Could a Railking  30-9020 Hellgate bridge ( O scale), be used for standard gauge trains single track? Specifically a 392e or 9e loco and 418 passenger cars, or is the portal opening height, too low, or not wide enough ?

I know the bridge is not "tinplate" but they do look nice. No one in my area has one to measure.

Was hoping someone here on the forum tried to use or has one in use. 

Original Post

My mth 9e, the 392e, and 418 car with 6 wheel trucks, including track,  are all approx 7" high 4 & 1/4" wide.

 With many of the "tinplate"  bridges (300/305) becomming scarce  a reasonable option might just be the Railking Hellgate IF the openings are not too tight., ( cars probably sway a 1/4" side to side).

The 5 3/4" isn't going to fly. I have one and it's in the Railking line for a reason. Looks good on a traditional o gauge layout but that's about it. Tinplate are easy to come by, both the 300 and the 305. I have bought the red and the green (all 4) and paid less than 250 including shipping.  Watch eBay through the dead of the summer and used ones with dust and a few minor nicks will come up cheap. 

Thanks Keith K 

So it looks like it is a 2 track bridge with a center rail to center rail width of 4" ( so probably 6" wide opening).

It also suggests an elevation of 5 3/4 " from base of bridge to bottom of track.

So you need to trestle.

Height to track bottom of                    6 1/2 " is the killer.

(Overall height of opening between bottom of track and bridge superstructure).

Oh well...question answered.



Ed Prendeville who is the Master of Pre-War Trains snd Accessories for sale has a couple of tinplate standard gauge Hell Gates for very reasonable prices. Contact him at 201-334-3399. He is a great guy to talk to about standard gauge . Very knowledgeable and cordial. 

Thanks Ash Standard, I have had the opportunity to see  two pre-war 300s very recently , I will someday probably get a modern reproduction #305. That said,  seeing one (" in person" ) they are BIG. 

It is suprising that they are only 28 1/2 "long and the RailKing is 34".

For now plans have changed, ...there is only so much room and a recently aquired, ((much cheaper) Marx "Glendale" station is on the "lot".

( a 28" Marx freight station in really good shape might just follow me home from the "train show" next month).  Realestate is getting scarce. May have to expand..maybe be.....

What a great hobby!

I don't do Tinplate but interestingly enough I was just researching this subject today as I needed to know if 1/48 Scale Auto Carriers and Husky Stacks could make it through the bridge as I want to buy one eventually, but won't if it restricts the number of rolling stock that can go on the bridge.  What is important is that the passage on the tracks underneath the MTH Rail King towers is a curved arch, not a quadrilateral shape, so that whatever is listed as the height above the base of the bridge (I'm guessing this is the 5-3/4"?) only applies to the top center of the arch not the sides where the curve starts.  That could mean that the scale cars could be clipping at the corners. 

I'm still trying to figure this out as I don't know what the clearance height at the outside edge of the tracks to the underneath of the tower arch is and if the height above the rails of the MTH Auto Carriers (5-1/16") and Husky Stacks (5-9/16") would make it through. 

Modern Lionel Hellgate Bridge

If you can find one for sale, I recommend you go with the redesigned all metal Hell Gate bridge #305, which has several improvements incorporated into its design.  For example, its has been "widened" to the point that two parallel O gauge tracks can now run across it, whereas the original could only handle one track.  Unfortunately, the above rail height has not been increased so while you can run wider trains through it, you cannot run taller ones.  Checkout this posting for all of the #305 specs:

Bob Nelson


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