A deck girder bridge for the Lynn Valley

Deck girder birdge - Lynn Valley.

One of the two bridges I need to build for my layout is a two-span, deck girder bridge.

I decided fairly early on that I’d use the popular HO scale 50-foot deck girder bridge kit from Micro Engineering. (Kit 75-501) In S, these kits work out to about 37 feet and a pair of them will fit my space nicely.

Since I need these bridges to complete the work on the roadbed I installed yesterday, I decided to get cracking.

The kits are quick to assemble although they need a fair bit of filing and sanding to clean up flash and the plastic used in the kits seems quite soft, so it doesn’t file cleanly. I’ll need to go over my bridges carefully to remove fuzz.

I made an interesting discovery while building these. In HO, the girders are spaced wider than track gauge, which means that the full weight of the trains is carried on the ties, not passed through to the girders. The photo below shows the Micro Engineering bridge track that came with the kits, placed on top of a finished bridge:

ME bridge with HO track.

By contrast, the girders are spaced almost perfectly for S scale track. As shown in the photo below, I placed the same bridge on one of my S scale turnout building fixtures from Fast Tracks. Note how the groves for the rail line up almost exactly with the girders:

ME bridge on S scale turnout fixture.

I’m sure other S scalers knew this, but I was delighted to find that the bridge is an even better fit for S than it is for HO. I was even more delighted that I would not have to rebuild all the bracing that connects the two girders!

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