What would you do?

I have two Lionel 213 lift bridges on my layout. I just became aware of a clearance problem. I was running an MTH scale Pennsy caboose and heard it clipping the lower cross member  on one end of one of the bridges. That prompted me to check my MTH auto carriers for clearance. Bad news, the lower cross members would take off everything from the hood up of the cars on the upper deck.

A few years ago I had a problem with a Williams E-44 that struck the inside cross member. I was contemplating removing the cross member so I could run the engine; however Lionel came out with the E-44 so I sold the Williams.

Back to the present, I really like these auto carriers, especially the Ertl 50s & 60s autos. I feel the bridges are just scenery and am really not concerned about the collectability. So I am once again seriously thinking about modifying them.

Has the ozone gotten to me?  What would you do?

 

 

 

 

 

Regards, Bob

 

 

Original Post

Pictures would help as all I can find is a modern in its box and I don't see a lower cross member on that one. Another idea thou is there a way to raise the tracks coming to it so you could raise the bridge and all by how much clearance you need, or wire them to lift when your train is going under them. Would have to wire a stop for any train that might be coming to the bridge also. 

Bill

rtraincollector posted:

Pictures would help as all I can find is a modern in its box and I don't see a lower cross member on that one. Another idea thou is there a way to raise the tracks coming to it so you could raise the bridge and all by how much clearance you need, or wire them to lift when your train is going under them. Would have to wire a stop for any train that might be coming to the bridge also. 

I would tend to think the O.P. issue with the bridge is crossing the span and not going underneath for clearance. 

With that said, I too would need to see a picture of which crossmember and it's location on the bridge. If it's in the tower, it could be ok but if it's in the center span that raises and lowered it may NOT be ok as you might compromise with the strength/rigidity of that center span and it's ability to raise and lower smoothly.

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

A long time ago there was someone who wrote up a mod that he did for this.  That cross member was removed and I think wire-tied from the top of the moving part of the span so it didn't have a chance to impact cars rolling underneath.  I forget exactly how, but he also raised the entire bridge (or lowered the track - take you pick of how you would like to look at it) to add clearance.

It doesn't take much to hit here.  I found a K-Line smoking caboose had it's smokestack hit.

I'll have to see if I may have a bookmark of a link on another computer later.  I just did a search and didn't find it here.

-Dave

prrhorseshoecurve posted:
rtraincollector posted:

Pictures would help as all I can find is a modern in its box and I don't see a lower cross member on that one. Another idea thou is there a way to raise the tracks coming to it so you could raise the bridge and all by how much clearance you need, or wire them to lift when your train is going under them. Would have to wire a stop for any train that might be coming to the bridge also. 

I would tend to think the O.P. issue with the bridge is crossing the span and not going underneath for clearance. 

With that said, I too would need to see a picture of which crossmember and it's location on the bridge. If it's in the tower, it could be ok but if it's in the center span that raises and lowered it may NOT be ok as you might compromise with the strength/rigidity of that center span and it's ability to raise and lower smoothly.

Thanks for the replies, yes it's the tower cross members that are the problem, although the lowest cross member on the span is very close. I'll have to check each model of auto to be sure. Here are the pictures.

This shows the problem from above, you can see the cross member right in front of the windshield.

bridge1

Here you can see from track level view that the roof will peel back.

bridge2

Here I put the  car on the span and slipped the auto through the girders to show that it clears the span girder.

bridge

By comparison here is the Lionel Evans Auto loader with the same car, plenty of room.

bridge3

A sharp eye may pick up the bascule bridge in the background, and yes that too is a problem; but I have a Form D written to restrict auto loaders from the local track passed the streets cut off. So I'll be able to cut an auto carrier off the main and run it on the local track to the Streets interchange where it can be moved through town to the auto dealer siding. 

 

 

 

Regards, Bob

 

 

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Dave45681 posted:

A long time ago there was someone who wrote up a mod that he did for this.  That cross member was removed and I think wire-tied from the top of the moving part of the span so it didn't have a chance to impact cars rolling underneath.  I forget exactly how, but he also raised the entire bridge (or lowered the track - take you pick of how you would like to look at it) to add clearance.

It doesn't take much to hit here.  I found a K-Line smoking caboose had it's smokestack hit.

I'll have to see if I may have a bookmark of a link on another computer later.  I just did a search and didn't find it here.

-Dave

Thanks Dave I hope that you find it.

Regards, Bob

 

 

Why don't these companies make bridges and other accessories with a higher clearance. My GG1 all hit the signal &  bridges of all types  both Lionel  & MTH.

