Part 1

Pier and Dock

The Deep River RR Pier and Dock – in this case it’s both. From my understanding (minimal) .. the pier is the structure supported on piles and the dock is the area of water alongside where the ship loads/unloads.

I’m going to basically follow the design of a railroad trestle and modify it as needed for a pier (that’s mainly due to an excellent resource “A Treatise on Wooden Trestle Bridges” by Wolcott Cronk Foster published 1897 [1].) Up to about 10 ft. in height. Wooden trestle bents generally consisted of vertical piles .. above 10 ft. in height they would drive the outside piles at a batter of from 1 in. to 3 in. per foot. I will be following the trestle design for bent caps, stringers and so on.

Pile Trestles

Below are excerpts from the book matched up with a diagram and dimensions for a Standard Pile-Trestle for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. I had planned to modify the timber dimensions to better represent a narrow-gauge railroad but noticed that the diagram shows the trestle carrying both standard gauge and narrow-gauge rail. That caught my interest – While I don’t have any plans for standard gauge .. darn .. I could add that extra rail and show it rusty .. as if either the rest of the standard gauge had been pulled up in the past or .. perhaps they engineered the bridge to have dual gauge for ‘the future’ .. the biggest thing for me would be that – for a model – it would add a bit of ‘cool’.

I put that aside for further thought while I did some research on a small crane. My intention was for a small crane at one end of the pier to load/unload to .. what? If to vehicles then you need a loading area next to the track. It didn’t seem unreasonable to me that this would be required. what about ships? They could use their own cranes to move from ship to dock. Thinking about that I looked back at the drawing of the dual gauge track on the DRGW trestle and realized that possibly, I could have four rails (increased coolness) with the crane running on the outside rails.

Edit: 5 rails! If the crane uses a belly-mounted hoist then it needs another outrigger rail on the other side of the vehicle deck (dock side) so the crane can move loads to the dock area to the rail area.

“Pile-trestles are seldom used for heights above thirty feet…” 1

– Well .. good. Mine is right at 10 ft. (insert smile here)

“Round piles are, as a rule, from 12 inches to 15 inches across the butt after being cut off, and when they are wider than the cap, the portion which projects on either side should be adzed off to an angle of at least 45°” 2

– That makes it easy as I can use 1/4 in. doweling from Lowes

“It is well to make solid caps of at least 12 in. x 12 in. timber and 14 ft. long. Where the timber is inclined to be weak or brittle, they should be 12 in. wide by 14. in deep.” 3

– I might pick up some 1/4 in. sq. stock at Lowes for this too. While not as soft and easily worked as basswood – most of the caps will not be seen except end on – and it’s both available and cheaper then basswood.

“Bents should be spaced at such a distance between centers as will use the length of timber easiest to obtain for stringers in the most economical manner. The distance varies from 12 ft. to 16 ft.; spans of 14 ft. and 15 ft. being the most general.” 4

– I decided on a 11 ft. span – based on the availability of easily obtainable stock (craft sticks) I could use for the stringers.

“A stringer should be placed immediately beneath each rail, and in order to guard against defective timber it ought to be “split” or composed of two or more pieces. These pieces should be separated from each other by either cast-iron washers or spools, or wooden packing-blocks, or both. A considerable difference exists in the present practice as to the amount of separation. It varies all the way from nothing to 3 in. From 1-1/2 in. to 2 in. is a very good distance.” 5

Source
  1. A Treatise on Wooden Trestle Bridges According to the Present Practice on American Railroads, by Wolcott C. Foster – Page 5[]
  2. A Treatise on Wooden Trestle Bridges According to the Present Practice on American Railroads, by Wolcott C. Foster – Page 6[]
  3. A Treatise on Wooden Trestle Bridges According to the Present Practice on American Railroads, by Wolcott C. Foster – Page 29[]
  4. A Treatise on Wooden Trestle Bridges According to the Present Practice on American Railroads, by Wolcott C. Foster – Page 30[]
  5. A Treatise on Wooden Trestle Bridges According to the Present Practice on American Railroads, by Wolcott C. Foster – Page 32[]

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