March 2007

Signal bridge

signal bridge

In 2004 I've bought the PRR 4 Track Signal Bridge from Alkem Scale Models. This type is similar to the type Westport Terminal RR uses. This bridge is for 4 tracks, I need a 3 Track Signal Bridge. So I had the bridge to shorten. At first I soldered the Main Truss to the Vertical Truss. For the angeled cut I followed the suggestion from my son. At the end of the first evening:

Pictures are linked to a larger view, click on them.


The left over parts:

... and a first test. It will take some time until I can install the bridge, with lights!


I made the decision for a brass kit. It looks more delicate. I knew that I had to kitbash the bridge, a commercial bridge would not suit. This is with brass more easy. Well, twenty years ago I've scratchbuild a brass bridge already. You can see it in my "Oldie"-video Hennen, 32 MB. This was a bridge in a curve and at grade! Thanks to small resolution, you can't recognize not much.
This Alkem Scale Models is for 4 tracks with 13' track spacing. Well, I've only 3 tracks. My 3 tracks have about 13' spacing. The two main tracks only 45mm (12.8' ) and the branch a little bit more!

To get strength I made the cut for the Main Truss at one side and the cut for the Horizontal Truss at the other side. You see this in the second picture.
For soldering I followed the suggestions, no torch. This would give too much heat at one point! I used the soldering iron from my soldering unit sized for 400°C (750°F).
For the walkway supports I had to use my own U Channel instead. I took what I had in similiar size.
I inserted the sway braces and soldered the shortened walkway.

They suggested to substitute the etched planks as the etched planks are too thin. And so I did. I resolderd the walkway and made my own from wood. Therefore I made from brass strip the hand rail bases, drilled the holes. Then I soldered a 0.02 wire to the stanchions and all together to the hand rail bases. Each stanchion was soldered into the matching hole I've drilled.
Here're the next pictures with brass and wooden deck:



I have added the gusset plates. You have carefully to look at them to identify which goes where! Also the ladeer was not etched like in the drawing shown. So I had to improvise like I did already with the walkway. I missed the pedestals in the kit. They should be foldet and soldered, told at least the instruction. I will make them from pieces of wood. Therefore I soldered short pieces of wire at the four ends of the legs.

And a few close up pictures:

At last for this time I airbrushed the bridge with primer. Now it will rest for a week.

And - of course - a few trains test running:


Well, the bridge was 30 minutes in the oven at 100°C (210°F). Now I've airbrushed the next color. This color has to dry. I've airbrushed the signals too I've got from Sunrise Enterprises. Installing them will be the next step.

signal bridge, still without signals746747748

I drilled holes into the walkway and glued the signl masts with CA. But at first I tested them.    Each target has three wires, the first signal has also six wires. I bend the wires and glued them with CA to the structure. All wires are hidden at the angles of the beams. Exept one wire, this represents all cables leading down along the leg of the signal bridge. You can it notice at the big picture.

signal bridge, first signal7567620763

But the next step was scenery. I had to ballast the track and let grow some weeds. I soldered all wires to a tag block. Each ground wire got it's 1 kOhm resistor and a diode, to make sure: ground - minus - common.

signal bridge installed

Now I've to decide which background looks better. What do you mean? Write to Wolfgang Dudler

And all the Harbor District:


© Wolfgang Dudler