John Allen built his famous Ryan Gulch trestle in the early 1950s, at the time considered one of the tallest HO scale trestles at 21" tall (120 scale feet.) Here is how I reconstructed this famous section of the original G&D layout.
John Allen's original Ryan Gulch trestle shot in 1971 by Gary Warnick. Note the presence of the Butler Mine building a hillside rail siding. I still have to finish this building.
Having photographs of what his area looked like I decided to build it backwards from John's method -- engineering the steep valley in reverse and then building the trestle itself. I also slightly enlarged the gulch area to be few inches wider at the top and a few inches deeper a the bottom.
I used a curved plywood pattern form to establish the exact height and continuous radius curve, then used a plumb bob to locate the footings below.
Just to be safe, I added a little length to the bottom of each footer to get just the right spacing into the plaster base.
Despite building this scene in reverse of how John Allen did it originally, the final results are an identical match.
A view of the finished scene in November of 2021.
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