Wondering about doing an access hatch opening on current layout.  As of now I just go under with a mechanic stool which works good for me However I was thinking about having the entrance swing up or down to enter.  Double Tracks are curved and go across a 2 wooden girders I built about 22" long and with curve. How would I go about doing this with the atlas track and power interruption of contacts of track?  Some wiring too ?  I would need step by step please.  I have pictures inclosed.  Thanks !


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You may find my following web pages with "pretty" pictures helpful.  I prefer to use my access bridges as switches where possible.

Runner and Guest Access Bridges

Access Bridges used as Switches

Bridges Wired to Control Track Power with Relays for Engine Protection

See Access Bridges used as Switches where Swing Bridge on South End is shown.
The white, black, and purple wires on the left are secured under the bridge.  They slide
into fascia holes when bridge is opened.


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IF you're going to hinge the track, the center line of the pivot pin on the hinge needs to be above the top of the rail. The first "up" motion with this geometry, the ends of the track moves apart. Otherwise, you'll need an additional gap so the track doesn't hit.

Wire power to the rails and it doesn't matter if there's a gap at each end. Safety interlocks (relays) are prudent, but not required. The risk is when (not if) your engine takes the big dive off the edge because you forgot and left the bridge "up".

For your curved bridge, scribe a line parallel to the edge of your benchwork and cut, 

The most important thing to do when you are spanning an aisle with plywood is to get it all lined up in place and supported, then screw a board to it that is longer than the span and screwed down on both sides and in the middle so the span cannot move while you are installing the hinges and the track.


I'm retired. Now I work at being a pain in the butt.

All good advice above.  One other thing I did was take an Atlas rail joiner and solder some "wings" to it.  I manually slide the rail joiner open and closed when I want the bridge open or closed.  This ensures the rails line up perfectly.  I painted them red for my visual reference, not for any real railroading reasons.

Have Fun!


P.S.  You might want to edit your title from Access Hatch to Lift Bridge.  I think of an access hatch as hole in the middle of a layout, that you must crawl under and pop up through.  You might get some additional participation with really good lift bridge ideas.


"I'd rather be lucky than good"


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Dave Ripp.
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