Mill Pond Trestle 

Mill Pond Trestle will have, from the west, a 90 deg.  curved viaduct, a 4 bent trestle, the Howe Truss, another 8 bent straight trestle and a 160 deg. curved bent trestle at the east end.   This will replace the "temporary terrible trestle" that was erected  August, 2005. Some construction history follows. 

All parts cut from cedar and soaked in a blend of deck preservative, mineral spirits, MinWax outdoor clear stain, plastic roofing cement and creosote. Sure smells good! Above shows a section with the two stringers and ties applied. 

Stringers were drilled at 7" intervals to match the bent spacing. Missing ties will be applied after the stringer/tie/rail assembly is placed on the bents.

At left is part of an 80" run. Some tieplates (Ozark) have been installed and spiked. Longer ties will hold the vertical poles for trolley wire support. Perimeter wood timbers and guard rails yet to be installed. Photo above shows feeder wire attached to rail with 2-56 screw. Combination of aluminum rail, stainless screw and copper wire should prove interesting!!

Combination of squares used to keep bents aligned while girts and cross-bracing is installed.

Six bents, or about half of this section, are shown on the assembly board. Used Romex clamps to hold bents in position. Plans are from Garden Texture


4 x 8 sheet of plywood used as base to bend stringers for curve on east end of trestle. The track will turn about 160 degrees. Each set of stringers is two pieces of cedar, soaked in water then bent to follow the nails. The stringer on the right has just been formed, hence the darker color. The two members in each stringer are held together with 1/2" brass brads. Thought about using glue, but then that would have blocked the stain from applying uniformly. (May have made a mistake here!)

Two "cut stone" piers support the Howe.  One pier is slightly narrower than the other due to less-than-desired space between the pond and the rock cliff.  (Did I mention that the surveyor for the project was fired. Rumor has it he went to work for the New York-Chicago Air Line interurban in Illinois.) Chose to face piers with 2" squares of floor tile that I nipped in half, making an approximate 2' x 4' "stone." 

Used 3' pieces of rebar driven about 20 inches into the ground, then pieces of rabbit fencing to use as mesh in the form. 

Form ready for pour. Red grease sprayed inside to ease in release.

Tile applied to both sides. Center photo shows all tile applied with long parts to be trimmed with rotary grinder.

Nibs removed, grout needs to be repaired to close up voids.

Copious amount of grout has been worked into tile.

Left end has been placed on fake rollers. If you look hard you can see the screw between them that fastens the bridge to the pier. At right is other pier. Bridge is unattached at this end, allowing it to float.

Four-bent span at left end of Howe. Due to engineering "oversight", two of the bents were a bit short, so stone walls (treated 2 x 4 pruned on table saw) had to be added. Moss was transplanted from about 10 feet away.

Another view at right, from across the track.

Right end of long trestle is attached to 160 deg curve here. Stringers glued and nailed.

Since the curved stringers, ties and rails had been pre-assembled over the winter. the easy way to attach it to the bents was with 1" x #4 screws, predrilled thru the stringers. Stringers were marked every 7", keep them at right angles to the curve. Used some glue there, too.

At left is an in-progress shot. Five bents have been installed on the curve. Will need to add girts and cross bracing as we go. This is a temporary stopping point, as I need to fabricate another 4 or 5 bents, due to the fact that the ones I made during the winter aren't quite long enough. (Damned engineering staff.)

Above shows completed right end and the curve. At right, the Railway guard dog keeps an eye out for possible incursions of anything that might prove to be edible.

Above shows left end, including viaduct. At right is more of an overall view.

June 2006. This was taken during one of the shakedown trips for the 27 and shows some of the line poles and the view back toward the Howe and viaduct.

The project is pretty much finished, although I need to add feeder wires to each of the sections of rail for better conductivity. Trolley wire will come this summer.

A few small repairs were in order! The cedar wasn't as rot-resistant as I'd hoped! I concentrated on replacing the bents between the viaduct and the Howe truss. As mentioned elsewhere, the aluminum rail was replaced with nickel silver during the 2014 season. The joints are all soldered and conductivity is much improved.

Just a bit of rot. As you'll recall from above, a few of these bents were too short, so that's been rectified.

Old bents removed and ground cleared.

Every project needs a sidewalk superintendent...or pond side, maybe in this case.

Finished! You'll note there are now three bents instead of four. It looks a bit better that way...or will when the groundcover is reestablished. The wood is cambara. We'll see how it holds up. Many of the other bents are showing signs of rot, but its unlikely that they'll be replaced. The track has a few dips and wiggles. That's why we have slow orders!