Archive for the ‘Bridges’ Category

March 14, 2014 · by David Gilbert · Bridges, Erector Sets, Ware, Dave

Dave Ware writes: Plans from the Master Powerline Set of 1973/74 were simplified so that it could be built with a Senior Powerline Set.

Instead of driving the Drum Hoist via ladder chain from the Powermatic motor, they were mounted side to side and direct coupled. Also the DC3 motor driving the flywheel via another ladder chain was eliminated and the flywheel was driven from a shaft on the Powermatic motor with a rubber band belt. The resulting drive arrangement was much simpler.

A battery pack for the DC3 motor was originally used as the counter weight. Since this was no longer needed, an old speaker magnet was used instead.

· by David Gilbert · Bridges, Erector Sets, Ware, Dave

Dave Ware writes: This is the Rolling Lift Bridge model from a #10 1/2 set manual.

The bridge has a swinging basket in the rear for adding weight to balance the bridge. Counting holes on the diagram resulted in a mounting for the basket that hung up on some screw heads. After some changes, it worked fine. A magnet from a speaker was used for ballast. The method of mounting the motor was not specified. I’m sure that my solution is not the correct one.

  • Video of Dave Ware's Rolling Lift Bridge in action
· by David Gilbert · Bridges, Erector Sets, Ware, Dave

I was intrigued by the “London Bridge” model shown in the Mysto Manual. I decided to build a similar one using “modern” Erector parts. I remembered that it had been moved from London to Arizona not too many years ago and was now a tourist attraction. BUT, pictures on the web showed a flat stone and concrete arch bridge that was not too interesting. I finally found out that the bridge I was looking for is still in London and is really called the London Tower Bridge which was completed in 1894 and is not the one of nursery rhyme fame. The real London Bridge in Arizona is on the left, the London Tower Bridge is on the right.

Even A. C. Gilbert was wrong! A number of bridges have been called London Bridge including one that was torn down by the Norse in 1014 (Probably inspiring the nursery rhyme) and the one completed in 1831 and now at Lake Havasu in Arizona. There is now a new London Bridge which was built in 1973 over the Thames to replace the one in Arizona.

The Mysto model was built mostly of girders and was rather crude looking. I gussied up mine with base plates. The lift mechanism I believe is similar to the Mysto one. (Details are in the Mysto manual 2 which I don’t have). The lift ropes for the right hand span are concealed under the upper walkway as they go over to the left tower. The motor is concealed in the left tower. I had to use a P55 motor as an A49 would not fit.

· by David Gilbert · Bridges, Erector Sets, Ware, Dave

I bought a Senior Powerline set on eBay to try out Type III models. With a copy of the missing manual, I tackled the lift bridge. I immediately had 2 problems. The manual said ‘make the deck . . . one No. 15 (5×9 plate) at each end and three in the center’. The rest of the span was to be filled in with four ME 3×9 plates. The span was 39 holes long. The called for plates only amounted to 37 holes. Also the parts lists (supplied by Bruce Hansen) showed that no Power Line set had more than 4 No. 15’s. To get around this, I used a pair of No. 18 5×21 hole base plates from another set overlapped to make a 21×9 plate, 3 No. 15’s and one ME. This gave the required 39 hole length.

After tinkering with the distance between the towers to prevent binding and getting the strings adjusted properly, it worked very well. This was my first experience with the chain drive. Setting that up turned out to be easier than I had expected.

  • Video of Dave Ware's Type II Lift Bridge (11/10/2012)
· by David Gilbert · Bridges, Erector Sets, Pack, Charlie

Charlie writes: This 3-section bridge occupies a 14 foot shelf in my den. This photo shows the left side of it. I was not able to get all of it in one picture! The bridge is built to a scale of about 27 to 1 for Lionel Standard (2 1/8”) Gauge track, making it about 350 scale feet long. The trains in the picture are Lionel Standard Gauge trains of 1927-1941 vintage. The train in the bridge is a passenger train pulled by a Lionel 408E electric form loco. All of the trains you see in these photos are original and in running condition.

