Garden Railways Review - April 2003
This review is reprinted with permission from Kalmbach Publications - Garden Railways Magazine
bridge and catwalk
24" deck girder bridge, $89.95; 24" catwalk/bridge-tie combination,
Steel deck-girder bridge and plastic tie-and-catwalk sections to sit on
high level of detail; bridge is powder coated steel, flat-black
well detailed, black-plastic tie strips with crisp simulated wood
code-332 rails not included. Dimensions: 24" long; 3-3/4" to top of
5-7/8" to top of railings; deck, 3-1/4" wide; catwalk 7-7/8" wide
High level of detail with the strength of steel
Rail not included; spike detail designed to hold rail down unusually
in relation to the otherwise high level of detail elsewhere, though
out of character with other commercially available track sections
bridge is the sum of two products, so I'll tackle each one separately.
there's the guts of the works, the steel deck girder. My first
was "wow." I've not seen this level of detail in a bridge in our
before. The internal bracing is even evident, something rarely seen
you look up from below. Add to that the fact that it's made from
and it's definitely a winner. It comes in a powder coated,
finish, so it should be able to survive outdoors without fear of
or corrosion for a good, long while. There is no scale specified, but
dimensions are such that it scales out well with any common outdoor
Bridges came in all shapes and sizes, and this one captures the look
dimensions of a typical deck-girder bridge. The "feet" of the bridge
slots cut into them, so the unit can be secured to a pier. My thought
be to use a concrete screw into a concrete-abutment casting. It's
that the bridge would go anywhere then.
only complaint, and this is very nit-picky, is that the sides may be too
apart for "scale." Typically, vertical supports on deck bridges were
under the rails, which in our gauge would be 45mm apart. This way,
weight of the passing train would be sent directly through the ties to
girders. The girders here are 2-1/2" apart, which isn't necessarily
as many narrow-gauge railroads used standard-gauge bridges.
far as putting ties on top of this bridge, you have a few options.
you can cut your own out of the material of your choice. This way,
can customize the decking to fit your particular scale and tastes.
Garden Metal Models also provides its own molded-plastic ties to
on top of these girders, if you prefer.
ties and catwalks come in 6" sections and have snap-on handrails and
railings. The detail of the molded plastic is very crisp. The
are designed to accommodate any code-332 rail (not included). My
complaint is in the rail anchors, which are coarse and out of
with the level of detail in the rest of the bridge.
instructions with the tie/catwalk sections show how to cut the sections
curves, or to remove one catwalk if you have a double-track mainline.
also shows how to assemble the handrails. As supplied to us, the kit
with 12" lengths of steel rod for the handrails. Personally, I'd pick
some longer lengths of 1/16" piano wire, so each handrail would be
across the entire bridge.
in all, I'm impressed with this bridge. It would look as good sitting
a shelf, showcasing your prized locomotive, as it would outside in the
garden. -K. Strong
A note from Garden Metal Models:
The complaint above about the spacing of the sides being too far apart is unfounded. The sides are typically set on 6'-6" or 7' centers for spans up to 70' long, and up to 9' for longer spans. This provides for lateral stiffness. As you know this IS wider than the 4'-8-1/2" standard gage rail spacing. A tremendous amount of research goes in to the development of each product so the end result is as realistic as production constraints allow.