           OPKKS RR

The Transcontinental RR 

     "Tryin ta git it rite"

part of the D Reg U Latd Co

Bob ,say the word and I will come to your house and cut up those bridges, we are not going to sell them,after all how much longer do you think we have to go, the way things are going last time I checked I think I am going first, Its a good thing I have Eddie to lower me down. Just kidding. Are you coming to york with us  we will have a good time

Jim53 posted:

Bob ,say the word and I will come to your house and cut up those bridges, we are not going to sell them,after all how much longer do you think we have to go, the way things are going last time I checked I think I am going first, Its a good thing I have Eddie to lower me down. Just kidding. Are you coming to york with us  we will have a good time

Jim,

I know you will; besides I have some repairs lined up and I'm picking up 10 more railrax at York.
I've been waiting for a visit. Ritchie keeps say that you're all coming but I think he got beamed up.
I'll be flying solo on Friday, hope to meet for breakfast. hopefully not the Round the Clock.

 

 

Regards, Bob

 

 

with this bridge being show in the 2002 catalog it just proves that even if Lionel said they made 1/48 cars they did not measure something correct.

 

http://www.lionel.com/products...lift-bridge-6-14167/

 

we had a custom made bridge that let most cars pass in the 2002 to 2005 time frame but as cars got bigger they tore that bridge up.

we ended up replacing it with 8 inch clearance steel bridge, nothing hits now.

I agree with PHIL0426 idea, measure the maximum height of the car from top of rail, remove the existing structural shape, either a I beam or channel, make a taller I beam or channel with the bottom flange and web cut out  for clearance, and glue in position on bridge.

You  should be able to use Plastruct or Evergreen strip and sheet stock to make this beam, use a styrene cement/glue to make this beam and for attachment to the bridge. This type of modifications are applied to actual structures as clearance requirements change this beam in actual practice would require a  structural analysis for stress and welded attachment to the columns. So following this method would add additional interest to the bridge.   

One final comment, this method would work for a plastic bridge assembly, I do not know if this Lionel bridge is plastic or metal, if metal you can fabricate a soldered brass beam assembly, your local Hobby Lobby carries K&S Metal brass sheet stock, pricing is okay. This metal can be cut with tin snips and soldered 18 to 20 gauge material would be okay to use in my opinion.

bigdodgetrain posted:

with this bridge being show in the 2002 catalog it just proves that even if Lionel said they made 1/48 cars they did not measure something correct.

 ...........

I'm pretty sure they never claimed the bridge was supposed to be scale or necessarily have clearance for all scale equipment. 

True, they could have designed it to have a bit more clearance, but this was approached from an o gauge toy accessory standpoint (like most accessories Lionel has made).

Supposedly this accessory is pretty close (intentionally) to the design of the original post-war piece that never was produced beyond a prototype.  Obviously, most of these larger rolling stock pieces did not exist back then.

Point is, I'm not so sure it's that "they did not measure something correct", more that they weren't trying to re-design the PW prototype to make it big enough to clear all modern rolling stock.

There certainly were not dual level MTH auto carriers at that point.  I don't think anyone is pretending the traditional sized Evans Auto Loader car that does fit is a scale piece - it's the post war traditional design.

-Dave

pennsyfan posted:

This shows the problem from above, you can see the cross member right in front of the windshield.

bridge1

 

 

Bob,

Cut that cross member out.

While many of the above mentioned structural modifications/reinforcements would be necessary if this were an actual real world bridge, in the model train world, no reinforcing is needed if you remove that cross member.  The bridge will be plenty strong without it.

Stu

Both the older 313 bascule Bridge, also the newer 313 and the 213 bridges are not designed for the newer scale auto carrier cars, inter-modal cars, Crane cars, etc. They do look good, but that’s the extent of things. In 1992-1993 there was a scale lift bridge, Lionel 6-12782 I think, which works wonders for most all engines and rolling stock, it’s availabl sometimes at shows and on the For Sale Forum. I would replace the bridges with the Atlas O bridges. 72DD05D9-3414-420C-96E4-939EBA2819A0963486EB-7774-41D5-BAC5-40BE6B9349C15BE45E76-C173-4B16-BCCD-7F9427B9829B

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leapinlarry posted:

Both the older 313 bascule Bridge, also the newer 313 and the 213 bridges are not designed for the newer scale auto carrier cars, inter-modal cars, Crane cars, etc. They do look good, but that’s the extent of things. In 1992-1993 there was a scale lift bridge, Lionel 6-12782 I think, which works wonders for most all engines and rolling stock, it’s availabl sometimes at shows and on the For Sale Forum. I would replace the bridges with the Atlas O bridges.

The 12782 certainly has much more clearance, there may be an exception or two here or there.  (not sure if MTH Schnabel cars or true scale double stack container cars of all brands will fit - I am not specifically claiming any of them don't, I'm just saying I don't know for sure).

