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Over a half century ago, I had a huge Lionel HO layout.  Included was a Lionel trestle set, that was made of faux stone piers, and they were very common at the time.  I think they still make them.  I think there were 20 or more piers in the set.

I am now trying to include a trestle set in my O gauge layout for standard 3-rail 031 Lionel track.  To my utter shock (and disgust) I find that nobody makes a simple faux stone pier trestle set for O gauge.  Yes, there are sets for Fast Track and MTH Real Track, but none for standard 031.  All I can find are the girder type or timber type trestles sets.

Why?   Why make these in HO gauge, but not in standard O Gauge? 

So now, once again, I have to build something myself, using pieces of upright 2x4 or ripped 2x6.

Assuming that nobody makes a plastic pier set, then I guess I'll have to use some "peel and stick" stone paper, or dip the pieces of wood in actual concrete, to make them look like real piers.

Which would be better do you think?

Thanks for all advice.


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Hi Manny,

I'd use printed paper or cardstock glued to a block of wood.  I don't think dipping wood into wet concrete would give you the effect you're looking for.  I've carved cobblestone like rocks into the pink / green foam from the big box stores.  It looks good but foam by itself doesn't have the structural integrity to support a heavy train.  Keep us informed which ever direction you decide to go.


Nothing beats carved pink foam to simulate stone surfaces of all kinds. It would be very easy to carve a "stone" veneer to apply over the wood support. The hardest part would be to slice the veneers thinly enough.

You can scribe the "stones" onto a flat sheet:

or you can cut and lay individual stones:

You might not even need the wood. A solid block of foam insulation is pretty strong.


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@PRRMP54 posted:

I was thinking of using Lego stone blocks (medieval castle stuff?) for the basis of some stone piers. A B&O bridge over the Jones Falls gave me the idea with its huge blocks.

Along these same lines check this out from our talented cohort John Sethian:

     The bridge abutments and overpass on which the railing sits are Lego Bricks (1/21/21) | John Sethian


Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike
@b2flier posted:

The MTH stone piers for Realtrax might suit your needs.  Looks like you would just have to do a quick mod to the top of the pier to allow your 3-rail track to be mounted to it.  Has anyone used these piers and can confirm that the Realtrax mounting plate comes off the top?


I used the MTH girder piers - they have the same Realtrax (or Fastrack, depending on which one you buy) mounting plates. I cut the mounting plates off and sanded the top surface. I then used gorilla glue to affix a 1/2” square wood dowel to the sanded surface. Once painted, it looked like part of the girder and provided a nice surface to secure to the underside of the bridge decking with small screws. You could do something similar with the stone piers.

I also used the MTH graduated trestle set (the clamps can be removed) in one section of my layout and also made these simple, old-fashioned, three-piece wooden trestles (two uprights, one cross) out of 1" square stock that was stained and the uprights screwed into the ends of the cross piece. The screw holes were then filled with wood putty, sanded and re-stained.

I should note that the Fastrack was first laid on 1/8" ?   "luan" plywood for additional support before being placed on top of the trestles.

When set up as an assembly line, it goes fairly quickly. I also cut small strips of self-stick automotive insulation to put on top of the cross pieces to help deaden sound and make up for any small height differences.



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