I can't personally answer your question (yet), but here are some
pictures that might interest you.
In the Z_Scale list's "Files" section, I've posted a couple old
pictures of the B&O bridge over the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry,
West Virginia. You can find them in the "Pics" folder as
HarpersBridge1 and HarpersBridge2, or use the following URLs.
These pictures were taken years ago, but this bridge and the other
bridge visible to the right still exist and are used heavily. A
number of railroad bridges have been constructed and re-constructed
at Harpers Ferry over the last 150 years, and in old photos several
appear to have planking beside and/or between the rails. I can't say
exactly why, but it may be to accomodate foot and vehicle traffic
over the bridges for maintenance purposes. Unless one crosses one of
these railroad bridges, one must travel four or five miles and cross
two rivers to get to the opposite bank, so it would make sense to
have a pedestrian- or truck-friendly bridge deck for maintenance
I was fortunate enough to have a chance to visit Harpers Ferry last
week while on vacation. I'll take a look at my photographs to see if
the plankwork is still there. Unfortunately it would be hard to get a
close-up shot of the bridge deck itself nowadays without doing some
serious trespassing. :-(
I picked up a book on the bridges and transport-related construction
at Harpers Ferry through the years, but haven't had a chance to take
a good look at it yet. If I find any useful details about the planked
bridge decks, I'll let you know.
-- Andy Hunting
> In the April 2001 issue of Model Railroader on page 72 there is a
> of some trestle work. I'm interested in the track pictured in the
> foreground. It appears that between the rails the ties have been
> covered over by wood or ?
> I'm familar with this look where track intersects a road and the
> pavement / road material covers the ties to provide a uniform
> for the road, but why would it be done here?