Download These 2 Model Railroad Bridge Plans for Building Train and Vehicle Bridges. Save 42%.
The package of paper models featured at the very top of this page includes a 42% saving on the price of purchasing 2 model railroad bridge plans along with a downloadable tunnel portal and extendable brick wall. The tunnel, wall and bridge plans can all be downloaded and printed ready for assembly with cardboard (card from a recycled cornflakes box is perfect, but you can also use corflute which is very cheap to buy and incredibly strong when used for construction of model railroad bridges, tunnels and scaled-down brick walls.
On the subject of scaling, plans for the paper models can be purchased in either OO / HO scale – N scale formats. The paper models in this package include a red brick tunnel portal, a tan colored brick wall which can easily be extended by printing extra copies, and two model railroad bridge plans. These vehicle or train bridges can be extended too. It is just a case of combining a couple of printable copies together to extend the bridges or brick walls. Customer need only pay for one download of each plan, and are not required to pay a second time if they print out a second (or even third) copy of the same model railroad bridge plans or structures.
In the real world this style of arched railroad bridge design can be traced back to historical times, and across numerous countries. Ancient arch road, railroad, and foot bridges were made of stone or brick, but in more modern times, pre stressed concrete and steel has been used in bridge designs to ensure extra strength, sturdiness, and safety of bridges that come under potential stresses and large amounts of pressure. The model railroad bridges downloaded on this page are brick designs and use photographic style textures to replicate real bridges in miniature form for HO scale railroads, OO gauge model railways, and N scale railroads.
Looking at arch bridges, they resemble a semicircular structure which because of the two side abutments of the bridge joined by a curved archway. Compare that to linear bridges which require multiple abutments in order to support the weight and load. By comparison, arched bridges have a curve that efficiently dissipates the weight (force) of the load outwards, which is effectively away from the actual bridge. Templates of printable model railroad bridge plans for arched brick railroad bridges are available for download on this page for construction to HO scale / OO scale, or N scale. Selected the scale of your choice at the checkout before downloading any of the model railroad bridge plans here.
By using stone or brick, people in earlier times discovered that arch bridges were perfect for coping with compression. Arched brick railroad bridges also cope well against shearing. In a railroad bridge structure a shear force is basically a force that resists sliding or slicing. Tension in arch railroad bridges is almost negligible. The natural curve of the arched bridge helps dissipate the load force outward along the curvature greatly reducing the effects of tension force the bridge underside. The printable paper models of brick bridges on this page can be constructed for HO scale railroads. They can also be downloaded to construct N scale and OO scale model railroad bridges.
Looking at the engineering of real arched brick bridges, their inherent shape is inclined to dissipate force along the curvature, which explains why arched railroad bridges don’t generally require additional cables, supports, or structures. They were popular in early times because they were reasonably low cost to erect with the raw materials being easy to come by – stones and bricks. As proof of the endurance and strength of arched bridges, some bridges erected by the Roman Empire are still stand today. The model railroad bridges made from these HO scale bridge plans follow the same tried and proven design, although they are constructed using cardboard, or corflute and have the brickwork textures printed on the paper models.
Water Appearing to Flow Under Model Railroad Bridges Increases the Realism of Scale Models
There’s little doubt that realistic water on a model 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! See plans for model bridges above.
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. A lot might depend on the type or terrain, or location you are modeling, or the size of space you have available for your OO gauge railway, HO scale railroad, or much smaller N scale railroad.
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.
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 train layout involves a lot of changes to base scenery and track, even if there is an existing waterway to span. If you are creating a lake or river as well, the difficulty multiplies.
The examples on this page of downloadable cardstock railroad bridges, walls, tunnel portals, buildings and structures that are very reasonably priced and look absolutely amazing when constructed using download paper models. This website also shows videos of how to scratch build model railroad buildings using this simple but effective modeling process. The model railroad bridge 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 railroad bridge model plan already includes textured brickwork complete with imperfections to make the finished bridges look real.
So the model railroad bridge plans are not just templates, they are complete paper model designs ready to print and assemble using old cardboard packs you have around the house.
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. HO scale model trains look amazing when crossing bridges, so they are usually a great addition to miniature railroads.
The Raw Materials For Building Model Railroad Structures
Structures come in all shapes, sizes, and construction techniques. There are completely assembled plastic buildings, plastic kits, laser-cut wooden kits, cardboard kits and even brass kit structures available. Kit bashing and scratch building of structures is almost a separate hobby in itself. Most hobby and railroading shops will have a supply of styrene shapes in all sizes and a selection of brass tubing, wire and different kinds of wood sheets and strips for building and modifying models.
Claws, Teeth, and Clamps
Tools for structure modeling are simple. An X-acto knife, a small zip saw and some corner clamps are about all you need to build any structure. Adhesives and work space round out the tool list, although there are a number of nice-to-have tools such as the NWSL Chopper. You’ll also want to include a scale ruler to help with measurements. Using a scale ruler is a lot easier than measuring and trying to convert to millimeters of fractions of an inch in your head!
More Than a Miniature City
Don’t forget that the railroad itself will need a suite of structures. Storage sheds, depots, maintenance shops, roundhouses, yards, sanding towers, fuel and water structures are all required just to help the trains move from place to place.
Old Man Weather(ing)
Let’s look a little more at realism in structures and model railroad bridges. If you drive around your town or county, you can see many examples of structures and bridges that have been in place for decades. Most owners will paint them and do maintenance periodically, but there are plenty around that show signs of weathering. It’s pretty common to find a structure that has been neglected and has peeling paint, broken windows, sagging roof, or porch and stairs about to fall off. These are things that you don’t really see when you drive by unless you are looking for them, but they are really at the heart of making your layout appear realistic. Weathering techniques are incredibly easy to do and will be covered in some detail at a later time, but keep in mind how much structure and scene disorder, chaos and disrepair can add to the drama!
Plan the Work, Work the Plan
And finally, even if you don’t intend to make photography a hobby, an inexpensive point and shoot digital camera or mobile phone is one of the most useful tools you can acquire. It will help you document existing prototype structures and machinery that you can model and provide you with a permanent inventory of all the elements of a real-life scene that you may wish to duplicate in miniature. Take a LOT of pictures from all angles, and don’t leave out the surrounding trees, grass, street details, etc!
One final word of advice: Have fun! Your model might not be an exact duplicate of the real thing, but it will certainly demonstrate your style and technique to anyone who views it.
Making model railroad bridges from the scale bridge plans on this page will keep you absorbed in this wonderful hobby.