Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bridge to Nowhere (or, How to Make a View Block)

A trio of GP38-2 units pulls a train under the
bridge to nowhere.

A simple way to make a stretch of track look longer is by breaking it up with trees, hills or, in this case, a bridge to nowhere. Anything you can place between the viewer and the train makes the distance between towns or scenes seem longer than they really are.

Another view of the bridge.
My bridge to nowhere is an Atlas girder bridge placed on a hill made of Styrofoam. The inspiration comes from Rennie, Man., where the CN transcontinental mainline crosses over the CPR transcontinental mainline. This is one of two places where the two railways cross in Manitoba; the other is in Portage la Prairie, located about 45 minutes west of Winnipeg. (At Portage the tracks cross at grade.)

What the bridge and view block looks like at eye level.
In this case, the bridge and accompanying hill creates a view block between the towns of Turney and Nance. I normally don't leave any rolling stock on the bridge; they were only placed there for these photos., Which is OK, since nobody I know has ever seen a CN train cross over a CPR train while railfanning at Rennie!

Another view of the bridge.Another way to make a view block is with a tunnel of trees. That is, plant a row of trees in front of the tracks, as well as behind them, as in the photo below. It is also an effective and easy way to obscure the tracks.

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