Large Scale Central

Sammamish River Slough bridge

Well since it’s almost midnight and I’m wide awake with insomnia, I figured now was the time to post my build log about my trestle the Devon mentioned in my MIK build.

One of the more recognizable scenes in the area I’m modeling is the bridge over the Sammamish slough (it connects Lake Sammamish with Lake Washington). The railroad crosses over the slough or runs parallel to it quite a bit in various spots.

The bridge over the slough in Redmond is a combination of a deck girder bridge and a pile trestle for a total span of 272’. Perfect for a model railroad sized bridge with 5 sets of bents on either side of the deck girder.


As much as I tried to avoid duckunders, I have one that is a necessary evil. In other words, If I didn’t have the one coming out of the house/garage to the layout the layout wouldn’t exist.

I figured this would a be good place for the bridge and I could make use of my 2’ garden metal models bridge that I’ve had now for years.

This is what the area looked like for the past 2 years as I’ve been building the layout. Ugly.

This is going to make the area go from an ugly area to something closer to the prototype…

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Awesome job Craig. And even though you had mentioned to me that the steel bridge was not prototypical it sure makes a great stand in.

The prototype deck girder bridge looks like a turntable bridge. But I can’t prove it one way or another. But it doesn’t have the traditional “square block” shape of a girder bridge. And I no idea how they would have moved and old turntable bridge out there.

Here it is on Google maps.
Dropped pin


Nice use of PVC supports, i rebuilt my first outdoor bridge with them last year. one thing i will mention is that you most definitely want to tie both bases together at installation, or something will move it out of alignment. here in NH it is a must due to frost heaves, and still i need to make some seasonal adjustments.

Al P.

I’m actually not going to tie the bases together. I’ve had both ends floating like the above photo for a while and haven’t had any issues. We don’t get much frost heave here in the PNW.

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Craig, I see what you are saying, the ends are sorta “notched” like a turn table is on the ends on the prototype.

If you get on the trail from the street view and look at the underside of the span, there is also a plate covering the center of the span underside. Looks like a turn table is plausible :sunglasses:

The length of the deck girder section makes sense at 70’ to be an old turntable as well.

But the question becomes how the heck did they move it into place?! This bridge goes back to the NP days or longer.

Why would that be a difficult task. I am asking in earnestness? Depending on where it would have come from they can move stuff that long can’t they? I have no idea but 70’ doesn’t seem un-doable considering they move things like airplane fuselages and wind turbine blades. And I would think a derrick crane could place it. I am spit balling but it just not seem like it would be that difficult. But honestly what do I know?

I realize we are talking about a different era but given the way the Milwaukee built the trestles through my area it seems do able even back then. There was just a big derrick at the front of the track laying train that lifted the big girders in place. Why not a turn table bridge? Could it have just rested on a couple of makeshift trucks something akin to logging disconnects?

I figured it would just be heavy to try and lift that thing into place. But who really knows.

And no I’m not about to go replace the GMM bridge with a properly designed ex turntable bridge. Well at this point in my life. Don’t say never!

Page 113 will give you some reading references if you wanna dig further. I did find it interesting that it was suspected to have caught fire.

The Wilburton Trestle in Bellevue caught fire years ago, but that’s not the same one as mine. Same railroad line, kinda…

The whole line got sold to the Port of Seattle from BNSF and then the Port turned around and gave it to King County, when in turn leased part of the line to a short line RR who kept it afloat for a few years until the remaining customers got screwed by BNSF not interchanging cars…

All because the WSDOT didn’t want to replace a railroad bridge over a freeway after WSDOT expanded the freeway by 4 lanes in each direction. BNSF was happy to have an excuse to get rid of the line. But did the get rid of the line access to the Renton Boeing plant? Oh course not, they needed to keep taking in the millions for 737 plane deliveries…

I’m not bitter at all am I?:roll_eyes::joy::thinking:

A 70’ bridge and a crane to move it is no problem , depending on the landing site a couple of cranes to set it in place would be much safer than one reaching way out, but totally doable with few issues

Well page 113 in the PDF link I posted doesn’t show the Wilburton Trestle it shows a bridge that sure looks identical to yours! If you read the history on it it says that it appears to have been burned and shows superficial burn damage on the east side?

Well if I looked at the right page 113… I was looking at PDF page number 113, not physical page number 113.

See the comment now. The eastside would be the side of the trail that runs underneath.

So I thought the trestle I modeled looked like it was burnt at one point.

July 6th, 1988 article from the Sammamish Valley News.

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