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Scratchbuilding Towers for a Vertical Lift Bridge

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Posted by zstripe on Monday, April 08, 2019 5:29 AM

richhotrain
I finished the front side of one tower, so 1 side down and 7 to go.

Rich,

Looks good so far!......

Hopefully, You mean You only have 3 more to go......remember the inside 4 are different than the outside 4 and are as wide as the mainspan, with height clearance for the equipment. You also don't show any footings on the bottom of the side structure. Are You going to add those?

You asked Me to stay with You.....so just asking......

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 08, 2019 5:48 AM

zstripe
 
richhotrain
I finished the front side of one tower, so 1 side down and 7 to go. 

Rich,

Looks good so far!......

Hopefully, You mean You only have 3 more to go......remember the inside 4 are different than the outside 4 and are as wide as the mainspan, with height clearance for the equipment. You also don't show any footings on the bottom of the side structure. Are You going to add those?

You asked Me to stay with You.....so just asking......

Frank 

Good points, good questions. And, yes, Frank, I am counting on your continuing comments and advice.

Yeah, it all depends on how you count the "sides". Two towers, so each tower has a front and back section and two side sections. And, as you point out, the side sections are different than the front and back sections.

I need to consider some type of footings for the towers. I have thought about it, but I have not reached any conclusions. Give me your thoughts. On the prototype, the towers for this bridge sit on concrete piers sunk deep into the ground.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by zstripe on Monday, April 08, 2019 8:43 AM

Rich,

On the last pic' above where the pier bumper pilings are above the light, You could put two on each end of the towers that You just made, but not quite as tall as the ones are above. Sort of like putting legs on a table. Those footings are bolted to the concrete pilings that are sunk into the ground. They are there to keep the girders of the towers off the direct groundand impead rain run-off. You will still need a deck in the towers so You could make the footings part of the deck. Keeping in mind.....to give ample room for clearance, height most important and width. It looks to Me that the towers You have made already, may be a little short, height wise. You can make up for that with the deck. I made sure that the inside height clearance for mine would allow Intermodal double stacks......top of rail to bottom inside girders/bracing on mainspan and towers with a little extra at 24' and 1/2'' scale ft.

Just like how this double stack fits under the end of this overpass, with a few scale inches to spare......there are I-beams under the overpass that also had to be set the same clearance.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, April 08, 2019 9:34 AM

Looking the pictures from Ed's link, it looks like the North foundation is surrounded by sheet pile, and small trees and shrubs.

The South end, looks like the two front legs of the tower are on on a piling/coffer dam type pier, then there is a short section of bridge, and then the rear legs.

No close up of the South end rear legs, but probably the concrete is wrapped in sheet piling like North end.

Frank's foundation is different than your prototype.

I just notice the last picture in Ed's post with the 5 bridges side by side !  Wow.  Those iron workers had a steady job!

Tower section is looking good!

Mike.

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, April 08, 2019 11:06 AM

Here's a typical, shaky, Youtube video of 21st. Street but there are a few "glimpses" between the chain-link fence of the landing feet and the beefy gusset plates located at the bottom of the movable span and the tower.

At least is gives some idea of the arrangement. Note that there are beams similar to a deck girder bridge that supports the track above the concrete. Probably a good detail to try to incorporate into your design.

Also note: a good look at the "guide plates" that hold the movable span in alignment with the towers.

Here are some detail photos from one of those Calumet lift bridges that may give you some ideas:

 Calumet_lift by Edmund, on Flickr

And a crop. Note the spare sheave in the weeds. What is that cut-off lattice column from? Lots of interesting details here. The Central Valley stair and railing kits would be handy, too.

 Calumet_lift-crop by Edmund, on Flickr

The blurry figure on the walkway looks like it is the operator or maintenance worker looking over the passing Amtrak train?

 Calumet_lift-crop-sheave by Edmund, on Flickr

—and here is a look at the landing of the middle bridge:

 Calumet_lift-crop-R by Edmund, on Flickr

Perhaps the Walther's 933-4559 bridge shoe set could have some useful parts for the anchor plates?

 

https://www.walthers.com/bridge-shoes-adapters-assortment-kit

 

Thanks again for keeping us informed on your great project.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 08, 2019 1:27 PM

zstripe

You will still need a deck in the towers so You could make the footings part of the deck. 

I'm losing you, Frank. When you say that I need a deck in the towers, I am not sure what you mean. I also am not clear what you mean when you sat that I could make the footings part of the deck. Do you mean a deck at the base of each tower?

zstripe
 

It looks to Me that the towers You have made already, may be a little short, height wise. You can make up for that with the deck. I made sure that the inside height clearance for mine would allow Intermodal double stacks......top of rail to bottom inside girders/bracing on mainspan and towers with a little extra at 24' and 1/2'' scale ft.

I am confused here as well. A little short height wise?  Do you mean the overall height of the tower, or the height of the lowest X-braced section?

