How to Build a Large Model-Railroad Bridge


Building a large model-railroad bridge can be a complex undertaking, but it’s really not hard. First you need to come up with a design. A typical long bridge will be some kind of truss structure, since trusses are both lightweight and strong.


  1. Design the bridge.
  2. Assemble the parts you need. Generally, real railroads use steel for their truss bridges, but tiny steel beams (with tiny rivets or arc welders) aren’t practical.
  3. Use brass, wood or plastic structural parts for your model railroad bridge. Plastruct makes a whole range of structural parts out of styrene or ABS.
  4. Get a good miter box set so that you can cut the beams accurately and squarely.
  5. Make one or more assembly jigs if you can, because most truss bridges consist of repeated floor and truss “panels.”
  6. Get a supply of pushpins – these are good for holding things down.
  7. Trim and sand off burrs and other cut remnants.
  8. Paint your bridge and “weather” it (make it look old) after it’s built.
  9. Add the finishing touch by modeling the river flowing under the bridge.

This is an overview of how to build a large model-railroad bridge. See Related Sites for a detailed write-up on the construction of a large H0 model bridge.

Be sure you have good ventilation when working with plastic glues. They tend to give off dangerous fumes.Adult supervision is recommended. Be careful when using sharp tools and hazardous materials such as paints and glues.