The Kyeamba creek flows from the hills near the Hume Hwy south-west of Tarcutta, (near the Tumbarumba road intersection) for a distance of 66km before ending up in the Murrumbidgee River. The Tumbarumba railway branchline crosses the creek just west of Ladysmith.
|Kyeamba creek is but a muddy puddle in March 2017. Whilst I was not able to actually measure the rail height above the water, I have estimated it at 21 feet.|
|Another shot of Kyeamba creek, photographed from the bridge, showing a typical creek bank, and vegetation|
The Kyeamba Creek bridge is a 6 x 24’ span NSW timber trestle, with concrete abutments. A small tributary of Kyeamba creek is crossed by a 3 x 24’ span trestle close by the main bridge.
The last trains passed over the bridge in the late 1980s. The bridge fell into disuse, although there was a later failed proposal from Tumba Rail to reopen this section for Trike rides. It was last year, before I actually got to inspect these bridges. My visit to the main bridge was unfortunately cut short, as I had disturbed a wasp nest, and they were not too pleased with the intruder, forcing me to make a tactical retreat.
|The first pier of the bridge holds the rail approximately 8 feet above the ground. The ladder is part of the automatic water flow measuring system. The wasp nest is hidden under the sleepers close to the ladder.|
|The concrete abutment|
The small tributary trestle was in far worse condition then the main bridge. One of the embankments had been washed out in the big storms of 2016, and the rails had been left dangling in mid air. But there was enough left to see what once was present.
|The small 3 span trestle around 200 metres to the west of the main trestle. This unnamed stream had caused a significant wash-a-way in the storms of 2016|
|Closeup of the damage. The main railway support piers survived but the embankment, and its supports had been washed away, leaving only the stumps. The rail, and a few of the sleepers have been left suspended in mid air|
|The pair of intermediate piers are resting on concrete plinths, and these look in good condition|
|The timber abutment at the other end of the trestle is also collapsing, but 30 years since the last train, and probably over 40 years of no maintenance, this is understandable|
Many years ago, I bought the Ironbark models NSW trestle kit and extension, and started construction of an eight span trestle bridge for a former layout. I never finished this model, before a relocation forced me to tear the layout down. However, I kept the part built kit.
My intention when designing the layout, was to reuse, and complete the kit without modifications, as I like big spectacular bridges, but the further I am heading up the prototypical accuracy modelling route, I realise that the bridge kit needs to be rebuilt.
The Ironbark models kit has great diagrams to help with the construction of the trestle, but the Data Sheets (Sheet P4) is the reference for the 24’ span NSWGR trestle bridge. These plans contain all the bridge details I need, except the concrete abutments, and the height of the piers on the Kyeamba Creek bridge. However, the end abutment drawing seems to be close to style found on the washed out tributary bridge.
The first step was to draw up a diagram showing the concrete abutments, and pier heights.
|Sketch of the Kyeamba Creek trestle - showing details of the concrete abutments. These sizes have been guestimated from photographs.|
My next challenge will be to try and remove the trestle piers from the already constructed bridge deck, without doing too much damage to the deck, and construct the concrete abutments.
Until next time, happy modelling