Photo courtesy Faller, GmbH

Bridges can make your layout more interesting, and make the trains seem like they are going farther than they really are. Märklin  and Faller both offer a good variety of bridges and piers to support them, so you can have several bridges on your layout without duplication.

Märklin 's bridges and piers were one of the earliest accessories they produced to complement the mini-club line of trains. Märklin offers two different kinds of piers: one set with piers of graduated height, and the other with piers of the same height.  Märklin 's piers can be stacked upon each other, to make bridges that pass over deep ravines. The top of the Märklin piers have a square tab, which serves to align the pier with the track ramp.

Both photos courtesy of Märklin

The track ramps are offered in both straight sections and curved sections. One drawback to the curved ramp is that it is available in only one radius, the 8510, which is the sharpest in curvature.  The straight ramp is the same length as a piece of 8500 track.

The track ramps have square openings that correspond to the square tab on the piers while the locking tabs correspond to the locking tabs on the next ramp.  The track is snapped into the track ramp, and is held in place by other locking tabs on the ramp. 

Photo courtesy Märklin

Note that the ramps lock together, using the square raised boss on the top of the pier to lock the completed ramp and pier assembly together.  If desired, you can either use a small screw or glue to complete the assembly for greater strength.

Märklin does offer one long bridge, with similar locking arrangements for both the piers and the track surface. It is 220 mm long, the same length as a piece of 8505 track.

Photo courtesy Märklin

One of the most important parts of the Faller Z-Scale product line is their bridges. One weakness in the Märklin product line is the limited number of bridges; Märklin only offers one curved trestle, in the sharpest track radius.  Fortunately, Faller has filled this gap with their own series of bridges and piers.

Faller offers curved trestles in all three track radii, along with several tangent bridges of a more ornate design than the Märklin bridges.

All photos courtesy Faller, GmbH

The individual bridges are joined together by a long plastic tongue (visible in the photos of the individual trestles). This tongue will press-fit into each bridge component, joining everything together.  If desired, it can also be glued for greater strength.  These bridges are supported by piers from the graduated pier set:

Courtesy, Faller, GmbH

Note the small cube shaped structures at the top of each pier; these fit into the base of the bridges and also can be glued for further strength.  Although this image shows the piers rising from a flat surface they can also be used to support bridges over valleys which drop down from track level.

The Märklin and Faller bridge systems are not compatible, but, with modification (i.e., cutting and fitting), they may be used with each other.

If you are using the overhead catenary, the Märklin 8913 mast snaps directly on the Märklin bridges. Faller makes a plastic piece which is glued to the bridge; then the 8911 mast is modified by cutting the base of the mast before being attached to the Faller bridge mount.

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