-Dave

The 6-12782 Lionel Scale Lift Bridge will easily allow, Scale Auto Carrier Cars, Schnabel Cars, The newer Inter-modal Cars, even GG1’s to pass through.  I had one of the Scale bridges, it was just to large for my layout.  This is why I chose Atlas O bridges.  7646D020-1858-47D1-93BE-56A2FD16D550780DAEFC-5F68-42A9-B389-B6EEC07B533A

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leapinlarry posted:

The 6-12782 Lionel Scale Lift Bridge will easily allow, Scale Auto Carrier Cars, Schnabel Cars, The newer Inter-modal Cars, even GG1’s to pass through.  I had one of the Scale bridges, it was just to large for my layout.  This is why I chose Atlas O bridges.  7646D020-1858-47D1-93BE-56A2FD16D550780DAEFC-5F68-42A9-B389-B6EEC07B533A

Larry,

Beautiful layout thanks for sharing. If you are referring to the boxy grey  lift bridge. I never cared for that one and am glad that I held out for the 213. I went over the prototype of the 213 on a cab ride and also drove by them on truck 1&9 in NJ. I have a fleet of the MTH auto carriers. They are staying and the bridges are staying so the cross members will be cut. More later.

Regards, Bob

 

 

Hi PENNSYFAN, I understand your liking the style of the #213 Lift Bridges, they are beautifully Unique Bridges. There is one in Louisville Kentucky just off the Interstate along the river. It’s Huge. I mentioned the boxy gray bridge as it is more in scale, size wize for our larger scale cars.  I sold mine do to space, however, if I had better designed my layout, it would have been a crowd pleaser.  Thank you for posting and please send more pictures of your layout. Very interesting.  

I think this is the info on modifying a bridge.  I saved this six years ago in case I may need it.  It's for the bascule bridge, but you could modify the dimensions for the 213.  Hope this helps.

Rejuvenating A Bascule Bridge  

The Lionel Bascule Bridge  #313 has long ago been sidelined on most layouts because of its low 4 5/8” clearance. Consists with schnables, stack cars, and now the acela with its high pantograph must be rerouted around it!  However, it is felt that the uniqueness of the bascule bridge is simply not captured by any other bridge offerings by O gauge manufacturers. The question then becomes how to increase the clearance while maintaining the basic “look” of a bascule bridge? While there is only one option for increasing clearance on the arm of the bridge, we can either raise the towers or put the whole base of the bridge on two abutments and drop the track down between the abutments. After reviewing pictures of rail bridges on the internet, I found a number resting on large abutments with track running between the abutments. This approach is used for modifying the 313 bascule bridge. A clearance of 5 13/16” was selected as a compromise between maintaining the bascule “look”, allowing use with modern cars, and construction ease. The picture below shows the final product.     

1

The rejuvenation involves inserting two wooden abutments under the towers of the bridge, cutting out the track between the towers and lowering it to the bottom of the abutments. One must also lower the plastic track bed on the moving arm of the bridge by inserting wood strips. The following pcture  shows the 2 wood strips and the two abutments attached to a stabilizing ½” board. 

2

 The tools needed to do this job are a reciprocating saw with a 7” 8/12 TPI blade, a table or radial saw for ripping the strips of wood, a drill, clamps, and glue. Also required are assorted screws , plywood scraps and a ½” clear pine board 16 “ long( ½ X 3 X 24” hobby lumber is available at many stores).            

The first step is to remove the feet and plastic from the bottom of the bridge base. Then use the bridge base as a pattern for making the two wooden abutments. Keep in mind that the bridge arm must have a recess in the abutments when it closes. The wooden abutments need to be 1 3/8” thick. Gluing and clamping a ¾” and a 5/8” piece of plywood together will produce the desired thickness. These pieces should not be less than 1 3/8” or the moving arm on the bridge will not close. Be sure to cut holes for the electrical connections under the bridge house and the track.  

Connect the base to the abutments with four 1 7/8” #8 round headed screws by drilling two holes through the base near each tower. The regular holes in the base are too close to the edge of the abutment to offer much holding power when you saw out the metal center track section of the bridge. The regular holes can later be used to screw down the bridge on your layout.            

To keep the two towers in precise alignment while the center of the bridge base is sawed out, glue or screw a ½” piece of plywood on the bottom of the two wood abutments attached under the towers. The abutments plus the connecting ½” plywood were shown earlier. Now mark where you will cut to remove the center section of the bridge base. Place a straight edge along the inside edge of the metal bridge arm and draw a line on the base. The following picture  shows where the cut was made and final lowering and alignment of the center track. Keep in mind that train cars must pass through this cut.      

3

Next clamp the bridge to your workbench and remove the plastic track bed from the bottom of the metal bridge arm. Then run the bridge arm up so that the saw blade will not hit it. Using a reciprocating saw with a 7” 8/12 TPI blade, cut out the centerpiece of the bridge base. Run the reciprocating saw at a high speed when cutting. Shorter or coarser blades can create control problems! Sand and paint cuts with Model Master 36320.            

