N gauge trains


The Range and Variety of N Scale
Bridges to Enhance a Model Railroad

The N scale model railroading hobby comes with the possibility of adding many different types of bridges and trestles to your world. You can use these bridges to send your train through a mountain pass or circumvent one of the main roads in a local town. There are abutments, arch bridges, supports, girder bridges, piers, signal and trestle bridges, truss bridges and viaducts to help make your model railroad get that extra layer of realism and detail. Once you choose the bridge you want, you can weather the bridge using acrylic paints and other weathering supplies.

n scale bridges



Viaducts are common in Italy and Rome. The upside down U-shaped supports on curved viaducts make it possible for water to pass underneath. No model train enthusiast would have a complete set without including at least one viaduct. There are double track, tall steel, and curved viaduct options. Railroad companies get trains through wide valleys using tall steel viaducts. They are some of the most fascinating bridges available to the hobbyist. A good quality viaduct is important, as well as a level surface so that your train doesn’t fall off as it goes over one of these structures. Pre-made N scale viaducts and kits are available so that you can use a pre-built option or customize your own structures.


An abutment appears at the ends of a bridge and provides the main support for your bridges structure. In model railroads, abutments help to provide an extra degree of realism and aren’t required for a bridge to function properly. They simply add the look of extra support to increase the believability of your model train set. Abutments often come included with main bridge kits, but when you need to add them yourself, there is a dizzying array of options available.

n scale book

Download this popular N scale book

Bridge Supports

Bridge supports provide the necessary supports to keep your piers, arch bridges and other type of bridges from falling over. You can purchase highway beams, and double track bents to secure your bridges in place and help to absorb vibration on the tracks. While many kits come with the necessary bridge supports, sometimes it’s necessary to purchase additional supports when you want to imitate a particular type of bridge. There are supports for straight or curved bridges, so be sure to research your needs before investing in supports for your bridges.

Arch Bridges

As the name suggests, arch bridges arch in the middle and are typically used for cars and pedestrians to pass over water and lakes. There are abutments on either end that form the shape of a curved arch. Abutments can also be used to allow a train to pass over an area, but these are less commonly used on diesel type trains. N scale arch bridges can provide your set with that extra degree of detail that helps it stand out from other models. They provide excellent options for cities and many are large enough to allow a train to pass through underneath the arch. Typically, you wouldn’t set up your train to ride over the top of one of these arch bridges.

N scale steam locomotives

Girder Bridges

Girders are support beams that use a crosshatched pattern. Girder brides are built atop these girders to provide extra support. Model railroaders can install girders to carry their trains across traffic and form a straight bridge from one end to the other. Add additional trusses to help support the bridge and give it an authentic look. Once you install a girder, you can run your train over the bridge by attaching the track to your existing rail. Plate, pier, open deck and steel arch bridges are just some of the different types of girder bridges available for hobbyists. Most N scale girder bridges come pre-assembled and ready for detailing. You can even use girders to switch from a single to a double or even triple track.

Signal, Trestle and Truss Bridges

Some of the most beautiful bridges consist of trestles. Trestles provide the model railroader with a series of interlinked steel rods that support the tracks. Trestles can be built up to 24 inches long and 8 inches high. If you need to go higher, you can purchase specialty kits to extend the range. There are several types of trestle bridges, including wooden, Warren and through-truss bridges. Graduated bridges can be used stand-alone to gradually increase the height of your train. These bridges work well around mountain ranges and for dioramas. Truss bridges provide bars on either side to give your set a more realistic look. Signal bridges provide long, extended bridges with signal-type bridges.


Piers and pier sets allow you to create figure 8 over and under track plans as well as other more complex structures using cut stone or dioramas. Piers are interesting and come in a variety of forms. Some piers may work to take a train over wide stretches of water, while other piers are designed to circumvent traffic or gradually increase the elevation of the track. When riding cross-country, piers provide a solid, low-maintenance option for railroad companies to keep trains elevated safely out of the path of nature. Use piers to create up and over type bridges to pass over roads and other obstructions in your model railroad universe.

n scale layouts

N scale track plans on a 4 ft x 8 ft base board is common with n scale modelers worldwide.

n scale track layouts book

Download N Scale Track Plans Book

n scale layouts book

Download N Scale Train Layouts Book


Miscellaneous Bridges

High bridges, blinking bridges, hobo creek style bridges and other miscellaneous bridges can help give your railroad a custom look. When you want a particular bridge, such as the Bietschtal bridge or a curved steel bridge for your model railroad you can either print a plan and make your own, or seek out of the many specialty bridges formed after the most famous bridges in the world. These bridges provide an extra later of depth and realism to your layout that go beyond generic truss and trestle bridges. Concrete footbridges and bridges coupled with end supports provide your model railroad with uncommon features sure to make your layout stand out. You can even purchase merchant street bridges or small stone, and culvert walls to give your N scale railroad a look of antiquity.

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