Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Bridges and Boxcars

One of the finished trusses temporarily mounted on the piers. The finished bridge will be assembled on the layout.
The last few weeks have again been hectic with traveling to various events. The annual Virginia & Truckee RR Historical Society was held in Carson City Nevada at the first of October and was great as usual. It's the only place that I know where several early railroaders, both modelers and historians, gather. If you aren't a member, take a look at their website (www.vtrrhs.org). The society has a great quarterly magazine and publishes at least one book on the V&T each year.
Built in 1885, the wood structure lasted until the late 1890s. This view looks
 south into Oakdale
When I finally ended up at home, I decided to start construction on the Stanislaus River Bridge. This bridge was built in 1871 and allowed the S&C to enter Oakdale. It had two 140-foot wood Howe Truss bridges and several hundred feet of approach trestle. In amongst all the other things, I started on the two Howe trusses and managed to get them finished. It was not difficult work, just tedious. I started by making a jig so that the four sides needed would match and started cutting and gluing stripwood together. Making the metal tension rods took a little bit longer.
Each bay of the bridge had five tension rods at the joint. Mine were made from .015 inch music wire. Grandt Line NBW
castings cored .020 inches were used for the nuts at either end of the tension rod.
When the truss bridges were done, I started on the wood piers but then ran out of wood. I ordered a huge supply and, while waiting for it, started work on some Silver Crash Car Works boxcars. These are 28-foot cars and follow a Southern Pacific prototype, just perfect for the S&C. I purchased 20 of these a few years back and am just now getting to them. These managed to get finished except for paint. I'm waiting for the trucks to come in so I can paint everything together. This was not a great setback since the wood arrived in the interim. This allowed me to finish the two piers (the third pier is trestlework).
Ten boxcars await paint. The prototype of these cars was built to handle trade for the California Fast Freight Line, a traffic
expediter arrangement between the Central Pacific, SP, Union Pacific, C&NW and Rock Island.
   The jig for the trestles has been made so I will probably start putting the bents together next. More later after the paint arrives and/or the bents get built.