Now rip two strips of wood to insert between the plastic track bed and the medal bridge arm. These are shown in final form in the second picture above. Each should be 1 3/16 x 7/16 x 16. Using the bridge arm as a pattern mark where the holes should be drilled in the wood strips to reassemble the parts.  Drill holes slightly larger than the 1 5/8” #8 round headed screws needed to connect the bridge arm and the strips to the plastic track bed. Note that a recess must be cut in each strip to accommodate the two bumps in each side of the plastic bed. Prime and then spray paint the strips using model master 34079 (dark green) and FS 37038 (flat black) in equal parts covered with semi-gloss lacquer over coat. The following picture shows the inserted strips on the bridge arm.

4

 Those of you who don’t want the stabilizing ½ “ plywood  on the bottom of the bridge can carefully remove it and put the bridge directly on your layout.

Finally four holes are drilled in the corners of the track cut out of the center of the bridge base. See the earlier picture. Line up the track with the track on the bridge arm and carefully drill screw holes. Washers can then be used to adjust the height of this section of track with respect to the track on the bridge arm when it is lowered.   Clearly, the bridge clearance can be made larger than 5 13/16 by increasing the thickness of the pieces shown in second picture.  Aside from finding thicker wood, I feel this will further alter the bridges bascule look.   If you have comments or questions, email me at:  steinkmp@illinois.edu

Brian

President, Chief Executive Officer

Penn American Railroad

"Serving the Basement"

 

Northern Central High Railers (Western Division)

 

Eat, Sleep, Run Trains, Repeat !

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Someone had posted that you could take a Dremil tool and grind down the cross member to provide clearance without removing it. I would try that first. It’s funny that the problem is with the towers and not the movable section of the bridge.

Been there, encountered that,....sold the RK auto carriers.

Yep, I designed/built my rather large two-level layout forgetting about those nifty RK auto carriers.  I, also, had amassed a collection of several.  They were exceptional, IMHO.  Never occurred to me that they were taller than, say, a domed passenger car....my clearance 'standard'.  ()

But when they failed to pass the 213 Lift Bridge, the Bascule Bridge, a few tunnel portals already in place, etc., etc., blah, blah.....it was time to reassess: Redo the layout, ditch/modify the bridges/portals, ......or relinquish the auto carriers.

I chose the latter.

And there was a second reason.....as found in each RK auto carrier box: They're very top heavy, high center of gravity, requiring caution on the curves.....the 'sharp' curves of O3R.  It suddenly seemed that this group of cars had too many caveats attached to them to roam my rails.

So, as is often the case as we change our priorities, fine-tune our druthers, consider the excesses of our impulse-buying, etc., etc., we sigh, we resign, we let go.  Now, thanks to Ebay, all gone.

But, if modifying your bridges is your preference to accommodate your tallest cars, I say 'Go for it!!'

KD

WaynePA posted:

Someone had posted that you could take a Dremil tool and grind down the cross member to provide clearance without removing it. I would try that first. It’s funny that the problem is with the towers and not the movable section of the bridge.

I didn't see that post; thanks for bringing it to my attention. I checked out the idea and found that there would be about a 1/16th piece of the cross member left if I ground it down to the level of the auto roof.
That's not leaving any room at all. And that plays into the second part of your post about the tower vs the lift section. I measured the rail to the tower cross member; it has 4 1/4" clearance. Then I measured the rail to the lift section cross member; it has 4 9/16" clearance.

 

Regards, Bob

 

 

dkdkrd posted:

Been there, encountered that,....sold the RK auto carriers.

Yep, I designed/built my rather large two-level layout forgetting about those nifty RK auto carriers.  I, also, had amassed a collection of several.  They were exceptional, IMHO.  Never occurred to me that they were taller than, say, a domed passenger car....my clearance 'standard'.  ()

But when they failed to pass the 213 Lift Bridge, the Bascule Bridge, a few tunnel portals already in place, etc., etc., blah, blah.....it was time to reassess: Redo the layout, ditch/modify the bridges/portals, ......or relinquish the auto carriers.

I chose the latter.

And there was a second reason.....as found in each RK auto carrier box: They're very top heavy, high center of gravity, requiring caution on the curves.....the 'sharp' curves of O3R.  It suddenly seemed that this group of cars had too many caveats attached to them to roam my rails.

So, as is often the case as we change our priorities, fine-tune our druthers, consider the excesses of our impulse-buying, etc., etc., we sigh, we resign, we let go.  Now, thanks to Ebay, all gone.

But, if modifying your bridges is your preference to accommodate your tallest cars, I say 'Go for it!!'

KD

KD,

Thanks for sharing your experience, I'm going for it!

Regards, Bob

 

 

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