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 08, 2019 1:39 PM

gmpullman

Here's a typical, shaky, Youtube video of 21st. Street but there are a few "glimpses" between the chain-link fence of the landing feet and the beefy gusset plates located at the bottom of the movable span and the tower.

Note that there are beams similar to a deck girder bridge that supports the track above the concrete. Probably a good detail to try to incorporate into your design.

OK, I must be slow today. I am not understanding something here.

Ed, which "beefy gusset plates" are you referring to? And, which beams are you referring to that "support the track above the concrete"? Sorry if I am confused, but I need a little more help here.

Rich

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, April 08, 2019 4:20 PM

richhotrain
Ed, which "beefy gusset plates" are you referring to?

Looking at the "freeze frame" of the Youtube video above, I was refering to the eight gussets that support the roller guides.

 

 PRR Guide Roller by Edmund, on Flickr Nathan Holth Photo

It looks like there is a part on that Walthers sprue that would probably work for these.

 

richhotrain
which beams are you referring to that "support the track above the concrete"?

 Calumet_lift-crop-beam by Edmund, on Flickr

The approach to the movable span looks like it is supported on girders that are similar to those you would find on a deck-type box-beam bridge. 

Micro Engineering and Central Valley both have bridge beams that could be used here.

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 08, 2019 4:34 PM

gmpullman
 
richhotrain
Ed, which "beefy gusset plates" are you referring to? 

Looking at the "freeze frame" of the Youtube video above, I was refering to the eight gussets that support the roller guides. 

richhotrain
which beams are you referring to that "support the track above the concrete"?

The approach to the movable span looks like it is supported on girders that are similar to those you would find on a deck-type box-beam bridge. 

OK, I see what you are saying. Thanks, Ed. It's been a long day. Laugh

Rich

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Posted by zstripe on Monday, April 08, 2019 4:49 PM

Rich,

What I am trying to say........If You do not add any footings to the towers and have the tower track deck set inside and the towers setting directly on the ground, the bridge main span will not go high enough to give clearance to river traffic and in effect the mainspan will be too low to the river.

Look at this pic' and think of the Homasote the bridge is on as the water and where the towers and approach track deck is as the ground. The principal is the same with the square or boxed towers. On the photos that Ed posted show an abutment built into the ground side and concrete extensions a little further from the abutments so the closest tower footings rest on them. The CMR bridge was based on a wider river, where there was no need to go bank to bank with a Canal type river bridge like the  Chgo bridge is used for. They set up the CMR mainspan at the deepest center of the river.

There is also a lot more weight having to be supported on both tower ends so the deck beams and everything else would be larger in size than the mainspan deck. Like the size of the deck girders under the tower that ED is referring to.

Pic' can be clicked on for a larger view........

Think of the towers in the pic' as being vertical/square where the sloped one is and move the end/deck footings where the speaker is on the right, directly under the tower end.

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, April 08, 2019 4:52 PM

Here's a good example of the reasoning behind the skew:

 Calumet-skew by Edmund, on Flickr

By keeping the span shorter considerable weight can be saved. Thus counterweights, lifting machinery and steel members are kept to a minimum when a waterway must be crossed at an angle.

For anyone interested, here is a very interesting history of the details on these Calumet River spans:

https://cdn.loc.gov/master/pnp/habshaer/il/il0800/il0836/data/il0836data.pdf

Cheers, Ed

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 08, 2019 5:56 PM

gmpullman

By keeping the span shorter considerable weight can be saved. 

Yes, that is the key reason for the engineers selecting skewed towers as the preferred design.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, April 08, 2019 7:36 PM

zstripe

Rich,

What I am trying to say........If You do not add any footings to the towers and have the tower track deck set inside and the towers setting directly on the ground, the bridge main span will not go high enough to give clearance to river traffic and in effect the mainspan will be too low to the river.

OK, I see what you are driving at. 

The bridge that I built is designed so that the bridge track rests on a system of girders, floor beams and stringers. I am thinking that I will build this same system at the base of the towers. The four legs of each tower will sit on bridge shoes, or something similar.

Rich

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Posted by mobilman44 on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 4:49 AM

As a native Chicagoan (Lane Tech - '62), I've followed this project with interest since the beginning.  Rich has done an outstanding job on this very unusual, complicated, difficult and time consuming project.  This is what serious modeling is about, and I applaud him for his efforts!

ENJOY  !

 

Mobilman44

 

Living in southeast Texas, modeling the "postwar" Santa Fe and Illinois Central 

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 7:01 AM

Yep, I like following his build.  That Coors house was cool too!

And besides, from this current bridge stuff, I learned what the Alton Junction thing is all about.  Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 7:44 AM

Thanks, guys, I appreciate the kind words.

Yeah, I was very pleased with the Coors Family Mansion. It was a true scratchbuild, and it was my first real effort at scratchbuilding.

