When I added my upper level with two loops I really didn’t really think my entrance was going to be problem. The entrance is 46” high and 15” wide. So you kind of have to slip through with you head down. Me being 62 years old with a 40” waist, yeah it’s a problem. I kinda like the idea people don’t want to duck to get inside but it’s exhausting me. So I’m going to stop with the trestles and go back and deal with this before I go any further. I’m thinking a one sided hinged deal where I can flip over the bridge. I can either make it out of wood like the picture I attached or go with the Rail king. I know the tracks has to be independently wired from the loop but I’m not sure where the tracks meet or connect when I flip it back down. The hinged end has to be cut angled so you can open but I’m not sure. I’ve seen others do this but not in great detail how’s it done. Any pointers my fellow train enthusiasts?
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I have two lift bridges on my layout, one is the Mianne power lift-bridge, the other is the one I just added to get to my freight yard.
In both cases, lining up the tracks is fairly simple, you build the bridge and perfect it's function, then lay the track like the bridge isn't there. Once the track is laid, I used a Dremel to cut the tracks at the junction, and since they were secured on both sides, they line up perfectly when either bridge is closed.
The freight yard bridge has hinges that are above the track head so that the track swings away from the cut when you lift the bridge. The track on the opposing side (left) is cut at a slight angle so that it won't clash as the bridge is lifted. Brass aligning pins keep the bridge in perfect alignment at the left side, the hinges do the same on the right side. Note that there are ten tracks on the freight yard bridge, and all of them line up perfectly and the transition onto and off of the bridge is as smooth as regular track.
Mianne power Lift Bridge
Manual Lift Bridge To Freight Yard
Very helpful. Interesting how you manage to align all those tracks. That is an awesome setup. Thanks for the ideas.
The tracks had to be aligned when they were one track, and I then screwed them down near the bridge separation, When they were cut, they were aligned by default. On the other end, the hinges keep that part in line, they were laid and cut the same way.
You will notice the .05 thick spacers on the left side of the bridge. The Homasote on the freight yard is a true 1/2" thick and the Baltic Birch multi-ply is 11mm. thick. That gave me about a .05" difference in height, I took the cheap way out when I discovered that issue.
The only thing that remains is adding the contacts on the bridge to bring power to the freight yard. I picked up these spring loaded test contacts to mount on the freight yard side, they'll project about .1" above the mating surface and contact flat plates on the underside of the moving bridge to carry power to the freight yard. That way I don't need any power coming across the floor to power the freight yard.
John, Take a look at this topic lift up bridge I just commented on it, but will show mine again. It is closely based on what mike g. shared here on the Forum using a linear actuator and lifts two bridges separated by 7 inches elevation. IT is rather crude when compared to gunrunnerjohn's but works.
Thank you both GunrunnerJohn and Mark. I think I got the power transfer solved. I’ll probably go with a piano hinge deal. Now I’ll need a bridge.
Yeah looking at it up closer looks even more unrealistic. If the sections are one piece will probably make more realistic.
I did have another plan but I found these metal bridges new in a box 4 for $25. I thought I can use these type bridges as an alternative to a full bridge. I am going with a full bridge.