These are the first pictures of the Ashtabula Bridge. It will be featured in a documentary "The Engineering Tragedy" on PBS. This bridge is a recreation of the Ashtabula Train bridge that collapsed in Ashtabula, Ohio on December 29, 1876 during a raging blizzard. In this town off the shores of Lake Erie, an all-iron railroad bridge collapsed sending a luxury train, The Pacific Express No. 5, plummeting 70ft into a frozen river. Of the172 souls that were on board, only 75 survived, most with serious injuries. Of the 97 who perished, 47 were identified, 50 were unidentifiable.

This unfortunate event helped pave the way for bridge safety and passenger list of today’s standards.
 
The Ashtabula Bridge will join the stone abutments, built in November, in Bloomsfeild Ohio were the documentry is being flimed.

 
 

This is a concept for a drop platform. Attaching wires from one end of the bridge to the other side of the drop bridge will give you power to the drop track section.
A center plate that holds two ties will allow for side to side track alignment. This will eliminate the need for other hardware and assure great continuity.

 
 
Here are some shots of how to assemble the I Street Bridge.
 
 
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This is the largest suspension bridge yet! It spans a little over 10ft approx 125in. The bridge is strong enough to hold the weight of a grown man! This bridge and 3 other large bridges are going to a layout in Florida. More pictures are yet to come!


 
 
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    This 12ft Triple Arch was the first multi level bridge that we have made. The bridge is built in seven pieces. This allows the bridge to have a multipurpose in temporary layouts. The piers of the bridge come a part to give 3 different height variations.
Damian designed this bridge for Cliff Weber. He part of a group that sets up a Christmas display in Pennsburg, PA. They need a bridge that could set up and tear down.
This is the email Cliff sent me about what he and his friends do every year.

Hey Jen, 
    You can put whatever you like for commentary. The quick history is, we first started setting the trains up in the social room of a local church. The problem with this is we only had a couple of days to set up the trains, they than would be on display for just one weekend and than we would have to take them down. We now setup each year for the past four years in B & H Home Market, in East Greenville, PA, a local furniture and appliance store. We take the month of November to set it up and it is on display for the next six weeks before it is taken down. The store is extremely kind to us and allows us 44 x 30 feet of floor space to set up the display. I find this very generous considering he is losing a lot of display area during his busiet time of the year. The owner of the store loves the trains plus he feels it is a way of giving back to the community. Jen, I must ad the owner of the store truly does not care about the trains bringing in business, he just enjoys the trains being in the store. 
    As I have already said the display is 44 x 30 feet it is three levels high and were running five trains, one trolley, and an RDC car with a total of seven lines. The platform covers from the fifties to present day. We run both diesel and steam. This year we ran one passenger train a B & O heavyweight set, all the rest were freight. This year the new major addition was the new three level twelve foot bridge that Damian made for the display and it was without question the highlight of this years setup. There are several other trestles from Mainline Bridges that are used as well. Every year we do a completely new display so the platform is fresh for the viewing public. Next year I am hoping to have Damian make an additional bridge the same size as the twelve foot bridge he just made. The difference with this bridge is that I would like it to be in a form to accommodate a fourteen foot radius curve track which will butte up against the current new bridge. How impressive will that be??? Plus I have in mind a water tower as well, but I think the bridge is going to be first as the one I now have was such a hit. 
    There are three of us who do the display. My right-hand person is the photographer for the local newspaper and a major train phanatic. About ten years ago he spent six months ridding the rails all over the USA as a hobo with camera in hand, he has some really great shots. He does sixty to seventy percent of the work and without him this couldn’t be done. The other person is great with details, unbeknownst to me many years ago she got a art degree from Kutztown University, which I than understood why she was so good with fine details.

Lots of luck,
 Cliff

Thanks for sharing Cliff! Keep up the awesome work! It looks amazing!