Thread: Walkways on trestles
June 15th, 2010, 02:19 AM #1
Walkways on trestles
Guys, I'm starting to build my steel trestle, and was wondering if I should add a walkway down the side. Looking are prototype pics from all eras, I see some trestles have walkways and some do not. Is there some sort of regulation about having a walkway or not? Or was some rule imposed after a certain year that they all need to have one?
I don't really want to bother with adding one, but I want it to be as close to prototype as possible.
June 15th, 2010, 04:19 AM #2
I have never seen a trestle with a dedicated sidewalk or walking deck. Instead, there are safety refuges, often with a drum filled with sand for fighting fires.
For those railroads that do have walking decks, and I have no doubt there are some, it must be a policy that drives such a construction. It may have had something to do with providing a walking path across the trestle for rail workers who needed access to both sides of the obstacle. It could be, for example, that a yard was at/near one end of the trestle, and some other facility on the other end, and employees would have found the path directly across a trestle to be handy. I'm just fishing here, obviously.Crandell
June 15th, 2010, 11:23 AM #3
There is a steel trestle on the CNR line at Ste-Ursule, Quebec, over a valley. It's about 1300 feet long, 180 feet high, and has a walkway along one side, and at least one safe area. Considering that CNR has a strict no trespassing policy, it's definitely for the workers. I suspect that the length of the structure has something to do with it - if it's a long one, you need a place to go in case a train comes rumbling along. Other than diving off the bridge, of course. :DI want that one, and that one, and that one...
June 15th, 2010, 12:50 PM #4
I have seen them on wood and steel bridges that were a good distance from a car bridge to get over the obstacle. But not if they were close to a road. They were not intended for pedestrian traffic but often did get used that way.Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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June 16th, 2010, 05:18 AM #5
Thanks for the responses guys After doing more looking, it seems that the larger they are, the more chance of having a walkway. Here are a few examples I've found that my trestle will end up looking like. Both have a walkway on one side. So it looks like I'm gonna have to build one in...
And Crandell, here is a modern steel trestle that has an "escape area". Didn't think these were still used. :D
June 16th, 2010, 05:30 AM #6
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Some have them on both sides.:tb-biggrin:
Most of them in this area are that way. Good to hear your working on something!
June 16th, 2010, 10:54 AM #7
These pictures are all deck girder types. What about through truss bridges?
Here are the walkways on BLMAs through truss bridges. These bridges are relatively long and walkways would seem to me to be a safety factor. The reason I ask is that I have a modified Kato single track truss bridge and I need to add a walkway. Maybe use some type of brass industrial walkway type?
Here is BLMAs bridge detail from their website.
Last edited by Flash Blackman; June 16th, 2010 at 01:15 PM.
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June 16th, 2010, 03:04 PM #8
Wooden bridges would have been more likely to have the walkways, as there would have been water barrels placed at intervals on the bridge to help the train crew/line crew extinguish any fires started on or near the bridge by the cinders from the engine.
Steel bridges would have walkways if they were long or of a construction method that required yearly inspections (cable, strung or pinned truss bridges).
Bridges would generally not have walkways if they were short, easy to inspect from the banks, easy to access by the public or in high population area. There are several long, high bridges in the Allegehnies that I know of that lack any walkway strictly to keep the locals from even thinking about walking across them.
In my years of photographing in and around railway property (Midwest area) the only times I have ever been given grief from rail workers has involved two subjects-being too close to moving equipment and being on or near a bridge. There seems to be a gut reaction from employees regarding strangers on their bridge.
When I have seen photographs of railbridges that were designed with walkways, they have all been circa 1860-1920 (hmmmm-before a large increase in vehicular traffic) and they have usually been two story bridges. The pedestrian deck was usually above the rail deck on small bridges, and between the lines on two line large bridges.
June 16th, 2010, 03:51 PM #9
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It seems to have been dependent upon the company, for whatever practice they adapted. In my corner of the USA, smaller wooden trestles more often than not, were without a walkway. Trusses on one company had a walkway, a similar length for another RR a couple of miles away, none.
I sure remember the fire barrels. Many as they rusted away from disuse.
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June 22nd, 2010, 04:07 AM #10
Here are a couple images of a modern steel bridge with metal walkways built along it.
It is used frequently by civilian foot traffic.
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