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I'm currently working on a split-level layout. It has an urban setting and I aim to use retaining walls to but up to the track on the incline. This is where I'm struggling a little. Would the retaining walls be stepped, or sloped, to match the incline? Also, still on the rise, the track needs to cross the mainline. Is it prototypical to have the bridge on an incline as well? As the length of the wall is around 12' it will be a prominent feature, so I'm anxious to make sure that it looks right. Thanks

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I'm sure others with more specific structural engineering experience will contribute, but as a first response (and based on my own investigations when trying to answer the same questions) I think you'll find that in real life, the answer would depend on when the incline was built, the ground on which it was built, the material it's built from, the custom of the contracting engineer and/or specifications from the company that built the line - in short, any answer is possible. If the layout is based on a known location you're best placed by investigating relevant structures, otherwise the main thing is to try and ensure consistency in what you do - i.e. if your approach mimics that which might be used on soft ground, the adjoining structures and scenery probably shouldn't be rocky.

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Hello dph


Andyman above has said all the right things.  I am thinking that a 12 foot long structure could be very long visually without any breaks.  Another vote here for some background research - an afternoon on Flickr and Google images looking at real locations.


I have used various Metcalfe viaduct kits to make retaining walls.  I had a sloping road to accommodate at one location - there is a view here a few years back during construction.


There is also a card kit from Townscenes - seen here on the far right.  I am not sure if this is still in production but it does come up for sale on eBay.





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Hi there,


As others have said, looking at photos is an excellent start. I tend to select a few appropriate to the area and print them off to give me an idea of what I'm aiming for.


For retaining walls I find Scalescenes especially good as you can print off as much as you want and construction is straightforward. Plus, once you get a feel for the principles, they can be very easily adapted.


I've just built some retaining walls/bridge abutments for our club layout Horseley Fields - there are some pics in the thread linked in my signature.




Ben A.

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Thanks Ray and Ben A - your layouts look terrific, by the way. I definitely intend using Scalescenes' products for the wall, I really enjoy building their kits. I'm still unsure about building the wall in steps, or sloped, so I'll start googling as you suggest. Thanks for your help

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