Here is the right-hand side of the bridge. As one can see from these photos, the bridge is built in three separate but contiguous sections which are screwed down to the shelf. The track can be electrified (I’ve run the big 408E back and forth a couple of times on it!). Each bridge section is equipped with red obstruction lights and the little house in the middle of the center section is also lighted. The model contains about 30 feet of wiring. The actual model is about 13 feet long overall and 8 1/2” (17 holes) wide. It contains 121 angle girders, most of them are 17 holes long. An earlier single-span version was built 10 1/2” (21 holes) wide for a two-track O gauge main line.

Here is a photo of the center section. Its design was inspired by another Erector bridge I saw in the Eli Whitney Museum in New Haven, CT several years ago. In this photo, the lighting and wiring have not been installed yet. Most of the construction details should be apparent in this and the next photo. Flat car trucks MV are used as gusset plates. The vertical angle girders on the sides are 17, 19, 21 and 25 holes long. A few of the diagonal girders C had to be shortened a bit to fit correctly. The whole bridge will require 121 angle girders, most of which are 17 holes or longer, 60 MV’s, 60 C girders and 60 flat plates MF.

The house is mounted on two previously re-painted base plates S that have been cut down to 17 holes long. The railings are axle rods attached with collars P37 and set screws, with thin No. 6 washers added under the heads to tighten them up. The access ladders (one on each side) are each made from two 41 hole strips J, sixteen 7/8” screws S62 and nuts as required, and attached with angle brackets CH.

Better DUCK or that 408E will run over you! This photo shows the construction of the bridge base. The track ties are centered and bolted to 17 hole angle girders as cross pieces. If you use Lionel or MTH track, you can do this with 6-32 bolts and nuts without “moving” any holes. The sides of the base are DP or other angle girders laid end to end and bolted to the ends of the cross pieces. MF flat plates form a catwalk on each side. Narrow perforated strips G join and strengthen the angle girders where they are abutted. Some track ties may have to be adjusted slightly so they are spaced an exact multiple of 1/2”. This method of construction is used in all three bridge sections. I strongly recommend the use of the THICK N-21 nuts – the thin ones will strip very easily. Also, avoid aluminum screws.

· by David Gilbert · Bridges, Erector Sets, O'Neill, Bob

Bob O’Neill’s Bridges

I was asked to do some model bridges for a St. Louis Science Center display. They only gave me about two foot square by six feet tall. I made two of the bridges from Erector stuff and added a few model RR bridges from my collection.

Bob O’Neill’s Railroad Bridge

Bob writes: This is my newly rebuilt type one bridge. I’m adding a double track deck with standard/wide gauge Gargraves track. I enjoyed a recent article about a standard gauge club back east. I hope to get something like that started here in St. Louis.

Bob O’Neill’s Type 1 Bridge

Bob writes: Here is my attempted to build the type one bridge from the early teens; the one with the boy sitting on top. I placed a 1931 Hudson on it to show its size. Over all it’s just a little over 9ft. I used the parts from two 1920 #10 sets and use it for a portable antique train display that I set up at the Museum of Transport here in St. Louis.

It will carry a four track “O” gage main line or a double track standard main or a one track LGB main. I used it for a standard gage dog bone as the top layer of a nine layer display 32ft by 18ft.

· by David Gilbert · Bridges, Erector Sets, Myers, Tom

Tom writes: This is a Railroad Bridge shown in the 1929 #10 manual.

It is in the section for models to be made with the B accessory set or #10 set with additional parts. The only major difference with my version is that the horizontal EX girders shown in the manual are not used. My reason was because I did not have enough EXs and they seem to be only aesthetic, not structural. They appear to be a veneer on top of the structure. The bridge as I made it is very stout due to all the trussed square girders and would support a substantial weight, though I have not tested its limit. At five feet long it uses a lot of parts: 56 Bs, 136 Cs, 28 EXs, 10 EYs, 92 Is (or substitute Hs for some Is), 10 MN plates, 8 BE, 28 AH, and many CHs. I used almost all the nuts I have and needed to buy more long 8-32 screws in 3/4 and 7/8 lengths.

· by David Gilbert · Bridges, Erector Sets, Klein, Bill
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