LAYOUT- Lift Bridge Functional

Lift bridge complete

This past week I finished the basic lift bridge at the entrance to my layout room.   It has been one of those projects that I created more excuses than progress.   I overcame the internal inertia and installed the running rail and wiring to power the rail.

lift bridge rail joint

A key aspect of the bridge is make sure the rail is cut on a bias so that the rails don’t bind when the bridge is opened.   You can see the rough angle that I cut in the rail using a Dremel tool and an abrasive disk.   The moving bridge rails are spiked down lightly until the proper spacing has been determined.  Moving the bridge up and down will show how much space is needed to keep from the binding the rails.

rail joint

I will install a tie on the fixed side once I have everything is else done.    My son Mark showed me how to build the bridge and set it up.  He found several videos on YouTube posted by a fellow in Australia.   Mark has built two bridges for his HO and HOn3.

I posted a video of the lift bridge moving.   Lift bridge at entrance:

lift bridge feeders

The feeder wire for the bridge section was installed inside the bridge section.  The wire will be covered with a slab of one inch rigid expanded styrene board.   I will add an access panel so the connections can be got at once the final bridge and scenery is installed.

lift bridge wiring

Power to the movable bridge is carried using a 12 gauge power cord.  I used a terminal strip to connect all of the wiring.

10 thoughts on “LAYOUT- Lift Bridge Functional

  1. Gene, Great work on the lifting bridge section. I notice in the second photo that the approach rails both have electrical feeders. The closest rail also has a soldered rail joiner. What is the purpose for this? Are you connecting all rails this way?

    • Bill
      You could call it belt and suspenders. Don’t want a loss of contact at this point. The joiners help align the rail so I don’t have a kink in the curve.


  2. Gene,
    It is coming along nicely. I’m sure glad the inertia is back in the right direction.
    I noticed on your terminal blocks you are using jumper clips to add commonality to some of the terminals. I do that, too, but find sometimes I have to look twice to make sure they are there or else the wiring doesn’t look right. For me at least, it’s an aging type problem.

    • Ben
      Thanks for your comments. I need to push to get more track done before my knee replacement in September. Not sure how it will be for standing after the surgery.
      The jumpers save time. Leaving one out will generate some wasted time troubleshooting.


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