Model Railroader Research

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by 77railer, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. 77railer

    77railer Member

    As some of you know I am mideling a copper company long forgotten about located in Kennecott Alaska. In April of 1943 model railroader ran an article about one of the bridges that I wish to incorporate in my layout. The million dollar bridge. Would anyone happen to have a copy of this lying around that I might sneek a peek at or scan it for me and email it? Thanks for your help...

  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I was in my first trimester when that issue was published......My eyes weren't developed well enough to read, so I didn't subscribe. :D :D :D
    Have you tried contacting Kalmbach?, on the off chance they might still have a copy of the article on file?
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    have it 77 pm me your email address and will send you a copy.
  4. Zman

    Zman Member

    The "million dollar bridge" actually cost somewhere around 1.5 million. I can't help you with the MR reliquary, but one of my hobbies is collecting old railroad pics. Here is what I believe to be the oldest photo of the bridge:


    Here is a model of the bridge --- is this pic from the 1943 MR???


    This is a pic of the train that hauled the copper:


    This is a pic of the old mill (now there's a kitbash project if I ever saw one!!!):


    Here's a pic of the bridge after part of it was destroyed in an earthquake:

  5. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    77 just looked at the MR it is not a picture or a artical its just a side drawing not much use to you
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I have a bridge that was built by oe of the European model railroad companies that I think would make a good stand in for that bridge. It is about 14" long and you would need 4 of them with piers.
  7. 77railer

    77railer Member

    Thanks guys. Im looking foward to getting more information on the line. Feel like I'll be an expert on it by the time Im finished,lol.

    Love the pics zman!

    Thanks for finding the article Jim!
    Russ what company did you say you got that from?

  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't remember. It was in the Walther's catalog. I think it was Heljan or Pola, but might have been Faller. I was a little mistaken on the length, it takes two pieces of 9 inch snaptrack, so it would have to be 17 or 18 inches long, I can't remember if the track hung over the end. I think it was flush which would make the bridge 18 inches long. Next time I go to a hobby shop, I'll check the current Walthers catalog and pass on the info here.
  9. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    here's what was in the 43 MR 77 .

    Attached Files:

    • 77.jpg
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  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I was mistaken about the bridge. It is made by Faller, but it is a steel arch bridge with trusses in the ends. I did notice in the Walther's catalog that they offer a single track truss bridge in the cornerstone series that might work. It is listed at about $25, and you would need 4 of them. If you want an exact replica, you would need to scratch build the bridge. I don't know of a commercial offering with the gentle arch accross the top like the prototype. If you are not that fussy about being exact, you could kitbash two Atlas Warren Truss bridges for each one of those 4 bridges and get something that would be a nice stand in. If you kitbash two Atlas bridges to make one, I would use a couple of pieces of square brass tubing underneath to strengthen the joint. I noticed at my local hobby shop that 1/8 inch brass tubing comes two to a package. They look to be about the right length. If they were fastened to the bottom of the two Atlas bridges with epoxy and painted black to match the bridge, it would make a strong, good looking inexpensive bridge.
  11. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Those are awesome photos Zman! Anybody know why the one span was built smaller than the others?

  12. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    77 and Russ,

    I think I found the chord truss bridge Russ meant. It's made by KIBRI, another German model manufacturer.
    The problem is that the 'Million $ Bridge' consisted of trusses of different size - but as an approximation it looks about the same.

    Hope this helps a bit.


    Attached Files:

  13. 77railer

    77railer Member

    Thanks Gang...that looks cool. I have no idea why one span is smaller then the others....anyone got a clue?

  14. zedob

    zedob Member

    I'm not a structural engineer, but I'd venture to say that it didn't need to be as deep as the others due to its length. It's 300' long and the others are 400'.
  15. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    think your right it looks like on the drawing the 450 ft span looks taller than the other 400 ft spans
  16. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Zedob and Jim,

    you are absolutely right. There is a mathematical relation between the length of a bridge span and the necessary height of the chords or trusses. However, there is no fixed numerical relation. It depends on the construction type of the bridge (massive steel girders vs. spidery lattice work like in this example here).

    As a rule of thumb, short steel bridges are built with massive girders, while long ones always use some sort of lattice work to save weight and material.

    Here, the different lengths of the sections may depend on the geological quality of the subsurface for the pillars (massive bedrock vs. soft rubble and gravel). Probably they had to plant the pilllars just there, where they are now.

  17. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I was more wondering why each section wasn't the same length. Semms odd each bridge is a different length.

  18. GeorgeHO

    GeorgeHO Member

    Let me second what Ron said. The 300 foot span is that length probably because if they made it 400 feet that would put the footings out in the deepest part of the river on unsure footing. Simarily, the rightmost span is 400 (vs 450) because if they moved the footing out another 50 feet, that too may have been too far towards the deepest part of the river. It looks like 400 feet was ideal for given construction methods as far as the steel work went, 300 and 450 a compromise necessitated by placement of footings.
  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I suspect the shorter span is due to some geologic feature that dictated where the piers would have to be placed. I answered this before I finished reading. Looks like others came to the same conclusion before I posted.
  20. espee

    espee New Member

    77, I have that issue right in front of me. There is nothing about the Alaska bridge anywhere in the issue.

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