model buildings



Building Bridges And Realistic
Model Railroad Buildings

building bridges

There’s little doubt that realistic water on a train layout is a fantastic way to attract interest and lend authenticity to a scene. Although the water itself is a great dramatic element, nothing enhances water like a good bridge!

On the other hand, a bridge doesn’t necessarily have to span water. Any deep gully or gorge that would be too expensive to fill and level for right of way is a candidate for a bridge of some kind. And, since you have control over your entire miniature world, YOU get to decide where the land requires one.

build a bridge

Many railroads include spectacular trestles and bridges spanning hundreds of scale feet which dwarf the trains that run across them. They range from spindly trestles atop a dense forest of wooden bents to massive girders and concrete piers spanning wide rivers. Where there is marine traffic on the waterway as well as a rail span, movable bridges allow convenient coexistence and an opportunity to add action to a model.

model railroad bridges

If you are an advanced modeler, you have no doubt built a bridge or two in your career. A long bridge makes a pretty good winter scratch building project that won’t break the budget. On the other hand, a complex large bridge might be a little too much to attempt at first. Plus, adding a large bridge to an existing layout involves a lot of changes to base scenery and trackage, even if there is an existing waterway to span. If you are creating a lake or river as well, the difficulty multiplies.

 Model Railway Scenery

Model Railways and Layouts

Structure building for railroads


Series 1  Series 2

model railroad engine shed

Engine Shed

model shop

Model Shop

bus shelter model

Bus Shelter Model

grain barn silo model

Barn Grain Silo Model

Restaurant model building

Restaurant Model Building

Factory Model Building

Factory Model Building

model railway depot

Model Railroad Depot


The above links show examples of downloadable cardstock railroad buildings that are very reasonably priced and look absolutely amazing when constructed. This website also shows videos of how to scratch build model railroad buildings using this simple but effective process. The plans for sale are easy to download and the parts are clearly labeled and easy to join together. Painting and weathering is not required as each plan already includes roofing, doors and windows... and is finished in a design using bricks, wood, tiles, slate, concrete, stone... or whatever exterior finish looks best for the structure. So the plans are not just templates, they are complete kit designs ready to print and assemble.


low relief buildings

Low Relief Buildings - Pack B
More Details

Bridges are structures usually manufactured and put in place to span obstacles e.g. a valley or ravine, a stretch of water, or a freeway or road, to give a passageway over the physical barrier. There are certainly numerous design options, and the bridge type is usually decided depending on the unique situation and the type of obstacle that needs to be spanned. Different purposes will depend on different uses and situations.

In real life situations, railroad bridge designs will therefore vary according to the function and proposed use or required weight/load capacity of the bridge. Designs will be dependent on the nature and severity of the landscape terrain where the bridge will be located and anchored in place. Which materials are used will also depend on the intended usage along with the amount of available funds available to construct it.

>In early times railway bridges were constructed from logs dragged into place by humans or animals as no machinery was available. The logs would probably have been cut into spans with basic crossbeams and supports. Wooden planks might have been added to give a smooth crossing surface. Stones might also have been utilized as supports or anchors.

These days bridge construction is more sophisticated with particular attention given to weight distribution, tension forces, bending and movement, compression, torsion and the shear distributed throughout the structure. A number of different bridge types are common including: tied arch, suspension, arch bridge, truss bridge, cantilever, cable stayed, and beam bridges. There are even movable and double deck bridges. Other bridge types are: viaducts, three way bridges, and aqueducts. There are numerous bridge varieties which makes them an ideal feature for any model railroad.Trains look amazing when crossing bridges, so they are usually a great addition to miniature railroads.

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