Camarillo Pacific Railroad debuts special new bridge

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on November 7, 2011

Colin Camarillo with the Bryce Gilbert Memorial Bridge

There have been some major renovations of the Camarillo Pacific Railroad since we first visited, none more spectacular than the new eight-foot bridge built by Colin Camarillo in memory of his good friend, Bryce Gilbert, who passed away last year.

“Bryce’s father gave me a really special locomotive — there are only a few hundred in the world,” explained Colin as he showed us, and other visitors, the railroad’s various improvements. “But the size of the engine meant that I had to widen some of the curves.”

Colin did that and more. He wanted very much to keep Bryce’s memory alive; it was his friend who’d helped him build the railroad in the first place. He decided that there was no better way than to build a new bridge. He researched bridge styles on various model railway forums and settled on a Howe through truss.

“I liked its sophistication and elegance but that it was still largely conservative in design,” he said.

Colin believes the eight-foot span, which can hold 150 pounds, is the largest model railway bridge in existence. “At least I haven’t been able to find one longer than seven feet.”

The new structure is called the Bryce Gilbert Memorial Bridge, and Colin is working on finishing touches. He’ll rename his locomotive Engine Gilbert and plans to to place two figures under a light on a platform that extends from the bridge. “The light will always be on,” he said.

Second photo courtesy of Colin Camarillo

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