HomeThoughts and MusingsThomas M. Tuerke on Model Railroading • Trestlation


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As I'm modeling a freelanced west-coast line that runs from the coast through the Sierras and into the desert, it almost goes without saying that I'll have at least one precarious trestle crossing a granite-lined chasm, and quite probably many more (including a long, low, elevated stretch over tidal flats) so it quickly became clear to me I would need to manufacture a trestle jig. There's nothing worse than having to assemble a bunch of bents and not getting them (or the sway braces) properly aligned.

In younger days, I assembled a pin-on-wood jig, but the pins just didn't offer enough support, especially for the very long bents (you needed to have a lot of pins!) A bit of serendipity in the form of access to a laser cutter had me rethink the jig idea, and I crufted up an interesting contraption that allows me to build bents—from as short as 10 scale feet as much as 70 scale feet in height—in about 15 minutes each.

So now, as time permits, I'm throwing together a bent or two here, another there, and hopefully soon there'll be a nice trestle to show for it. Stay tuned.