Prototype History

The Copper River & Northwestern crossed the Gilahina River at approximately milepost 159.6 by means of a large timber trestle.  The trestle is approximately 880 feet long and 90 feet high, comprised of 49 bents around a roughly 120 degree arc.

The original 1911 trestle was burned by the Sourdough Hill forest fire around July 20, 1915, and replaced shortly thereafter.  The 1915 trestle is the one still visible on the side of the McCarthy Road today.

The CR&NW did not have any facilities at Gilahina, and it did not appear on timetables.

Gilahina on the Layout

For the purposes of my modern day CR&NW, I have to assume such a large timber trestle on such tight curvature would have been long replaced by a modern structure.  Consequently, the Gilahina bridge on the layout will be a straightened alignment and a bridge consisting of 7x 80′ steel deck girder spans set on concrete supports.   The old curved trestle will be modelled in a dilapidated state (similar to how the prototype trestle exists today) on an arc in the background.

2 thoughts on “Gilahina

  1. Russell Cmejla

    Can the Gilahina Bridge be modeled as per original layout and have a dilapidated portion to insert for display purposes? Or refer to a decent slide image(s) of the failed segment?

  2. ndholmes Post author

    My intention is to model the actual trestle – in roughly its current state of disrepair, though possibly with the west end intact – in the background behind a straightened alignment over a more modern structure. Should the CRNW have continued, as my layout’s alternate history posits, I suspect these large wooden structures would have been on the replacement list shortly after dieselization.

    Would an actual railroad have torn it down after replacement? Probably yes, but it’s one of those iconic structures that modern day visitors will recognize and associate with. So I’ve chosen to leave it in the background, as I think there’s also adequate precedent for railroads not cleaning up after themselves.


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