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Model Railroad Design Tip of the Day

Lift Out Bridge Design Standards


Although they have their drawbacks, lift out bridges allow for such far superior model railroad designs that their benefits far outweigh any inconvenience. That being said, there are certain design standards that will greatly enhance operational reliability, minimize derailments, and generally make your life much easier.


To begin, let's look at four things NOT to do if you can possibly avoid them:


A: Don't put the bridge on a curve.

B: Don't go straight from a curve onto the bridge without a straight transition between the two. Ideally the straight transition piece should be at least 6 inches long, and ideally 12 inches if you can spare it.

C: Don't make the lift out excessively long. Try to limit the length to 24 inches, give or take.

D: Don't put complex track on the bridge. There is enough going on with the concept as is. No need to add more issues to the mix.



The example above illustrates lift out bridge "best design practices" in play. The length is limited to 24 inches. There is a straight transition track between the curve and lift out. The bridge track is a simple, single track, tangent.


This type of discussion is just one example of the guidance provided with my model railroad design service. Drop me a line and let's chat!

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