Wednesday 15 September 2021

Thomson River Bridge - 6

 Time hasn't stood still on South Coast Rail. I can't even blame the covid pandemic for slowing things down but that isn't the case. Even the recent days of summery heat and the following day a drop of 10 degrees hasn't stopped work.

The bridge has advanced along far enough to make the decision to cut the track from the temporary track that has been in place for a long time. It was always a temporary section on this baseboard to enable work on the bridge to take place in front. It was time to alter the woodwork to accommodate the new alignment from either side. Coming out of Broadwater the track swings around 90 degrees and then through a gentle curve line up with the bridge. This side represents the Moe side on the real bridge. And after crossing the bridge a right hand curve allows the ascent up into Pambula. There is a level crossing where many a photo has been taken as this board has been sceniced well before the bridge was to be finished.

The temporary track has been lifted

The lifting of the track behind the bridge now means that the continuous circuit will not be available until the new track is laid across the bridge. This is not really an issue  as once a train leaves the terminus at Eden there is a choice of going up to Broadwater, reversing there and either coming back to Eden or proceeding up to Bega. The other direction from Eden goes straight up to Bega and then a choice of going to the branch terminus of Candelo or onwards through Wolumla and then terminating at Pambula. So you can see that while the bridge work is going on there is still operation possible. Having said that I tend to put the energy into finishing the bridge rather than working a train, that will come later.

Down the hill and straight across

As can be seen in the above photo the track from Pambula will come down the hill with an S bend and then head straight across the bridge towards Broadwater in the distance. Initially the scenery on this board was done without knowing how it would blend in with the scenery on the bridge board. The bridge has been done to scale measuring around 1.9 metres long but the restrictive part is the width that I have to work with. When the scenery gets more advanced there may be some compensations to be made to 'squeeze ' it all in.

One thing I have purposely done on this layout is to try and not have the tracks parallel to the baseboard edging. This is evident with the bridge in the following photos. I just think it tricks the eye into following the track along. Anyway that's my style.

The Broadwater side of the bridge

Reverse view of the previous photo
Currently in the centre of the bridge is a piece of aluminium channel that is holding the bridge rigid. Part of the channel was removed to allow the truss section to be fitted. The sections either side of this are able to be glued to the full length of the channel. Once the bridge is settled down onto the piers then the top channel can be removed.

Looking up from below

Final position of the bridge, back temporary track now gone

Partial fascia to allow ground work to be formed

After this advanced with the bridge I thought I had better start trying to work out how the groundwork will fit in either side. I had some white foam (it actually was from Mr White). While the bridge might be a fairly accurate model of the real thing the landform will need to be modified to fit into the available space. I have photos I took on site some time ago and are trying to follow the real site but as the build gets further on I have the feeling mods will need to be made. The limited space will dictate this.

The two end trestle supports rest in their eventual position

The build certainly has been a slow one but it is a big project and I don't want to take too many shortcuts. As said before the plans for the bridge give a rough idea what the general outline is but the measurements are unreadable. But I am happy with what has been done so far.

Trying out for size
The last shot I couldn't resist putting a loco on a piece of track on the bridge to see how it looks. I reckon once the scenery gets done in this area it will look great. Again that will be for another day and another blog.