Sydney STA

Sydney STA
Sydney STA fleet for layout

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Road bridge on Crystal Street

Its has been a while since my last post, busy family life with our annual family holiday in July and sickness in the family in August meant that the layout had taken low priority.

In my last post, I had started construction of the road bridge on my layout that would go over the main line. The bridge is roughly based on the Crystal Street road bridge in Petersham and I was fortunate enough to be able to obtain a copy of the drawings of the dimensions from the ARHS Research Centre. The drawing was dated from 1931 and gave me an indication of how tall and wide the structure should be. As my layout only has two tracks the length of the bridge will be modified.
These drawings pre-date the additional track and support made on the north side of the bridge.
Materials used
  • Scrap plywood
  • Thick cardboard and foamboard
  • Atlas N scale girder plate kit x 2.
  • Slaters 00 scale Plastikard English bond x 3
  • Wall Plaster 
Using the drawings I was able to cut the plywood to the desired height and length to represent the supports and the road base. Where brickwork butted out I used foamboard and thick cardboard to represent this. I was happy with how strong the bridge would be considering it would need to be solid enough to hold the tramway. I decided to clad, paint and weather both sides of the bridge although at present only on side is shown in view on the layout. However, later if this changes it provides the opportunity that I will not need to model the other side of the bridge later.
The girder plate was made by gluing two lengths of the Atlas N scale girder plate together and then
cutting it to the appropriate length.
Finally, I found it difficult to find a suitable material to represent the brickwork. I tried using a variety of Superquick brickpaper & Paperbrick online but  I was not happy with the colour and lack of texture.  
Also, whilst I did purchase Noch Brick sheets I found that the bricks were too big. In the end, I settled for Slaters 00 scale Plastikard English board to clad the structure.
Finally, after cladding the structure with the brick sheets I found gaps where the sheets met each other and used plaster to cover the joins. Furthermore, I used the plaster to provide a smooth finish for the top of the brickwork.
To achieve the brick colour, I used Dulux Rusted Crimson mixed with black and weathered it with a variety of acrylic browns, white for mortar as well as concrete colour. While 90% of the work is done, the bridge still requires tram tracks, painting of road base and footpath to be install to complete the picture.
Completed bridge and comparison
Right: Completed Crystal street road bridge weathered and with appropriate vehicles to represent the period of the mid to late 1960s when tramway services had since been removed.

.Left: Crystal Street road bridge in Petersham taken in April 2015 from Trafalgar street.