FCSME Member: Bill Carl
M o d u l a r   R a i l r o a d i n g   a t   i t s   B e s t

This page shows the progress of my Magnolia module.  This module is 8' long and features a replica of the Magnolia Bridge in Magnolia, West Virginia.  The prototype bridge is 950 feet long and crosses the Potomac River from West Virginia into Maryland going from East to West (right to left from the viewer's side).  If I built the bridge to scale, the bridge would have to be over 10.9' long.  I selectively compressed it to fit an 8' module.  The bridge is 64.5" long.  I had to develop a bridge-pier-centering-device in order to keep the bridge piers on center with the pedestals and yet keep the module portable.  You can see it the pictures below.  Click on any picture to see a larger version.

Here are three pictures of my Magnolia module with all the bench work exposed

Back side with temporary bridge

Foam layers glued
More foam
Preliminary carving on the east shore

Foam carved on the west shore
Looking east with unfinished bridge piers
Fascia board installed

Bridge piers being weathered
Close up of bridge piers
This is my bridge pier centering device.  It is a 1/2" square steel tube with bolts protruding to go into the bridge piers.  This keeps the pedestals centered on the bridge piers as if they are off center just slightly, it looks very unrealistic.  It is very hard to see the device in the far right picture and the track isn't on the bridge yet!

Painted rails and standoff
Another standoff
Here I have about 60% of the plaster gauze on the foam.  Graham tunnel is in the background.

This house stood next to the cutoff until 1998 when it was burned to the ground.  I luckily had three pictures of the house before it was destroyed.  I commissioned Walt Muren (one of my fellow club members) to build the house since he likes doing that sort of thing.  I think Walt captured the house perfectly.  Compare the model photos to the prototype.
This shot of the prototype is excellent as you can see down the Magnolia Bridge and into Graham Tunnel on the right.

Here I have glued the foam around the piers on the east end of the bridge.
Foam glued around west end piers and test placement of bridge abutment.