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Train Tracks Across a Doorway… Is it Feasible?

OO scale train enthusiast Brian asks:

“Is it possible to go across a doorway using a hinged section?The electrics side is not a problem. I just wondered if the rails would catch on uplift? I am abit long in the tooth and disabled so crawing under it not an option. I am hoping someone has done this before.”

12 Responses to Train Tracks Across a Doorway… Is it Feasible?

  • Dale Arendssays:

    Absolutely. Many people have done lift-out or hinged sections. A few things to consider, though:

    First, the hinged section should have protected approaches so that any train will stop short of the section if the section isn’t in place and locked. This can be done using power contact points on the surfaces of the main table and the hinged section.

    Second, use some sort of alignment aids so that the hinged section will reliably line up the tracks.

    Third, search YouTube for videos on hinged bridges on model railroads. You’ll see several with excellent tips.

    • Brian Ralphsays:

      Thanks for that Dale will give it a go.

      Brian

  • Kevin Chingsays:

    Hi Brian
    I have just taken out my crawl under out of the door way as i have had hip surgery and cannot get down and under I will be putting a loop at the side of the door to return the track back on itself and decided to change to N scale so this should be easier to get in and out of the room. anyway happy modelling.

  • Phillip Collinssays:

    Because of my rheumatoid arthritis and “new” knees, I knew that crawling on the floor (as my brother has to) was not going to be feasible; so my layout is about 1.5m from the floor; so it’s a duck-under rather than a crawl-under.

    • Sheldonsays:

      Have you ever thought about one of those car mechanic’s trolleys they lie on to slide underneath a car?

    • Jimsays:

      I use a office chair lowered as low as it will go ,sit in it and scoot around under the layout ,works great,I originally had a 36 in high set up that was a large circle ,had fo crawl around under it,had to crawl to get to the center , I rebuilt it to about elbow height with a open section to walk through ,will put a hinged section on it later to lift up to get in ,no more crwling and ducking for me that gets old real fast

      Jim

  • Stewartsays:

    Hi just adding to Dales comments, I have a hinged section that works really well, it’s all about taking your time, I would advise to get a set of ball bearing hinges, the type used on fire doors, there is no play in the hinge, not expensive, solid construction and this really helps with alignment, then copper strips glued down on the main board and the flap section just at the crossing point, mine are about two inches long, then I soldered the track to each piece which keeps them sturdy and also carries the electrical circuit
    Regards Stew
    Ps got the hinges of Inertnet

  • Sheldonsays:

    There is one small geometrical problem with the bascule* bridge approach. Wherever you place the hinges, the bottom of the outer part of the lifting section will catch on the fixed section it is butting up against unless you cut it at a slight angle to the vertical (recommended) or leave a small gap (not recommended).
    *Like half of London’s Tower Bridge.

  • Geoffrey Logansays:

    One way to stop any fouling of the track is to mount the hinges on small blocks of wood, if the hinges are good quality then there should be no problem with alignment.

    Lay the track across the gaps having first soldered the track to screws at the edge of the boards before cutting it

  • Stewart Challinorsays:

    Hi just adding to Dales comments, I have a hinged section that works really well, it’s all about taking your time, I would advise to get a set of ball bearing hinges, the type used on fire doors, there is no play in the hinge, not expensive, solid construction and this really helps with alignment, then copper strips glued down on the main board and the flap section just at the crossing point, mine are about two inches long, then I soldered the track to each piece which keeps them sturdy and also carries the electrical circuit
    Regards Stew
    Ps got the hinges of Inertnet

  • Peter Bayle-Blighsays:

    No problem. My brass hinges are on 5″ high blocks of wood, alignment was via metal plates either side and to date 5 years on not a trace of movement. Rails soldered to copper strips. Hope that helps.

  • Duncan Poolesays:

    Duncan,
    My layout runs around all sides of my office (man cave) and thus across the door.
    I found the best solution is to have a lift out section which is shaped to allow the door to swing open so I can be fed cups of tea without the need to constantly remove the section.
    This section has the underframe notched so that it fits back snugly into a corresponding timber moulding on each side of the main boards. Never had a problem in the track alignment however many times I remove the section and electrical connections are simply small connector blocks (the plug together variety) for both the track feeds and the two point motors.

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