Saturday, January 27, 2018

NOISY CREEK TRESTLE – 1— BASIC STRUCTURE

Closely following my model construction of the signature Salt Creek Trestle has been work on Noisy Creek Trestle.  Noisy Creek Trestle is the next major trestle up the Cascade Line from Salt Creek.  It crosses a steep ravine and is sandwiched between tunnels.  My model occupies one of the corner curves in my layout room, just as the prototype trestle is built on a curve. 

Noisy Creek Trestle posed new model construction challenges, mirroring issues the Southern Pacific faced with the prototype trestle.  Part of the prototype span fell down into the ravine in December 1964 due to a very heavy Pacific Coast storm.  A couple of freight cars are still down in the ravine, as well.  Another heavy storm in January 2008 led to a major mudslide nearby.  The damage from both of these storms closed the Cascade Lines for a couple of months each time.  While not facing storm effects, I did face construction challenges.

Views of the trestle can be seen on Joel Ashcroft’s website at:

Noisy Creek Trestle is three hundred feet long and features three towers and seven girder spans.  Almost every tower leg is a different length.  I am glad I developed construction techniques for different leg lengths with the end towers for Salt Creek Trestle.  Noisy Creek required all of that knowledge.  Follow along with the picture captions the construction and initial installation of this second major trestle.


Noisy Creek Trestle girders in place on the aluminum strap spine.  The girder spacers are the black blocks crossing the spine to hold the two girders parallel to each other.


Noisy Creek Trestle tower bents.  Note that almost every leg is a different length.  Even the same-length legs of the left tower required shortening the legs and cross struts from the original Micro Engineering castings.  I built the bents for the left tower twice, trying to get the strut gusset plates in the right places.


Noisy Creek Towers assembled and painted aluminum.


Noisy Creek Trestle with girders, towers and track in place.  Most of the tower leg piers were scratch-built from styrene to fit their individual height needs.  The right tower rests on more substantial piers—a result of the reconstruction after the 1964 storm damage.  The towers rest on support plates that in turn are adjusted to the correct height by a diagonally-cut 2x4 with splice plate (facing).  Note the rock sheds at both ends of the trestle.  This is rugged terrain!

My tandem construction of two of the three major steel trestles on the Cascade Line proved time-efficient and definitely moved me along toward completing these signature structures.  The learning curve for building Micro Engineering trestle towers is such that my first one for Salt Creek took several days, but the towers for Noisy Creek each took only a bit more than a day apiece.  Further, I could apply all other construction lessons learned with the simpler (though longer) Salt Creek Trestle on the more challenging Noisy Creek Trestle. 


My final Cascade Line steel trestle, Shady Creek, will have to await another break in my formal operating session schedule.  Track alignment choices I made during primary layout construction prevented me from installing the trestle spine.  The new spine has been formed and awaits installation.

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