Here is a scene that ought to warm the cockles of your heart. There’s no subject quite like a wooden trestle for sheer modeling interest. This one is located on former Chesapeake and Ohio trackage in Richmond, Indiana. This C&O line came up from Cincinnati on its way to Chicago. It climbed the famed Cheviot Hill out of the Ohio River valley and in the steam era was the home to Mikados and 2-6-6-2 mallets because of the many tight curves and light bridges. Diesel power consisted of F-units, Geeps and U-boats. Amtrak’s Cardinal passenger train also traversed this route. The route through Richmond was especially picturesque as it skirted the eastern rim of the Whitewater Gorge for most of its passage in town. There was a small yard and an interchange with the PRR. The line also served the Hayes Track Appliance Co. (now Western-Cullen Hayes), the maker of the Hayes car stops and other track appliances. The company’s founder, Stanley Hayes, moved the company to Richmond in 1911 and later donated a generous portion of his estate to be preserved as a regional arboretum. Getting back to the photo, this trestle dates back to the near turn of the twentieth century, when a tidy little 4-4-0 and passenger cars graced the rails. The photo holds clues to the current state of affairs for the line, for which I’ll give a hint: it isn’t good. See if you can figure it out. There’s a wealth of modeling possibilities here. What do you see?
Oct. 11, 2011, What do you see? -6 continued: One of the comments suggested that the railings and walkway seen in the photo at the top of the post aren’t original to the bridge and wouldn’t have been there when the line was in service. Well, I’m sorry to say that’s incorrect. As the photo below shows. You’ll have to forgive the streakiness of the photo. It’s at least forty years old, if not older. This is the topside view of the bridge, which was located on the south end of the C&O Yard in Richmond. The turnout here is the first one off the main into the yard, and as you can see, the points were on the bridge itself, hence the walkway. You can hopefully see how the walkway and railing extend out to accommodate the swtichstand, which is illuminated. Notice too, how the curve on the bridge is superelevated, and that the walkway extends the length of the trestle. As Matt noted, the vegetation is kept well away from the trestle and the roadbed is in good shape overall. This wasn’t a big yard, in fact it was typical of how we tend to model towns on a layout, There were only a few tracks, a run-around and some industrial sidings, including one to the Hayes Track Appliance Company. Yes, That Hayes Track Company, the only who made the bumpers and derails. As I outlined in the “Walk on the Wild Side” post, Stanley Hayes located the company in Richmond in 1911. It is still there, a few hundred feet to the left in this photo. Today, the rails are gone except for those left on the bridge itself, and the weeds have come to stay.