Large Scale Central

Wood Trestle

I am new to G scale have had Lionel O for years, never had a permanent lay out. The wife is excited about having a train in our garden.
This is my first foray into scratch building. I have been a wood worker for years so its natural that I build a trestle with wood. The trestle will be about 18 feet long with a bridge in the middle over a water feature. Yes the trains will be set up around a small pond, bog, stream and waterfall.


Welcome aboard Mark. Nice looking bent looks like you’re jumping in with both feet :sunglasses:

oh! somebody, who still knows, that wood can be joined with nails, not only with glue!

be welcome!

near a water feature? so rot, where the wood touches earth, will be your worst enemy.
what do you plan to do? build on concrete or brick foundations, or use palisander sleepers under the bents?

if you got some sparetime, this might amuse you:

Welcome. If you like model trains you will find that the multi faceted hobby of G scale is the best.

Trestles are really cool and an 18’ long one is huge! I am wondering how thick are the main members in your bent? When I have built trestles I rip a 1x5 on my table saw. I set the fence at 1/2 ( I have a zero plate so the wood does not fall in) and cut several pieces. I then turn the 1/2x3/4 piece on its side and cut it again. This gives me a 1/2x1/2 beam and a 1/4x1/2 support piece.
I have a laminated plan mounted on a board that I build on and this allows me to quickly build identical bents for my project. The plan is by Garden Textures. They are out of business now but maybe someone has a plan that you could purchase from them. It just makes it easier.
I use Tightbond3 woodglue and 18G brad and 23G pin nails for my projects.
Here is a low trestle I built using mahogany.

Building stuff for the RR is fun. Be sure to check out the Mik’s build Challenge that is just getting started.
There are some really talented people on this forum.


First picture is of the jig I am using the second is what I did today. The posts and top are 1/2x1/2” and the bracing is 1/8x3/8” I used the nails because I think they look like bolts and there is Tight Bond lII on each joint. I also have to pre drill for the nails. The wood is white oak which is rot resistant. Most of the bents will be on a retaining wall. I have been watching the MIK, very interesting and fun to read, learning some things too. I will share a picture of where this will go.

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The bents are looking good and even though you are new it looks like you have it all under control. :slightly_smiling_face:

Happy RRing!

One word of caution… For out door usage… Try very very hard not to use anything thiner then 3/16 of an inch… that seems to be my minimum size that doesn’t go wonky after a while outside ( I’m in North West New Mexico 6,000 ft elev.) Even if it looks a bit too thick for braces or such. Every one here will agree with me that replacing the wonky thin pieces in a couple of years is way, way no fun.

I will only add that if you are using glue and I assume you are, make sure to use Titebond 3 or some such similiar glue. Titebond 3 is waterproof. Not just resistant.

I am using Titebond 3. So what happens to the thin pieces ? They warp or rot ? I am in NY north east of Binghamton. Snowing today no track laying for me until spring.

I’d say it warps and pops off in the hotter climes.

I have found that trestles are traps for leaves and anything else blowing around the yard. All the fancy bracing looks great but I keep mine to a minimum because it is easier to pull leaves out of it. :grin:

I have plenty of leaves. Maybe I will cover it with netting same as we do with our ponds to keep the leaves out. :grin:

Welcome aboard LSC!

(adding this to meet the 20 character limit)

Here is a 4’ long timber deck bridge and part of a timber trestle that I built in my shop and assembled in my yard.

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Oooh, that’s nice. How long did it take to build?

Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing your work.

Nice bridge and trestle! Can we see pics of it in the yard?

Welcome to the forum…

Also here is 2- 2’ tru-truss bridges I built


And yes they are a :maple_leaf: collectors

Here is an 18” long pony truss bridge. Would anyone have any idea about how much it would sell for at a show. Took about 15 hours to build. Thank you

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By the looks of your work and skill, I would guess $20 an hour or more, plus material costs , to some it sounds high but you have some mad skills

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