Construction photos


Hi all,

Great to see the bridge come together like this. I remember it just being an aluminum girder when I visited the A&O this summer. Keep on spiking into the new year. :wink:

Best wishes for 2017 from .nl!



PS. I added a construction update of my own lay-out over Christmas. If you’re bored, have look.



Great progress as well!! I love the figure of yourself as well. Great addition to a layout.


Stunning work fine gentleman thank you for sharing


Again it has been a while since the last construction update. This morning Vince test fitted parts for the main span of the Ohio River bridge. Prior to this David spent many hours installing tie plates, guard timbers and J bolts across the double track deck.

A view from the other side.

Chicken little came running around the corner proclaiming that “The sky is falling!” Inspection revealed that a few of the lighting valence diffusion panels were literally “hanging by a thread.” Oops! :open_mouth:

In the afternoon Vince installed trucks and couplers while David sanded lettering off cars prior to painting for the A&O. Meanwhile I fixed a few signal system issues identified earlier today.


Incredible! So marvelous Vince just beautiful!


Good Grief! Don’t leave us hanging! WHY is the sky falling? Is it because there was a passenger car on the main? And are you sure that that bridge is BIG enough?

Jeff, the 'ol mechanic


The grills were tied with thread to the ceiling, but also some, stupidly, to the nearby blue rope light that provides our night lighting. I guess it added just enough weight that over time one of the ceiling rope clips let go and like dominos, they all let go, dropping the rope light and the light grills. Uff. I will be a trick to reassemble.

BTW- Glad you are able to get back onto the site, Jeff.


Today we had another fairly quiet work session after a hiatus. The highlight was seeing Vince’s latest urethane castings being test fitted for the main span of the Ohio River bridge. This one will be a monster, and there are tons of rivet details.


Just beautiful Vince! Keep up the good work.

My progress on my pin connected Truss. LOVE it guys.


John Johnson did a great job building the new deck!


David pulled out the aluminum structural beam for the Twin Creek Viaduct and subsequently laid ties, rail with full tie plates, J bolts and guard timber NBWs. I could easily be wrong, but I think it is around 12 feet long. I’ll give an update once it goes back in place.

In the short term there will probably be temporary supports to limit bridge beam deflection when loaded with ~30 pounds of Alcos and loaded coal hoppers. In the long term David plans to build 3 brass structural support towers driven to bedrock (structural wood).

On Wednesday David got on a roll (of paper towels and Hydrocal) to advance scenery underneath the Viaduct. I was alerted to this while working on CTC machine programming to add support for traffic levers when I heard David yell “This isn’t good!” Then he proclaimed a new push to get the mainline finished.

Why a duck? Why a no chicken?—Chico Marx in the movie Coconuts.


I must say David…you are keeping your hands much cleaner than I when doing the same thing. Heheheh. I feel like I wear the hydrocal mixture.

Are you using any baking powder to retard the mixture a bit? I can’t believe it too me this long to use that. Makes working hydrocal a dream!!!



Baking powder? Those would be some hard biscuits.

I have no knowledge of this. Please enlighten us.


Cool stuff David! Keep em coming ! :heart:️:heart:️:heart_eyes:


It has been a while, so here are a few updates, starting with a video of Vince running a train during an open house. If you are curious, Vince is momentarily distracted by a couple of David’s grandchildren zooming by. They enjoy running around the aisles of the layout for hide-and-seek.

Most recent work has been scenery. Rick stopped by to start installing streets in Mount Union. The A&D will “street run” along the edge of the layout.

Vince continues casting urethane parts for the Ohio River bridge main span. Here he does a test fit.

Scenery is going in so that the remaining 4 mainline bridges can be installed.

Not shown, Bill Kepner joined Saturday’s work crew and made trees. Meanwhile, Vince added lead weights to more of the A&O coal hopper fleet and I installed detection resistors to 108 Intermountain wheel sets.


Here are a few more photos from the last month or so as I dig through my photo archive.

David cuts scrap pieces of picture framing mat board into strips on the table saw. A local frame shop saves their scrap pieces for David. Here Bill installs them using scissors and a hot glue gun. The lattice will be covered with glue-soaked red rosin paper, available at any big box home store. Over that David drapes paper towels soaked in Hydrocal. Such construction can be seen just to the right of Bill. Finally David will cast Hydrocal rocks in-place at appropriate locations of the hillside.

An abutment goes in at the north end of Twin Creek Viaduct. The black paint helps disguise the shallow space behind a row of trees. The concrete retaining wall inset into the hillside makes room for an intermediate signal and its shanty.

At the south end of Twin Creeks viaduct David works freshly-moulded Hydrocal rocks.

Here are cast-in-place Hydrocal rocks and a partial bridge abutment at far right to “Trussel trestle”, so named to honor David’s friend Dave Trussell, founder of the fabulous Colorado Model Railroad Museum in Greeley.

By the way, A&O David scratch built the #12 switches at the CMRM. He is a very humble man who doesn’t brag, so I’ll do that for him.


What wonderful work. We were over in April for a funeral. I was hoping to come at the end of July for the UP Convention or in Aug for the Narrow Guage, however the funeral ruined those plans. I hope to see you guys next summer. Look forward to that and future photos of your progress. Carl Sorensen, Payette, Idaho


Absolutely fantastic!!


A big “must work faster” push continues to get the full mainline operational prior to a 2017 Narrow Gauge Convention open house. There once were five missing bridges but now there are only three.

David has nearly finished this scene and installed the bridge to allow operation from Linnwood (through the photo left black curtains, a/k/a the “rain room,” down to Union Gap. This is an Atlas bridge, re-detailed by Rick and David. The scene is at eyeball height for “in your face” railfanning. Although the star of the crew lounge view will be Vince’s massive urethane Ohio River Bridge, this will be a close second.

While exiting the far tunnel, the engineer running these F3s engaged full dynamic brakes for a slow and controlled descent to Union Gap. This is the first coal train to cross the bridge and descend to Union Gap.

Many signal heads previously removed for scenery work, including 3 intermediate pairs, were re-installed this week. I was able to test and fix a few minor issues in the CTC software during quiet times this afternoon.

Two of the three missing bridges are mine, and I’m trying my best to fire ahead of the gun. I’ll mention details in another post.


David runs the first coal train across the St. George River bridge.