HO scale curved trestle bridge

Jim’s been in touch again with his HO scale curved trestle bridge – his last post is here.

“Hi Al.

Jim from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada back at ya.

Thought I would send Part 2 of my train layout video.

I started the layout in the winter of 2003 & only worked on it each winter since.

It has basically been finished since about 3 years ago except for purchasing new engines, rolling stock, people, animals & scenery.

Watching Dangerous Dave’s tear down & rebuild is starting to get to me, but then again, so is my arthritic knee & that keeps a tear down & rebuild in the far background for me.

I very much enjoy receiving your e-mails every day & there always seems to be a good tip in each & every one.

So keep ‘em coming & kudos to you & all the model railroaders out there who are submitting their efforts to the cause.

You can see a track plan in the previous posts.

The HO scale curved trestle bridge was not a purchase. I cut 12″ long by ¾” thick pine boards with a bandsaw into strips of ¼” x ¼”.

Those pieces were then hand cut into various lengths for the cross members & struts.

Over 500 individual pieces were used in the making of this trestle. With cutting, gluing, clamping & drying it took me approx.3 weeks of afternoons & evenings to complete.

Interestingly, I assembled it upside down on a work table & when finished, fitted it into the space reserved in the layout & then plastered in the quarry & gorge to the trestle footings.

The mountain & waterfalls were already finished & in place before placement of the trestle.

The HO scale curved trestle bridge is 28″ long by 9″ high and 4 ½” wide at the bottom and tapers to 1¾” at the top.

HO scale dimensions are: 203′ long, 65′ high.

I fitted the coal cars with a false bottom & then glued down about ¾” of real crushed Cape Breton coal found between the old railway tracks about a mile from my house.

Will send Part 3 of my layout at a later date.

Many thanks to the viewers for their interest & very kind comments.


HO scale curved trestle bridge

HO scale curved trestle bridge

12x14 HO scale steam train freight

HO scale curved trestle bridge

HO scale lights dusk

HO scale loco tunnel

12x14 HO scale steam train signals

12x14 HO scale coal hopper

HO scale freight hopper

HO scale container yard

A huge thanks to Jim for sharing his HO scale curved trestle bridge – just goes to show it doesn’t matter at what pace you build your layout, they are all fun.

Slow and steady really does the trick. Jim’s fabulous trestle bridge demonstrates that in spades.

Please do leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts on how ‘long’ a layout should take.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you get started on your layout, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

25 Responses to HO scale curved trestle bridge

  1. stef Loisou says:

    Jim, a very realistic looking and operating layout; no need to change a thing? enjoyed viewing
    from Stef..a 70 year old Lionel train enthusiast

  2. joe wierer says:

    Very , very nice layout…and nicely filmed/presented.

  3. Warren Ferguson says:

    Beautiful layout, Jim! I don’t see any reason to tear down and rebuild, unless you’re just trying to outdo Dangerous Dave.
    Keep up the good work!
    Warren, AL, USA

  4. Great stuff, like the loaded coal cars and the looked so real. thanks

  5. paul vogel says:

    Been doing my HO layout for a long time. I wish I was as good as you. Excellent work. Fun to watch. Thanks for sharing !! Paul NE Ohio USA

  6. Rob McCrain says:

    A really wonderful layout. Great work, good track plan and some fabulous buildings.

  7. Great layout you have there Jim …..I have a few joint problems , new knee 2 yers ago , and now getting bad in my hands , but just can not resist the challenge of new layout , but think this will be the last time ..Dangerous Dave

  8. Phil Knerr says:

    enjoyed watching the nice train action on your well done layout!!! GOOD JOB!

  9. Rod Mackay says:

    Jim, if the constructor bug is still itching, you could do a small portable layout in sections just say three feet long, that you could work on seated comfortably on a table or suchlike, and simply turn up on their sides for wiring etc., no great contortions or bending needed. Two or three boards like that could stack out of the way under the main layout when not in use or being worked on, and be taken in the back of the car to events. In a space say 9’ x 2’ you could have an HO industrial switching line, or maybe an HOn2 passing station with hidden sidings behind in 6’x 2’, or a streetcar or interurban line.

  10. Wm althaus says:

    Really enjoyed the video tour of your layout Jim. You have put time and effort into it and it shows! Nicely done :D. Bill in Virginia

  11. Tony says:


  12. Robert Brady says:

    Ho the way to go, Great photog great job, Love the close up shots !
    The Critic

  13. William A. Kennedy says:

    Very cool
    Great job

  14. Greg Marples says:

    Jim, all I have to say is, titanium doesn’t hurt! Do your research and find the best surgeon you can, they aren’t all equal. Really nice trestle, by the way! Interesting mixture of steam, diesel and modern vehicles.🤔 I model the 1920’s and really have trouble finding N scale cars and trucks to fit.

  15. George Zaky says:

    Beyond awesome layout, craftmanship & planning. I would not change a thing because it is so good. When the heavy guns like Rob, Rod, Bill & D.D. say its good then it is awesome.
    When you cant solve a problem-change the problem. Like expand up or down, above, below or around.
    I used 1 1/2″ hardboard insulation ( not the pink stuff) 8″ above the base board framed 16″ OC so I did not have to crawl underneath. This works with HO or N because the trains are not that heavy and the hardboard did not warp. STK- save the knees.
    Cant keep an artist like you idle so do something and show it off.
    Be safe

  16. Brett Middleton says:

    I absolutely love the layout! Very nice Job!

  17. Art in NJ says:

    Very nice layout.

  18. Erick says:

    Pretty good layout.!!!!!!!

  19. George says:


    WOW. Your layout is terrific. For example, this is first time I’ve seen “people” on those pedestrian overpasses.

    But one quibble. Is there any danger of that construction crew might weakening the foundation of your very impressive trestle bridge?

  20. Neal Jeffrey Perry says:

    Some people have the “touch” and Jim, surely does.


  21. ROGER TURNER says:

    I have been watching this site for some time and enjoy it very much. Have not seen a layout I didn’t like, nor a post I didn’t learn something from.
    As to the question of how long a layout should take to build? That is a question that I don’t believe has an answer, or at least no one I know, seems to have a clue about it.

    I have been working on my layout just under 2 years and while it may appear somewhat done to the untrained eye, I could easily make a list of at least 50 things I can identify to be completed and would probably add more as I made the list.
    When my wife looks at it, she says, “your almost done”, and looks at me funny when I respond, not really.

  22. HELLO AL Thanks again for perking up my day here at the nursing home !!
    You asked the question on the above post on Jim’s HO layout . The Question
    was ” When is a layout done “. When the builder says it’s done, it’s done,
    however, actually, they are never done even if the builder passes and the next
    generation gets into it. A perfect example is Dangerous Dave. I’ll bet that if he could, he would add another hundred foot on one end of his loft. I’ve done the
    same thing on a smaller scale going from 4×8 to 15x 20 so I could run seven
    locomotives DC at the same time. Triple main with 36 in. curves. So for my money, layouts are never done…Thanks again AL……RJL

  23. DJfromNJ says:

    WOW! That trestle bridge is something else. A real show stopper. Building it upside down is quite clever! Congrats on a job well done.

  24. Tom Provo says:

    I love the trestle.

  25. Louis Caputo says:

    I echo all the compliments and am especially in awe of the work to construct that superb trestle from scratch! Would have loved to have seen more attention given to weathering buildings and trains in order to introduce more realism. Modelers are perhaps reluctant to “mar” the surface of such items in the event we may sell them one day, but many brands of chalk shades would allow a less than permanent and natural finish. Just something to consider.

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