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Division 4 NMRA MCR


Mark Filippell

News from Mark: "I have completed the blueprints and begun construction of my "model railroadized version" of China's Lupu Bridge. (See photo below of the Lupu Bridge.) My HO bridge will be double-track and 8 feet, 7 inches long. The first and most difficult step is creating the large arches, which will be steamed wood reshaped in a mold. The project will take the better part of a year, but should be quite striking when it is completed."



All images are from the modeller Mark Filippell.

Tate Bridge

Thara K. Tate Bridge   (583 feet long to scale)  This is an exact model of the Norfolk Southern Cuyahoga River Bridge, located 100 yards west of the I-90 Inner Belt Bridge.  It is a metal riveted Parker through truss vertical lift design.   Special thanks to Joe Carson, who helped measure and photograph the structure, including climbing one of the towers.  David Helsel also helped secure the modeling materials.  Of special note is that the structure has been working for 100 years, having been converted from steam to electric power 52 years ago.  The leaded counterweights neutralize the center span’s mass, allowing the tiny motor in the center to move the massive structure.

Vendeland Bridge

Georgine M. Vendeland Bridge   (870 feet long to scale) This is a suspension bridge modeled using the same relative proportions (length, to height, etc.) as the George Washington Bridge.  Unlike with the GW, the towers are filled in and mine carries trains on one level rather than vehicles on two.  The anchorages are each packed with four pounds of lead to provide counterweights to the tension on the cables exerted by the span over the “river”. 

Vandenberg Bridge

Amy M. Vandenberg Bridge (471 feet long to scale)  This is a steel through arch truss bridge, inspired by the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia, the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City and by the Detroit-Superior Bridge over the Cuyahoga River.  It is the first bridge I built, though I actually started out to reconstruct an existing bridge.  I ended up using only 5% of the original bridge, proving that often in life is easier to start from scratch rather than fix somebody else’s mistakes!

Kovacic Bridge

Katherine Kovacic Bridge   (735 feet long to scale) This is a cable-stayed bridge of my own design, inspired by the Kohlbrandbrucke Bridge in Hamburg, Germany.  This cable-stayed style is becoming increasing popular as metallurgical science keeps increasing the strength of the cables.  As a result, many long bridges that 50 years ago would have been designed around suspension cables are now constructed using cable-stays.  The model uses extensive amounts of lead in the foundations and end portions of the deck, providing counterweights to the force of the cables. 

White Bridge

Rebecca L. White Bridge   (478 feet long to scale, including the approaches) This is an exact model of B&O Railroad Bridge #464, the world’s longest single track Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge (located next to Shooter’s Restaurant).  The original was constructed in 1907; though it doesn’t work anymore, mine does!  Special thanks to Bill Barrow at Cleveland State’s Library who secured blueprints of the structure from the Library of Congress.  The robust Lego motor does a great job; the lead in the counterweights balances the balsa beams in the span. 


Waheeb Tadros Bridge   (305 feet long to scale) This is an exact model of the RTA’s Cuyahoga Viaduct Bridge, a complex variation on the classic Warren through truss design.  The structure currently carries two commuter tracks from Tower City to Hopkins Airport, but when completed in 1935 it carried four tracks as shown in the model. It is named for Waheeb Tadros of the RTA’s bridge engineering department, who was invaluable in securing blueprints and guided tours of the actual structure.   The details at the bottoms of the pillars are distinct, mirroring the actual structure.    

Thanks for showing these great models.

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