LAYOUT- Finishing the Lift Section


The entryway lift section has been staring at me for months as I pondered how to finish it.   Today, I decided to make it happen.   I took a trip down to Lowes looking for parts to make a latch to keep the lift section up when the trains aren’t running.  I remember some old doors had long steel rods to keep them open.  Well, you can’t find that kind of hardware at a big box store.   I decided to go a slightly different way using an aluminum bar, an eye bolt and right angle brace for a hinge point.  The whole deal was about $7.00.


So after the replacement of cabinet hinges and reworking of the top deck of the lift section, this is what I started with this afternoon.   I intend to insert some 1″ thick styrene foam board in the tray as a base for scenery.  I next fitted a 1/4″ thick poplar plank across the gap to provide a temporary bridge until the final one get built.

temp bridge

I looked at the hinged end closely and noticed that when the rail is installed it might bind with the benchwork.   I removed the bridge and got out the Dremel tool and dug a small pit for the rails to fit into.

clearance pit

I will add a small blog on what this looks like with the rails installed.  It will show that the pit eliminates the possibility of bend the rails if the  bridge is pushed to far back.

latch engaged

The latch is made from an aluminum bar that runs from a wall bracket to an eye bolt on the bridge.  It took me about 15 minutes to fabricate the bar.

wall bracket

The wall bracket is a simple corner brace attached to a wall stud.   I used a steel bolt and some hardware that was in my workshop.

latch end

The bridge end is an eye bolt.  The latch bar has a notch cut in it.  I will go back and increase the depth of the notch.

receiving end

The docking end of the lift assembly was changed by adding small blocks to guide the bridge into place.    I have to add some filler to the vertical surface to close the gap. on this end

From this point, I will get back to building roadbed and spiking rails to extend the line down the west wall.



9 thoughts on “LAYOUT- Finishing the Lift Section

  1. Looking good Gene. From experience I would round the corners of the support block b into it.that sticks out from the framing into the walkway. It won’t hurt as much when you bump into it.

  2. I like the bridge scene in your lead photo. I assume that will be the prototype for your lift section.

    I’ve managed to avoid movable entrance sections on this new layout although I do have two “emergency” lift outs. My old layout did have a entrance lift section which you may have not noticed when you where there. It became easier to duck under than deal with the lifting and re-alignment.

    • Charlie
      The lead photo is one possibility but there are others. I was also looking at the ballast deck trestle that was in Mainline Modeler.
      The lift section is a necessity for my space. I want to see how well it works out. My son has two lift sections that are very reliable so I am hoping that it works for my layout.
      I don’t recall you had a lift section. I do remember getting under the layout to reach the center section. Your Houston layout is still my favorite for for smaller O layouts. The level of refinement was exceptional.


  3. Thanks Gene.
    Where you ducked under the Houston layout to get to the center was originally the lift up section. I knew that I would not want to open it during operations, so the height and width and length were also designed for an easy duck under.


  4. Charlie- I think that I was so impressed with the layout that I probably didn’t hear you say anything about the lift section.
    I need to make a pilgrimage to Texas to see your new layout and to see Zwernemann’s secret layout. It will be the only way to get pictures to share with folks. Besides, I am in need a fix of Texas BBQ. Maybe a trip to Lockhart and Taylor will be included in my travel plans.


  5. The Z-man’s secret layout may have already been outed over on Doyle’s “gnflyer” web site. But, come out anyway.


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