Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Building the Green Max foot bridge

As April ended and May began, we had a bit of a heat wave in the Bay Area with the temperatures reaching about 90 degrees F for a couple of days.  When I built the train room in the garage last year I was quite concerned about keeping the temperatures as cool as possible without the use of an air conditioner.  I had added attic ventilation to the garage and of course insulated the walls and ceiling.  During the cooler months, it was hard to get the room warmed up with a small electric heater so I added a damper to control the ventilation and that helped some.  I am generally OK if the temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees.  With the recent hot weather, the train room got it's first real test of keeping cool and I am happy with the results.

With the train room being the most comfortable place to be, and the need to finish many little projects on the Hot Springs Junction module, I pulled out a kit that I have been looking forward to starting.  Green Max kit # 17, the covered foot bridge.

Bridges like this were at one time quite common in Japan and I have clear memories of using them on my first couple of trips.  As things have become more modernized with escalators and elevators becoming standard, this older type of bridge is disappearing.

I assembled the structure as directed except for the support columns.   The support columns that came with the kit are meant to be resting on the same level as the stairs but I needed to have them extend to the ground level so I made new longer ones from Plastruct styrene columns and the cross bracing from the kit.

I planned to have three pairs of columns with the center pair being right in the center of the structure and between the two tracks.  At the center of the bridge, there is a floor brace that is about .040  x .040 in size.  By notching the tops of this pair of columns, the top of the columns fit right over the brace.

Another .040 x .060 brace was added at the top of each column just below the notch.  I also added an .040 x .040 floor brace at both ends and notched the other two pairs of column tops.

Here is the assembled bridge ready for paint.  A short section of angle on the inside corners and a bit of sheet styrene to the inside of the outer walls where the sections meet were added for strength.  These won't show after the roof is put on.

The roof sections will be painted separately then attached to the structure later.

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