Thanks to everyone that commented on the previous post. Here are some more of my thoughts on the scene. I hope to install the water level plywood soon, so I need to sort out the design.
I cut some cardboard to mock up the fascia. The exercise proved illuminating.
First, I determined that I should add some more lateral distance between the fascia and the track, i.e. make the layout benchwork wider. This is mostly so that when I take photos or shoot video, I have a little more terrain to work into the scene. But it also improves the scenery to the track ratio, making the layout more realistic and visually pleasing. This goes against some currently fashionable layout philosophy to have minimal bench width so one can maximize run. But in this case, I have plenty of room to grow the width of the scenery since I already have maxed out my linear run. The extra width will be infringing on a generously sized crew lounge where a few less inches of space is not critical.
The desire to break up the scene to make the run feel longer is not as imperative here as elsewhere because the run from Stoneman's Station to Falmouth is the longest I have on the layout - about about 50 feet with 16 feet in the Stares Tunnel. It takes about 3 minutes of run time at track speed. It's true that in model railroads, the length of run can never be long enough, but this is getting close, or at least as close as I can get in this basement without going to a double deck layout design.
|The only image of Accokeek bridge I have.|
In the case of the Aquia Line, the USMRR built over an existing roadbed, so the grading was largely complete. But, there was a long low trestle over Accokeek Creek. Haupt says it was about 150 feet long and 30 feet high. I only have one image of this bridge and it is a quick artist's sketch, not a good photo. Not much help there. I don't have room for a scale 30 feet of height, which would be 7 inches, so I need to aim for a lower style bridge.
|Bridge Number 2 City Point and Army Line|
In conclusion, a long low trestle is a typical USMRR construction feature, it would amplify the narrative of mid-century railroad construction and it would look cool. I will use some foreground trees to help break up the scene, but the trestle will be uninterrupted by a cut and fill.