Building the Canyon Diablo Bridge

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Well-Known Member
Staff member
I'm starting to remember why I am reluctant to work on the detail stuff here. It hurts my back and strains my eyes.
Oh yes! after an evening of scratching out the grooves between the boards on the decks of those flat cars in my self imposed search for greater effect, I'm aching from fingers to everywhere and the eyes feel like they're being sucked out. I tried soaking the factory paint off them to get down to the gray plastic, but found that in fact, the extra thickness of the factory paint was an advantage in achieving what I wanted and left a rougher edge to them.


Well-Known Member
Staff member
It's amazing the amount of detail we will try to apply to our toys, and nobody really notices it nor do they understand it when its pointed out.
That's true to a point, but there are those that are more discerning, who appreciate the work that's gone into it, as we do that have done it, but we do it anyway, because that's just, us.
I have run out of patience with this bridge. I just can't get the inspection walkways built.
I have decided to go ahead and install the bridge on the layout and If I should get time to do the inspection walkways at a later time, I'll do that.
As for now, I have started building the canyon part and backdrop. I painted the drywall today and will install it tomorrow. From there, I can start build the canyon walls using the blue Styrofoam that I have been using for other scenery contour.
A detailed part that I will have to fabricate from scratch is the pedestals that the bridge sits on. Nothing on the market that looks anything like these, (see picture) The concrete bases and the the steel form feet of the bridge.

Yeah, they do all look pretty much the same, however, each one has a different profile as far as how far they extend out of the rock canyon wall.
The commercial version is nowhere near prototype scale size. The gap I have on the railroad is 82" wide


Whiskey Merchant
I am glad to see that you are moving forward on the bridge. I can understand the frustration when it comes to the inspection walkways. Really delicate and tedious work to get that done. Looking forward to seeing it on your layout.
After reviewing pictures of the canyon again, I decided to rebuild the scenery support frame to make the canyon deeper. The picture here shows the current frame piece as I built it out last week. I think the canyon floor is to flat so I'll take this one apart and rebuild it for a deeper canyon floor.
In the mean time, I'll be applying some rivets to the bridge to see how they apply.
Trying to find paint on line that will give the bridge a weathered look. Flat black is just too black for this. The real bridge has some kind of a faint white overlay to it. I'll probably end up having to weather that in.

Canyon support.jpg

Diablo Canyon 2.jpg
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Getting serious about this now. I committed myself to install the bridge before I run trains again.
I took the drill and saw to the space filler there and removed everything. Lifted the track for use on the bridge, removed the drywall drawing of the bridge and removed the temporary wood deck. I also moved the right end of the gap back a little bit to make room for the bridge supports on the ends.



BN Modeller
Reminds me of a friend that was flip flopping about adding a dormer to his house.
He grabbed a chainsaw and cut the roof out and said "now I have to do it!"

Don't forget to add that cover from a gondola on the cliff, I've seen those blow off before!
As usual now. Just as I start a new approach to this, several other items are demanding my attention now.
Well, besides those other things, I finished applying the second layer of the gussets at each joint.
The rivet details are taking a bit of study. There are quite a few patterns on the decal sheet so I will have to use them wisely. Prolly have to order another dozen sheets before I'm done with this part. Then it's time to paint it and fit it to the benchwork.
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