Well, time had come on the eastern most curved siding module of Scenic to be tracked and wired up. Trouble is, there was once a small bridge at the upper end of Scenic just as the rails made tangent on the run up to the depot and into the darkness of Cascade tunnel. I had long thought that the bridge (known as ballasted deck pile bridge on the accompanying AFEs) was filled in during the course of 1963. GN modeller and knower of all things Cascade Division, Bill Sornsin, found out that this wasn’t the case, that the bridge was instead filled a year later, which happens to be the year I model- 1964. Somewhat reassuringly the AFE had a low # which presumably meant the work could have been carried out earlier in the year than the fall setting I have chosen for the layout. If that was indeed the case then I’d have nothing to fear but I suspect I might one day regret not having the option to model what must have been a neat little bridge. Not so secretly I’ve been contemplating a shift back to an earlier date, probably 1962, when the equipment needed to model Stevens Pass was less diverse. Were I to do that I’d need this Bridge #388 which left me with a deign and construction conundrum.
After some amount of humming and hawing I settled on a pair of removable cassettes; one with the road crossing at grade (yes, all this fuss is over a roadway) and one with a trestle serving as underpass for the dirt forestry road. Doing so solves the issue at hand but doubles the modelling fun. In this case the “fun”was constructing a bridge for which I have no drawings or pictures to model from. Sure there was a picture taken from US 2 showing the hole where the road must have been – but all that did was confirm its existence and indicate it had no safety walkways – not insignificant items for sure but not enough to make a decent model from.
In any event I needed the bridge in place before the track could go into service and even if I were to leave the bridge cassette alone until better information came along I’d still not be able to work on scenicing the other cassette or the module as a whole since the cassettes and module have to have common side profiles all the way round to properly integrate with their respective surroundings. My solution, not surprisingly, was to press on. You never get better at modelling by not modelling. The result is the part finished trestle below. I was lucky in that I had help from a number of Cascade Division experts who furnished me with drawings, dimensions and opinions based on established GN practice in other locations. The trestle still needs strapping and things like nut-bolt-washer details and paint but is otherwise ready for installation.