Other uses|Trestle (disambiguation)

A trestle is a bridge that consists of a number of short spans, supported by splayed vertical elements and is usually for railroad use. Timber trestles were extensively used in the nineteenth century in mountainous areas and to traverse floodplains adjacent to rivers as approaches to bridges. These were typically constructed using peeled logs preserved with creosote as vertical elements and with bolted and spiked sawn timbers for bracing.

Twentieth century construction eliminated much of the need for trestles by using far more extensive grading and tunneling. In many parts of Australia, trestle bridges were replaced with earth-fill over corrugated iron pipe culverts.

The steel trestle shown below (to the left) is a modern structure with a long expected lifetime compared to a wooden trestle. Being fire resistant in this brushy location is also an advantage.

One of the longest trestle spans created was for railroad traffic crossing the Great Salt Lake on the Lucin Cutoff in Utah. It was replaced by a fill causeway in the 1960s, and is now being salvaged for its timber.

Many wooden roller coasters are built using design details similar to trestle bridges because it is so easy to make the roller coaster very high. Since loads are well distributed through large portions of the structure it is also resilient to the stresses imposed. The structure also naturally leads to a certain redundancy (provided that economic considerations are not overly dominant). Such wooden coasters, while limited in their path (not supporting loops), possess a certain ride character (owing to structural response) that is appreciated by fans of the type.

New Orleans still utilizes steel trestles to support parts of I-10, the Pontchartrain Expressway, and Tulane Avenue.


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(for supporting a table, bridge, etc.)

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Trestle — Tres tle, n. [OF. trestel, tresteay, F. tr[ e]teau; probably from L. transtillum a little crossbeam, dim. of transtrum a crossbeam. Cf. {Transom}.] [Written also {tressel}.] 1. A movable frame or support for anything, as scaffolding, consisting… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • trestle — early 14c., a support for something, from O.Fr. trestel crossbeam (12c.), presumed to be an alteration of L. *transtellum, dim. of transtrum beam, crossbar. Specific meaning support for a bridge is recorded from 1796 …   Etymology dictionary

  • trestle — ► NOUN 1) a framework consisting of a horizontal beam supported by two pairs of sloping legs, used in pairs to support a flat surface such as a table top. 2) (also trestlework) an open braced framework used to support an elevated structure such… …   English terms dictionary

  • trestle — [tres′əl] n. [ME trestel < OFr < VL * transtellum, dim. of L transtrum, a beam: see TRANSOM] 1. a framework consisting of a horizontal beam fastened to two pairs of spreading legs, used to support planks to form a table, platform, etc. 2.… …   English World dictionary

  • trestle — noun a) A horizontal member supported near each end by a pair of divergent legs, such as sawhorses. He turned the knob, but the door was locked. Retracing his steps past a vacant lot, the young man entered a shop where a colored man was employed… …   Wiktionary

  • Trestle — Wilburton Trestle Trestle (engl.: Gerüst) oder auch Bockbrücke ist eine Brückenbauart, die aus einer Konstruktion mit Stützelementen kurzer Spannweite besteht, gestützt durch sich nach oben verjüngende vertikale Elemente und üblicherweise bei… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • trestle — Synonyms and related words: L, branch, buck, cable railway, clotheshorse, cog railway, el, electric railway, elevated, elevated railway, embankment, feeder, feeder line, gravity operated railway, horse, horse railway, junction, light railroad,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • trestle — UK [ˈtres(ə)l] / US noun [countable] Word forms trestle : singular trestle plural trestles a frame that is shaped like the letter A , used especially for supporting a board to make a temporary table called a trestle table …   English dictionary

  • trestle — n. 1 a supporting structure for a table etc., consisting of two frames fixed at an angle or hinged or of a bar supported by two divergent pairs of legs. 2 (in full trestle table) a table consisting of a board or boards laid on trestles or other… …   Useful english dictionary

  • trestle — noun Trestle is used before these nouns: ↑table …   Collocations dictionary

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