There have been several complaints lately from engine crews about near misses at a dangerous point along the right of way on my railroad. It seems that since there has been increased interest in "the wrong side of the tracks," many innocent (and perhaps inebriated) local citizens have been trying to get there. They have tossed safety to the wind and crossed the tracks on a dangerous curve. In some cases, this has resulted in some near misses that railroad management is concerned about. So while the local law enforcement authorities have promised increased patrol in the area, the railroad decided to construct a pedestrian overpass at the place where most of the tresspassing has occurred.* Could it be that "senior management" has also been seen on "the wrong side of the tracks" played a role in the decision? Nah.....
The project started with a Bachmann Pedestrian Overpass model that was fully assembled. No, I don't like paying someone else to build my models but in this case, after a rather long search, this particular overpass turned out to be the least expensive option so I got one. The first step was disassembly of the model which was "interesting." The glue used to build the model was not the typical styrene cement that we normally use for plastic model construction but rather looked like a hot-glue type of cement. It was big, bulky and frankly, didn't hold all that well so it only took about 2-3 minutes to have the major components taken apart. After a lot of picking & peeling, I was also able to remove the stick-on signs on the cast on signboards.
As you can see from the first image, the bridge is higher on one end than on the other so I had to add this offset to my model. In addition, the bridge pier on the outside of the curve seemed pretty close to the tracks and I was afraid that some of my larger, articulated engines might clip it on their way around the turn so a little lengthening also seemed in order. The photo above showed how I first cut the bridge pieces in the middle then added some Plastruct stairs & railings, some top bracing and a new bottom for the higher half of the structure. That last part seemed to be the worst as it was rather difficult to measure & cut the necessary pieces when the bridge wasn't assembled. As it is, one of the bottom pieces has a little curve in it as it was a bit too long. But after assembling & painting, I decided that it didn't show all that much.
Here is the modified model sitting lopsided in the paint booth ready for painting. You can see the slight curve in the bottom support on the left end of the bridge. After a good coat of red primer, the bridge assembly was put in my paint dryer/curer and allowed to sit overnight before taking its place on the layout.
* At the beginning of this post, I sort of made light of crossing railroad tracks but please keep in mind that way too many people are hit & killed by railroad trains every year simply because people were crossing the tracks where they weren't supposed to cross. PLEASE, cross railroad tracks only at authorized crossing points and even then, obey the crossing signals and BE CAREFUL.