The Trestle

The trestle is the most impressive piece of construction at Martini Junction and certainly took the most time to plan and build. I was fortunate to have a quantity of commercial aluminum studding stock available to form the roadbed and a lot of pressure-treated wood for trestle building.  A rudimentary survey established an elevation at the waterfall matching that of the bench complex to ensure that the track would be level and I started setting up the track roadbed first on 1x3 posts. 

The individual trestle bents were fabricated off-site and a measuring jig was used to set the trestle legs to the appropriate length. The finished bents were brought out and installed under the roadbed and the 1x3's were removed. The bents are tied together with cross-pieces which help make the structure rigid. 

Attaching the plastic track to the aluminum channels required some innovation and experimentation but eventually, I decided to make aluminum wire staples that would wrap around the rail ties and then be crimped under the channel edges. This process occurred long after the original setup which used small screws and proved to be unsatisfactory, in fact, it was only in 2019 when we were doing a major upgrade, that we had the volunteer help necessary to install hundreds of those staples. Making all of those staples took some time even with the help of cutting and forming jigs but the final result was very rewarding. The fact that the trestle has held up for what is now nearing 28 years is rewarding as well. 

Forming the staples

Installing the staples

One of two roadbed loops shown upside down

Roadbed on 1x3's prior to the trestle installation and the 

"Martini Special" on a test run

Trestle under construction