it.

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