MVL Bridges is the trading name under which I construct and sell model aluminium girder bridges for garden railways.
What if the bridge I want is not a standard size or design?
As far as I am aware I am the only supplier in the UK of a range of aluminium girder bridges individually constructed from different sections; T section, channel, angle and box sections. Other companies do supply girder bridges for garden railways, although some tend to be constructed entirely of angle sections whilst others are pressed and folded from flat sheet.
In terms of price MVL Bridges provides excellent value for money along with fabulous quality.
What is the longest single span available or possible?
The longest single span I have produced was around three metres in length. However a recent curved deck bridge was almost 4.5 metres in length but this was a semi-circle and built in four connecting sections.
With regard to the longest single span it is best to consider what the longest full size span could realistically be in the scale/gauge you operate. However, if you need to span a crossing of two metres or more please contact me to discuss possible options. As a guide, the truss construction will enable a longer span than the standard deck.
Your bridges are unpainted. Do I need to paint my bridge?
As all the materials used in the construction of MVL Bridges are not expected to rust it is not generally considered necessary to paint the bridges even if they are left out in the open permanently from year to year. The aluminium oxidises and becomes rather dull and blotchy but should not suffer any significant corrosion. Rivets and screws are aluminium and stainless steel and should not show signs of weakness or corrosion for many years. Therefore bridges do not need to be painted. This is mainly a matter of personal preference.
If I do paint my bridge what should I use?
Ordinary aerosol paints and primers are not suitable for painting bare aluminium. I recommend using at least two coats of U-Pol #8 Etch Primer as supplied by Halfords. This produces a matt light grey finish which can be left or ovecoated with most auto paint aerosols.
A better finish can be gained by having the bridge powder coated. This gives a much more durable hard coating.
How do I attach my track to the bridge?
All MVL Bridges have 16mm x 16mm cross beams supporting two track plates or 'locator tray' made from 20mm x 10mm angle aluminium rivetted to the cross beams at the gauge of the track (32mm, 45mm, etc.).
This prevents lateral movement both on both straight and, more importantly, curved bridges. Track can also be glued in place if required.
I need to be able to move my bridge for access.
Is this ok?
All MVL Bridges are rigid structures. Most can be lifted easily to allow access or to be stored indoors for security. As long as you can provide stable and level supports for each end and perhaps some arrangement to ensure the bridge aligns the track laterally it is perfectly feasible to lift bridges regularly provided they are handled carefully.
We occasionally supply bridges with simple pivots at one end to allow the bridge to swing from one end. The style of pivot depends on the design of the bridge. Some bridges are not suitable for pivots.
How long will I have to wait for a bridge?
My order list is available on the website to give an indication of likely waiting time. When an enquiry is received I will always give an estimated date for delivery in terms of the early/middle/end of a month. Please note this is an estimation and not a guaranteed delivery date. Progress can always be checked via the website.
If it appears that there may be a significant delay due to family and other employment commitments you wil be informed directly.
How will my bridge be delivered?
n all but a few cases bridges are delivered by courier, usually UPS booked through interparcel.com. Once a bridge is complete, arrangements are made with the customer for the most convenient delivery day. Bridges are collected from me one day and delivered the following day. Customers are more than welcome to come to the workshop to collect bridges in person. In certain circumstances arrangements can be made for a mid way handover or even direct delivery.
A standard charge of £20 is made for carriage and packing within the UK. Insurance is offered as an option for an additional £5
Deliveries outside the UK are charged according to the actual cost arranged with the carrier and agreed with the customer.
Customers should bear in mind that the most expensive aspect of any parcel is its length. Most carriers will handle parcels up to 1.5m. Above this there are less carriers who generally charge significantly higher costs.
How will my bridge be packed?
Model girder bridges are built to withstand the stresses and tensions of a bridge rather than the kind of stresses and knocks possible in a full size transit van. For that reason I take most seriously the preparation of each bridge for transport. It is a time consuming exercise and can be expensive. I use a combination of new and recycled materials for packing.
What if my bridge is damaged when it arrives?
If a bridge has suffered damage when it arrives I will discuss the possibility of forwarding replacement parts to the customer. If the customer is unable or unwilling to carry out such a repair arrangements will be made for the bridge to be returned to MVL Bridges and either a replacement bridge will be supplied or the original repaired and returned. All costs will be the responsibility of MVL Bridges.
Where the optional insurance for delivery has been taken out steps will be taken to make an appropriate claim.
What if my bridge is not as I ordered or does not meet my expectations?
In all such cases I will offer a replacement bridge to the correct specifications or a full refund of the price paid for the bridge.
Are the bridges guaranteed in any way?
MVL Bridges are designed and constructed to withstand normal usage within the field of model garden railways now and in the future. They are not intended for any form of ride-on railway and are not expected to carry a person's weight. They are also constructed in a manner and with such material that they should withstand normal weather conditions in the UK for a significant number of years whilst left in the open on a permanent basis. Where a bridge is regularly handled for storage indoors or to provide access to parts of the garden this may hasten weaknesses in the bridge.
That said, as long as I continue to trade as MVL Bridges I will offer repairs and replacements free of charge where these are the result of weaknesses or deficiencies in construction or materials; and at cost where these are the result of general wear and tear or accidental or inappropriate handling of a bridge.
When do I pay for my bridge and how?
I do not require any payment for bridges ordered until the bridge is ready for delivery. Some customers prefer to provide a deposit or pay in full in advance. This is not required. Payment is only required immediately before dispatch.
I can accept payment by cheque, via Paypal, or by direct bank transfer. Cash will be accepted where a bridge is collected or handed over in person.
Do you take orders from outside of the UK?
Yes, we have supplied bridges to South Africa, New Zealand, Singapore, USA, France, Norway and the Netherlands. As long as the customer is prepared to cover the cost of packing and delivery we will construct bridges to your requirements. We always try to secure the most cost effective delivery service. It is important to bear in mind that the most expensive aspect of any parcel is its length. Most carriers will handle parcels up to 1.5m. Above this there are fewer carriers and they generally charge significantly higher costs.