MODELING: Crossing the Great Abyss

If your track has to cross an aisle or entrance you have had to deal with how to get to the other sides.  Lift outs, gates or “drawbridge” style allow access.   Back in 2014, I decided to use a hinged drawbridge style to bridge the entrance path to my room.

I had seen one that my son installed on his HO layout and decided to try to copy the design.  The hinges were European style cabinet hinges.  They appeared to provide the needed motion such that the bridge rails would not strike the adjacent track on the fixed portion of the bench.

Here is the underside of the drawbridge showing the hinges and wiring.

Well, the hinges seemed like a good idea but didn’t stay in alignment very long.  The weight of the rotating section was likely more than a cabinet door they were intended to work on.  As a result of a planned move, the layout was removed in 2016

My new layout is underway with a different approach to providing access.  I am still using hinges but this time in a very straight-forward application.

They are simple door hinges that I are raised to the height of the railhead.  Ideally you want the rotation axis at the same height as the railhead.  I used a wood block to raise the hinge. As it turned out a thin plastic shim was needed to make a minor correction in height.  Ken Burney posted a picture of his layout lift section on FaceBook.  I liked his simplistic approach.

The bridge is .75″ plywood with a couple of reinforcing ribs added to reduce the chances of warping.  Simple but effective.

That is all for now.  Back to the layout construction.


5 thoughts on “MODELING: Crossing the Great Abyss

  1. It’s “aisle” unless you’re crossing an island, then it’s “isle”.

    Sometime back you commented on how difficult it was to get a good photo of a light colored underside/car. I downloaded the image of the NP boxcar underbody and did a tweak with Photoshop. Everything is bright and clear. I can send you the resultant photo if you’d like to see it. I’d send it with this comment, but it doesn’t appear to be feasible.

  2. Sometimes simple is the best approach. I think my concern would be the screws holding it in place. The new bridge looks more lightweight than the old one. How wide is the span?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.