Large Scale Central

Bridge from Train Shed to Garden

I have a Tuff Shed that is holding all of my trains, etc. I have a staging area inside to build the train and then send it out through a pet door onto the garden layout. I’m looking for ideas on what kind of material to build the bridge expanse between the shed and roadbed. I’d like it to be removable so I could still to get the area for storage purposes, etc.

The distance from the shed to the roadbed is about 5-6 feet. I’m planning about a 2% grade…

Any thoughts are appreciated


I would personally design my railroad without any lift outs, or foldup bridges, etc. if it was the only way to excess the railroad on an everyday way to get to the railroad for running of the trains. Now like you said, to get to a storage area for maintaince materials, wheelbarrow, tools, etc. I guess that might work for some, but still becomes a problem with keeping the track aligned at that point, just because of movement of the ground, etc., you will always be adjusting it.


My pal Jerry has a long bridge made of square-section aluminum, perhaps 2" square. I’ll give him a nudge to explain. (In this pic the supports are dummy - it is long and needs no support.)

This bridge is also made from 2" x 2" architectural aluminum tubing and is 8 feet long. The sides were intentionally sliced at the mid point to sinulate a section break where a pier will go. Even with the slice it’s extremely sturdy…

The stuff is not cheap, but it will last forever. I added styrene sheet top and bottom plus styrene angles on the sides to make it look like a welded plate girder. The deck is Cedar.

It is an extrusion with lots of reinforcement inside…

As Pete mentioned, I used aluminum tubing, but unlike Jon mine was 2" x 3", as I liked the 3" width as it more closely matched the width of the ties. My bridge is 20 feet long, and tho I have concrete abutments every 3 ft or so, the tubing is very stiff and could easily go longer so you should have no problems. BTW mine was a 24 ft piece, so I cut it with a carbide blade on a radial arm saw. It cut fine, but better have ear protection!


Richard Mynderup said:

I’d like it to be removable so I could still to get the area for storage purposes, etc.

How removable ? As like pick it up yourself or a crane removable ? I know how to make 4 man removable bridges but I suppose I need to tone down as I’m getting older which makes most of you guys older than me!

Just asking how removable

Track power or Battery??


Could you post a photo of the area? Also, you mentioned a 2% grade. That could prove to be a big problem. The grade would need to extend some on either end of the bridge for it to work. Does the bridge need to look prototype or just functional?

Thanks for the advice!! I am currently unable to upload any pictures because my account is set to default…I made a 1 year donation to LSC to renew a few weeks ago but evidently it hasn’t been officially credited. I’ve messaged Bob but I guess I’ll have to email him directly.

But to answer a few questions…the bridge is going to be installed in the backstage area and not readily visible to visitors so it doesn’t have to look fancy or prototypical. In order to get the 2% grade the bridge will be connected to a spur that will run between 15 and 20 feet and then to the mainline.

And, really as I look at things the bridge doesn’t have to be removable.

Hope to post pictures soon!



There is a Coast Aluminum store in Fresno, some fairly thin walled channel or IBeam or 2 pieces of angle aluminum to hold the track should be available from them, or maybe Lowe’s or the Orange guys, aluminum downspout if it’s wide enough with maybe a few extra braces would work well for what you need it to do. Some simple braces nailed to the fence should hold it up.

Coast Aluminum

1360 E North Ave


just west of 99 and North Ave.

The bridge on the left is a liftout made from the safety rail of a bunk bed found at the local recycle centre, it is 6’3" long and was supported each end by a block of timber with Hilmans lift out bridge clamps.

It is made of light guage steel but there is no reason why box section aluminium could not be used.

I have a small lift up on my new layout made of aluminium box section that is pop riveted together. See blog for pictures Ringbalin Light Railway G Division: 7. Stage 2- June 2020 The Lift Up Bridge Rail Decks are Built (

Ringbalin Light Railway G Division: 9. Stage 2-June 2020 Lift Up Bridge Finished; Stage 2 is Complete (


Here are a few pictures of the area where the bridge will be installed…due to the alignment of the shed there will be a slight curve in order to connect to the future vinyl PVC roadbed.

This second picture shows the pet door on the left and an approximate where the roadbed will start (the track placed on the transformer box)

This third picture shows the run that the spur will connect to at some point.

Based on the 3rd picture, I’d take that shed run straight down the backside of the layout

and connect down at the curve with a switch into the layout there… Gives you a long run

to ease the grade, providing you have the track for it and a switch…

Andy, that is what I’m planning to do…I’m thinking of going all the way to where that lantern is hanging.

Richard Mynderup said:

Andy, that is what I’m planning to do…I’m thinking of going all the way to where that lantern is hanging.

Cool… (

Did you build your bridge yet Richard?

I have a spot on my RR where the track crosses a walkway and I built a simple girder bridge using 3 pieces of wood glued and nailed to form a “U” shape and painted black. The track sits on the inside which is 6" wide to allow for wide trains to pass. My RR is track powered so I took 4 Hillman rail clamps and cut off half of the lip that holds them to the track. This allows the ends of the bridge track to extend out from it and rest on half of the clamp with the other being firmly fixed to the stationary track.

I have a photo in the old freight shed but I can’t seem to access it?

Here is a video that has a train going over the lift out section. It appears at the 2:03 mark.

Hi Todd,

Sorry for the delay in responding to you…things have kind of come to a screeching halt on my railroad since the first of the year. But no, unfortunately I haven’t been able to build the bridge yet. I love the video…nicely done!!

I’ll hopefully get out now that the weather is getting better and it is lighter later.