Construction photos


WOW! I am even more envious of you guys now, if that is even possible. Thanks for posting, please, keep up the great work


Vince test fits more parts of the massive Ohio River bridge. Here we see the full height of the center section. The next top chord will be level.


Passenger? Wow ! That’s fantastic. Like the Pin Connected Bridge Bob looks great. Vince your project is looking beautiful as expected!!


Must build faster! David built up a rosin paper cliff that may look nearly vertical, but worked very well on the 1.0 layout. To his right is the Joel Beach scene.

The drop cloth protects an Atlas deck plate truss bridge that I rebuilt. Today I laid the last of the J-bolt NBW castings and NBWs on the guard timbers. David did the hard part of laying rails on a curve through that bridge with full tie plates.


The push is on to get the full mainline operational for an open house during the Narrow Gauge Convention.

Although unfinished, the Atlas double-track bridge over Union Gap has been temporarily installed. The A&D mainline to staging will have to wait for now.

The Overland pin-connected truss is seated in place. There are 8 spikes/tie, Grandt Line tie plates, and a full complement of J-bolts and guard timber NBWs. For now it has light weathering. Additional rusting with chalks is anticipated.

The last spike goes in! For now, anyway… The mainline is now operational.

Katie takes the first full mainline run while David and grandson Christopher watch.

Finally, the first train over the last two bridges to be installed.


David brought out the Golden Spike memorial and set it between bridges in the A&O 2.0 River Gorge scene. Katie noticed it and took a quick look before her train arrived. This was a momentous occasion even though there is still some A&D rail to lay. We agreed that the official Golden Spike celebration should wait until the A&D is complete.

Will scenery work suddenly come to a halt and operations take precedence? Or will the double track bridge at Union Gap come back out for completion of that scene? Who knows!

I vote for both.


The “victory lap” was almost complete as Katie’s train runs through Jackson and heads for the Ohio River bridge to West Virginia.


Woooooohooooooo!!! Congrats guys!!!

This is awesome!!!


How does the Twin Creeks area look now with the viaduct in place. (even though temporary)


Jeff -

In the business of preparations for a visit from Tony K and a layout tour for the 37th National Narrow Gauge Convention, I couldn’t get back to you with a photo. Here is how it looked during today’s tour. The MRL caboose paint will be stripped in the future for A&O livery; it was a relatively inexpensive item that David procured years ago.

The span is structurally sound, with the substructure a 1.5" aluminum box tube. It doesn’t need additional reinforcement, but will sag just a bit with a heavy train. David plans two brass towers in the approximate areas outlined by the wood forms. For the upper part of the scenic landform “hump” he plans a campground with obligatory Arduino-powered nighttime campfire(s).


Thanks for the picture help, Bob.

For what it’s worth, there will actually be 4 towers supporting the bridge. I made the two wood squares the size of the actual tower footprints so that I could plan the campground sites accordingly, since two of the towers fall within the Twin Creek State Campground.

The other two towers are 1) on the near rock face/hillside, and 2) in the far river bed. The locations are of course determined by the joints in the bridge girder, with the tower spans being shorter than the spans between the towers.

Sometimes, steel trestles have smaller-depth girders over the towers than between the spans. I would like to have done this for visual variety, but with the core of the bridge being the 1.5" aluminum tube requiring the full-depth girder, that couldn’t be done. No big deal. It’s still prototypical.

The campground “hump”, forming the two rivers, is where emergency exit from the adjacent Kayford Branch aisle reside. It would have been more dramatic to have the viaduct span the distance at full depth, but realities required yet another compromise.

I had so hoped that I could get this scene done by the Open House. Sigh. I’ll just have to pull a few spikes when the time comes so I can remove the bridge to paint the background. After having such fun running the trains this week, it will be worth the inconvenience.

And, it will be fun to compare this picture with a completed scene when the time comes.



We took a long break from layout work after the open house. Vince was still busy making urethane molds and casting bridge parts. Here are two views from Nov 18, 2017. I can only imagine how sweet it will look when finished.


“That’s no moon…that’s a space station!”- Seriously though, VERY impressive. I would very much like to see how you created the blanks of the laced beams and casted the forms.


For sure! Magnificence Vince pure awesomeness.


A lot of life has gotten in the way of progress reports. David has been busy stripping and painting hundreds more cars, and I need to get to printing the decals. I sure hope I don’t run out of white ribbon.

Vince is back in the saddle casting more parts for the Ohio River bridge. It has now reached the half-way point, although many new castings remain to be added to the first half. Hopefully these photos help with the relative size of the bridge to a train.


I can’t believe that the last construction post was back in April 2018, fully 6 months ago! Where has the summer gone?

Actually, a lot of hard work transpired that isn’t very visible, along with vacation time for most.

First up, Vince made a lot of progress on the Ohio River bridge. Now it is so long that it requires 4 hands to test-fit into place, and it is about to become so long that it needs a custom transport sled for Vince to move it in his car.

Meanwhile, David has been busy weathering rolling stock for their “graduation photos” and making up car cards. Since the A&O has a hump yard with operating retarders, the hump operator will need to know how each car rolls. An “A” marked in grease pencil indicates that the car, if not retarded, will roll almost all the way to the end of the bowl. A “D” means that the car, despite best efforts, stops near the front of the bowl. For the most part, poor rollers are Atlas cars with rotating roller bearing journals.

Waybills are inserted into the vee-notch at the bottom of the card.

Free-spirit cars that roll too freely receive 0.005 or 0.008 phosphor-bronze wipers attached to the truck bolster that rub against the axles.

Yesterday as I walked around the A&O, there were cars with waybills all over the place!


Yesterday there was an evening reunion of 3 old A&O 1.0 crew members. Rick Bacon arrived first with a still-under-construction city block for Mount Union.

A few minutes later Jay Barnaby arrived, visiting from his home in Wichita where he works as a Yardmaster for the UP. Here he inspects Rick’s amazing build-out at Mount Union.

I thoroughly enjoyed the evening with David, Rick and Jay. It was like old times, starting at 7PM and working (or just talking) until nearly midnight.

Thanks, Jay, for stopping by to visit!


Hadn’t noticed that you had taken a picture, but I am not at all surprised. It was good to see you all and was n enjoyable evening.