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The Hell Gate Bridge in HO

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The Hell Gate Bridge in HO
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 10:56 AM
I have started planning my new layout. It depicts the ex-New Haven shore line from New York to New Haven. I'm planning to have modules with the "landmarks" along the line. I've always admired the Hell Gate Bridge (If you've ever been on the Triboro, it's the red one visible looking towards Long Island, also featured in a recent Trains), and want to feature it in my layout. I'm not trying to model the whole bridge, but maybe just a tower and a stretch of the span.

In the December MR, there was an article on modeling the Nicholson Viaduct in PA. I thought about this method of construction for the towers, but the odd-shaped span is a real mystery. Anybody have kitbashing ideas?
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 11:06 PM
I remember this bridge as a kid. My parents crossed the Tri-borough Bridge often and I remember looking towards the HG Bridge to see if any trains were breezing through. I remember that the trains lookeded "tiny" compared to the huge structure. There was a toy version of the bridge made way back in the 1930s. My late father-in-laws wife had one.

Don't give up. I remember that MRR magazine has had numerous bridge articles since the 70s. E-mail the staff and see if they can point you in the right direction.

Hope you're successful.

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 11:27 PM
That is an attractive bridge. There is a webpage with photos & history of it, along with some other links that may be helpful in modeling it.

http://www.nycroads.com/crossings/hell-gate/

When the Triborough Bridge was proposed, the Hell Gate Bridge's designer proposed a second level to his bridge so the view of his bridge wouldn't be spoiled by the new, cheap-looking bridge.

Wayne
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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, June 22, 2004 11:30 PM
There are similar but much smaller arch spans used on a rail bridge over the Rhine at Cologne (the Hohenzoellen Bridge, if I've got the spelling right). Anyway, as aresult of this German manufacturers, Maerklin (and possibly others) built very small versions of this style of span suitable for a single track. While this is unlikely to give the right impression, checking one out if you can find one would give a good idea of the structure in three dimensions. There are a number of references on the web to the "Hell Gate Bridge" and the larger but similar "Sydney Harbour Bridge" (the Sydney bridge had six road lanes as well as the four rail tracks) and some of them will have basic drawings that you might be able to use. A feature of these two bridges is the change in the depth of the arch girder at at the ends to allow enough height for the trains (and catenary) to pass under the end "portal", so the upper span members look "flattened" compared to the lower span members in the arch.

Peter
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Posted by newhavenguy on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 7:42 AM
At 16,900 feet long and 100 feet wide that would be some module!!!! [;)]
Bill **Go New Haven**
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Posted by CNJ831 on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 8:12 AM
As newhavenguy's post implies, you really need to stop and consider just what you are planning to model! Using the widest extremes of selective compression this bridge (even lacking the approaches) would be absolutely huge. Even modeling just 1/2 the bridge in any reasonable fashion would require a space larger than the average layout! By example, at an NMRA convention years ago I saw a model of the Brooklyn bridge done in N-guage...it was more than 20 feet long without approaches! Unquestionably the most impressive scale model I've ever seen, the builder's wife related it had taken the man more than a decade to build!

A far better approach in this case would be to have the bridge appear at a rather end-on viewing angle in the distance as part of a photobackdrop. The tracks could be arranged to disappear behind several large urban structures as if heading for the bridge but in reality going into some staging tracks out of sight.

CNJ831
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Posted by leighant on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 8:29 AM
You might want to look at how Hell Gate Bridge was done in N scale.

N Scale (name of magazine) MarApr 2001 p.61

I believe his was somewhat compressed.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 8:58 AM
QUOTE: Originally posted by leighant

You might want to look at how Hell Gate Bridge was done in N scale.

Oh, you mean adrianiu might model it in a larger scale? In N scale the main span would be more than 6 feet long.

If I were modeling this area I think the bridge would be a large photo backdrop with trains disappearing behind the backdrop at one end of the bridge and re-emerging after the other end.

The lazy-mans way.

Wayne
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 9:48 AM
QUOTE:
At 16,900 feet long and 100 feet wide that would be some module!!!!


Newhavenguy-
No kidding! I'd never do the entire bridge! I said before that I only wanted to do one of the towers and maybe a stretch of the span. I decided to do this over the backdrop idea because of the unique catenary bridges on the approach. Nobody makes those, and they would be hard to kitbash!
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 9:53 AM
In HO, a SCALE model of the Hell Gate bridge does exist. It is a very large model and was on display at the Great Scale Train Show in Timonium (Maryland) on a number of occasions several years back. The model even features a police car parked by one of the abutments complete with an open pizza box on the hood of the car. Very Impressive.

I'm sorry but I do not have the details on the builder.

Dennis
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 10:12 AM
Dennis-
Thanks so much! I'm glad there's a model already out there! I'll be sure to do some research. Did you happen to notice if the tracks were under wire?
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 10:52 AM
I found out the name of the guy with the model of the Hell Gate everybody! His name is John Zampino, and he regularly displays his bridge at train shows and in modular layouts.

http://www.trainweb.org/NationalCapitalTrackers/NCTPhotosbo.htm
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 3:25 PM
I believe that the bridge DOES have wire but I'm not 100% sure. The size and other detail is a little overwhelming and I didn't look for the wire.

Dennis

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Posted by espeefoamer on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 3:45 PM
Yes the tracks on Hell Gate bridge are under wire,as part of the main line between NYC and New Haven.The whole line to Boston is now under wire.
Ride Amtrak. Cats Rule, Dogs Drool.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 4:45 PM
Espeefoamer-
I was asking about the model...The prototype has been under wire since its opening, and was electrified by the New York Connecting RR (sub. of Pennsy and New Haven)
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Posted by newhavenguy on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 7:14 PM
The bridge north approach is on a curve that goes from (travelingsouth) southwest to southeast and across Little Hell Gate brige from the main HG span and across the East river. You might be able to model one of the towers an a little of the span before going into a staging yard. This "implies" that the railroad continues to NYC. You's still have to consider the bridges 100 wide -4 track main. But that is much easier to deal with model wise.
Bill **Go New Haven**
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Posted by NHRRJET on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 10:39 PM
Tracks 3 and 4(now 1 and 2) on HGB which are the tracks that take trains to and from Pennsylvania Station were electrified in 1918. Tracks 5 and 6 that handled freight to/from Bay Ridge were electrified in 1927. Penn Central removed the catenary on 5 and 6; track 6 is now also gone. Here is a monumental structure that never handled the traffic it was intended to, and it has such potential to carry a huge traffic volume, both freight and passenger. Amtrak actually increased service over the bridge. Penn Central decimated it!
In my RR career I have crossed HGB countless times; to this day it never fails to impress me. It is a monument to AMERICAN ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION!
Richard L. Abramson
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Posted by krump on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 11:25 PM
... and I thought this post was referring to the "Hell's Gate" (airtram ? and pedestrian suspension bridge - I don't recall --- been decades since we stopped there ) here in BC. - complete opposite side of the continent.
Sounds like this is a worthy project - a monumental task, will look great.

cheers, krump

 "TRAIN up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" ... Proverbs 22:6

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