Bridge and No River

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I have an O-Scale-2-Rail layout with 127 feet of track spiked to 3/4" plywood supported on 2x4 framework and 2x4 legs.

The layout is flat over the entire area , and has no Canyons, Ravines, Creeks or Rivers...just a large Desert area covered with Scale Mountains, Boulders, Gravel and Cactus and a couple Wild Horses. No structures of any kind.

I would like to place a Truss Bridge somewhere on the layout, but there's no way I'm gonna cut through this heavy surface just to create something for a Bridge to cross!

Would a Truss Bridge look phony on a flat layout with nothing to cross?

Brakeman Hal
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BN Modeller
I'd clear the scenery and at least paint a creek under it, that would help and might look ok.
Can you slightly raise the track to get just a bit of elevation for the bridge?


Plucked Tailfeathers
Staff member
Way back when, I had a girder bridge and a truss bridge on the floor with my Lionel trains. At the time it looked fine with me - I did a lot of pretending during those years.


Well-Known Member
Hi Hal,

First I would like to say that your layout looks GREAT! I am a big fan of open spaces and you have them in spades.

Second, to be honest I think it would look " phony" if you don't have at least a dry wash to cross. Buy a couple large sheets of that 1 mil plastic and either enclose the area you cut or cover up everything else and at the end of the day I think the mess will be manageable.

No, I'm not going to install a Bridge, because that would mean I'd have to saw through 3/4" plywood and make it look like the edges of a Canyon or Ravine or River or Creek bank.

I don't like having to unspike and cut my 2-rail track to allow for the's all too much work for an 83-year-old man with a bad back.

The Bridge is out, because it would look too phony, and I like the way my layout looks as it is, because the only man-made structure is the Track!

Thanks for your replies...
Brakeman Hal


Gandy Dancer
In the town of Weimar, TX, there is a truss bridge that was moved onto the road that leads to some ball fields. The bridge does not cross any depression (river, ravine, ditch) that I can discern.

There's nearly always a prototype for what we may want to do on our layouts.



Active Member
Know model RRers love bridges, but to the real RRs they are VERY EXPENSIVE! In a yard situation, a drainage of any size would be avoided or filled in/rerouted. Out on the mainlines, that's not always possible. Through time, especially in the modern era, wooden trestles would be replaced by steel ones because of fires. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.