covered bridges - what era ?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by fran1942, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. fran1942

    fran1942 Member

    Hello, I like the look of covered wooden bridges with arched roofs, however I doubt they would fit in with my west coast 1910 rail layout. Am I right ?
    I already have a large trestle bridge. What were the other most common bridge constructions were there on the west coast in 1910 ?
    Thank you for any advice.
  2. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    I don't know about the west coast, but here in Ontario, we have covered bridges dating back to the 1880s.

    The era would be correct, not sure about location though. Do a search on the web for:

    "covered bridge" + ________

    insert the geographic area you are modeling.

    A quick search resulted in this link:

    "Bridgeport is one of only 10 covered bridges remaining in California. The bridge is in very good condition considering its age. Built in 1862, at 251 feet, it is the longest single span covered bridge in the United States."

    I guess you can put in a covered bridge if you like.
  3. Otony

    Otony New Member

    There are plenty of covered bridges in Oregon, the earliest dates to the 1870's (if I recall correctly), with the later ones being built all the way into the 1920's and a bit later.

    Google Oregon covered bridges.:wave:

    Oregon is about as west coast as it gets, no?

  4. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Indeed--covered bridges would be found more often in the Pacific Northwest. They were found in northern California, too--the Arcata & Mad River Railroad had one, and I think the Sacramento Northern, an electric interurban, had a covered bridge somewhere between Chico and Marysville/Yuba City, as late as around 1920. So as long as you're not modeling something more Southwesterly, a covered wagon around 1910 would be spot-on.

    There is something about covered bridges, though--there's an illustration in the old Kalmbach's "Bridges and Buildings for Model Railroads"of a covered bridge, viewed from the tracks, that still kind of gives me the chills from childhood. They do help provoke a very nostalgic feel, in a different way from a wooden trestle bridge.
  5. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    Jetrock, Covered bridges weren't native just to the northwest, infact There were several Covered bridges in the mountains. Several Lines thought that covering the Short spans in the mountains would keep the tracks snow free in those areas where slides were prevaliant.

    I believe covered bridges were standard till about WW1, then the railsroads decided it was cheaper to plow the tracks than to upkeep a wodden structure.
  6. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    GC Laser, has HO, and N scale, laser cut wood kits of a covered road bridge. They're in stock at my LHS.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    I understood that most of the reason for covering a bridge was to help protect the (relatively) expensive structure. I have plans of a covered bridge - except it is the structure that is covered. The tracks are on what might be considered the "roof". I assume that better materials and better building methods made it less necessary to enclose the structure.

    How they decided that it was better to keep the rain out and the sparks (wood burning locos) in is beyond me... ;)

  8. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    I am of the opinion that it is your railroad and since you are the owner, you can put any structure on it that your heart desires. If need be, you can spin a yarn about how the covered bridge came to be on your railroad;being the essentric millionaire that you are.
  9. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Xavier, that is why I picked a prototype Shortline that ran in my area, but that ceased to exist 120 years ago.
    That way, no one can say, "It was not like that". I can say, "Why, were you there?" :D
  10. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    When I was first getting into the hobby and was deciding what to model, I made a similar statement that it was my RR and I could do whatever I wanted on it. Unfortunately, it was on "that" forum, and some rivet counter told me in no uncertain terms that this was the most rediculous statement he ever heard. I can see the merits of having a layout that is acurate in every detail to a given era, if that's what one wants, and that sounds like it would be fun to create. Me, I'm not ready for that, I model what I like and mix whatever I want, wherever I want to put it. After all, I'm in this hobby to please myself, no one else. If I had to say what era, I would guess it would be "today" since I can then have an old brick hotel from 1890 sitting next to a modern gas station. I can put a covered bridge and a girder bridge on the same layout since who's to say they don't exist side by side somewhere "today"? I can have a Stanley Steamer or a group of 1950's cars on the street with a 2005 Cadillac Escalade (if I could find one in N scale), because that's the reality of the "today" era.

    The point is, I need to do what I like and what feels right to me in a world that I created. I might even find room for a couple of space aliens, again if I could find any in N scale.:D:D

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