I finished the second section of the first tower yesterday. It is a mirror image of the first section, and it will become the rear section of the tower from a viewer's perspective when it is on the layout. I plan to start the first of the two side sections next, and I will post some pics when I have something to show.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 7:55 AM

Frank, check your PM's.

Rich

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Posted by zstripe on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 9:40 AM

Rich,

I answered You and also showed a photo of the abutment arrangement I was talking about in my first PM.....should help You understand better........

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, April 09, 2019 11:30 AM

zstripe

Rich,

I answered You and also showed a photo of the abutment arrangement I was talking about in my first PM.....should help You understand better........

Take Care! Big Smile

Frank 

Thanks Frank, that helped a lot.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 13, 2019 12:03 PM

I have to say, I knew that this would be a difficult project, but this is proving even more difficult than I could have imagined. The parts are small and require a lot of gluing and fitting. There are a lot of angles and squaring is critical. I am finding out that I lack the proper tools in some instances. 

I just finished the superstructure of the first tower, and it took 128 pieces of Central Valley Model Works Heavy Laced Beams, plus a whole bunch of Tichy Train Group Rivet Plates.

These photos are preliminary, and probably premature, but here is the first tower superstructure before adding the deck at the base and the sheave platform on top. I haven't glued the four sides together yet because I want to use these sections as templates for the second tower.

So, forgive me for using spring clamps in these photos. I also have a lot of finishing work to do including some putty for gaps and some final painting of missed spots.

Rich 

P1010865.jpg

P1010864.jpg

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, April 13, 2019 12:09 PM

richhotrain
I have to say, I knew that this would be a difficult project, but this is proving even more difficult than I could have imagined.

But the results are fantastic and you have a piece of artwork that is unique to your layout.

You have captured the massiveness which is a hallmark of this type of structure. Excellent work, indeed!

Regards, Ed

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Posted by Track fiddler on Saturday, April 13, 2019 12:18 PM

Fascinating Rich.  She is a thing of beauty.  Your efforts are all worthwhile.

One of my bridges I built took me an excess of 90 hours.  That bridge was not as complex as the one you are building.  Keep up the great workYes

TF

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 13, 2019 1:58 PM

gmpullman
 
richhotrain
I have to say, I knew that this would be a difficult project, but this is proving even more difficult than I could have imagined. 

But the results are fantastic and you have a piece of artwork that is unique to your layout.

You have captured the massiveness which is a hallmark of this type of structure. Excellent work, indeed!

Regards, Ed 

Thank you very much, Ed. I am sticking with the same proportions between the towers and the bridge as the prototype so that it will look like the prototype.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 13, 2019 2:00 PM

Track fiddler

Fascinating Rich.  She is a thing of beauty.  Your efforts are all worthwhile.

One of my bridges I built took me an excess of 90 hours.  That bridge was not as complex as the one you are building.  Keep up the great workYes

TF 

Thank you very much, TF. The amount of time consumed on this project is enormous. I have no time for afternoon naps. Laugh

Rich

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Posted by mbinsewi on Saturday, April 13, 2019 2:17 PM

Lookin great Rich!  Massive.  It's going to be great!

Nothing gets in the way of my PM naps, because after nap time, it's Drinks time, before diner. Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike.

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 13, 2019 2:45 PM

mbinsewi

Lookin great Rich!  Massive.  It's going to be great!

Nothing gets in the way of my PM naps, because after nap time, it's Drinks time, before diner. Smile, Wink & Grin

Mike. 

Thanks very much, Mike. It is, indeed, massive, and I have to continually compare it to photos of the prototype to make sure that I maintain the proper proportionality.

Rich. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, April 13, 2019 3:04 PM

Here is a side-by-side comparison of my model and the prototype. The towers are massive and do seem to dwarf the prototype.

Rich

Lift-Bridge-Compare.jpg

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Posted by "JaBear" on Saturday, April 13, 2019 5:58 PM

richhotrain
The towers are massive and do seem to dwarf the prototype.

The prototype towers being at a skew angle are the reason for that.
Keep up the Good Work.Thumbs Up
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, April 14, 2019 5:13 AM

 
richhotrain
The towers are massive and do seem to dwarf the prototype. 
The prototype towers being at a skew angle are the reason for that.
Keep up the Good Work.Thumbs Up
Cheers, the Bear.Smile 

Thanks, Bear. Yeah, I'm sure that the skewed construction has a lot to do with it.

Rich

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, April 24, 2019 6:59 AM

I finally got the second tower superstructure done. I still have lots of fitting and trimming and painting to do, but I consider the most difficult part now to be behind me. This has taken three weeks to build the two tower superstructures. It is painstaking to say the least.

For the moment, I still have the four sides of each tower held together with spring clamps. Until I can get the decks installed at the base of each tower, I will hold off on final gluing.

Rich

P1010866.jpg

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