The O-Scale Gator Lines

of Frank Gillette

- - Trestle #1 - -



Here is a refresher picture of the trestle as it was when assembly was complete.

Trestle #1 - mostly not stained

The basic material is 2x4 lumber that was ripped to produce scale wood. The dark bridge is oak and it has already been stained as the rest of the bridge will be. The base is 1/8 inch, door skin plywood. The track support is more lumber ripped and cut to fit. The trestle was built upside down on a template made from more door skin. One template was used at the layout site to align the approach tracks. The template was clamped to a flat surface to assure that the tract support layer would be flat.


Here you can see the stained bridge setting on the layout at the final location.

Trestle #1 - Stained and in place

The stain is dark American Walnut made by Minwax. Two coats were applied with an airbrush. The staining would have been much easier if applied to the lumber before assembly. However, the stain reduces the adhesion of the carpenter’s glue and makes the structure much weaker and less reliable. The O-Scale trains that will run over this thing are heavy. Some will be operated by children with no respect for speed limits. So, the vertical and horizontal stresses will be significant. The trestle must be strong.


The left side before staining.

Trestle #1 - Left with no stain


The middle section. You can see the brass escutcheon pins in the stained, oak bridge section.

Trestle #1 - Center Bridge

The bridge section had to be wider than the top of the trestle. The reason is that the trestle follows the track. Each section of track support between two trestle bents needs to accommodate only a small amount of curvature. The bridge section covers a longer running distance and therefore must support track with more curvature. All of the parts of the trestle and the bridge are made from straight materials. Only the track will have a curve.


Here is the same view after the structure was stained. Note that the differences in the wood species are hidden.

Trestle #1 - Stained


The right side before staining.

Trestle #1 - Right side, no stain

Here is an HD video survey of the Alachua Central as it existed in April 2013.



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