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Advice Needed For Pile Trestle

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  • Advice Needed For Pile Trestle

    I am going to build a pile trestle.

    I'll only be running a Bachmann Porter and Shay over it.

    The layout is a little mining layout with no heavy engines

    and code 70 rail.

    Max scale height will be 25' and length maybe 100 scale feet

    Should I go for 10" diameter piles or 12" piles.

    I weathered up a 10" diameter dowel today and it looks

    good but I'm thinking it may be a bit too small.

  • #2

    I think slow speed with small cars on 10" is kind of cool. The little mining companies had little money to start and had to roll the dice on some construction.

    Good luck.



    • #3
      IMHO 3, 10" piles would be fine and at 25' high you also don't need sway or cross bracing.
      It\'s only make-believe


      • #4
        I like the spindly look of the smaller piles for a narrow gauge trestle


        • #5

          Small mining and logging operations tended to be run lean and mean and any cost saving measures were taken advantage of, remember in the "old" days no one cared (ie. owners) about health and safety so the 10" piles would be the way to go, besides I think it would look neat.
          Ron Newby

          General Manager

          Clearwater Valley Railway Co.


          • #6

            I too think the 10" piles are good, we must also remember besided the lean and mean, they built with what they had, what trees were around, and yes sometimes they hauled lumber in, but they also hauled lumber in to support those mines...the real money makers.



            • #7
              Derrick, Bear Creek calls for 12" piles but it is your railraod and do what looks good. For a fantastic you- tube series on the subject, you may want to watch Lex Parker MMR vidoe series on building a treatle. I have done three trestles using the Black Bear jigs and now wish I had watched Lex's videos before that. A lot of great tips.


              Good luck
              Chuck Faist

              Burlington, Ontario

              Enjoy yourself it is later than you think!


              • #8
                Thanks for the advice everyone.

                I'm going to go with spindly.

                I've changed my mind on using poles.

                I just realized my mine doesn,t have a pile driver.

                I'm going to go with 10 x 10 posts and build my bents

                with those.

                Thanks for the link to Lex,s videos.

                I'll check them out.

                I've checked out the Black Bear jigs,but am going to

                come up with my own jig.


                • #9

                  Originally posted by Derrick

                  I just realized my mine doesn,t have a pile driver.

                  I'm going to go with 10 x 10 posts and build my bents

                  Well if you're putting your trestle into mud you don't need a pile driver. The weight of the wood will sink it completely in a couple of days.

                  That's according to;


                  But a frame trestle will look good too.
                  It\'s only make-believe


                  • #10
                    I think 10" is better since it will look a little more spindly which enforces the perception we kind of look for in modeling narrow gauge. Plus it adds a little selective compression.
                    Don\'t push me bureaucrat, I\'ve got a bit of hangover