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Guide to laying and cutting track across lifting flap gap to ensure smooth running and electrical continuity.

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Paddy Mac Namara

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I’m sure many of you have done this before, but for those who haven’t I hope its of interest


Many continuous run layouts have a lifting flap to allow access to a central operating well, so this means cutting the track.

I was adding some additional sidings to my layout and figured I would log my progress.

Line up your track across the gap, best if gap is in the middle of sectional track and not too near joins. Do some test runs to be sure this is what you want.


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Cut away sleepers either side of the gap to allow a piece of copper clad circuit board fit under it. I used 70x100x1.5mm single sided, which fits snugly under Hornby track.

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Cut circuit board to size as required and grind away copper in the middle (or you’ll have a short circuit).

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Sand the copper side, it makes it easier to solder to.

Screw the circuit board down on the baseboard, I use one screw it allows for a little rotation, if needed for adjustment. If baseboard is MDF screwing into it will produce a little lump where the screw pulls up the material as it goes down, so you will need to unscrew and sand this off.

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Now if everything is in place correctly, (you need to get this right first time so double check) pin down the track either side of the join, firmly but not too much, you want the track sitting securely on the baseboard, but not pressing into it, otherwise it will want to spring back up and exert an unwelcome tensile force on your solder joints.

Solder the track to the to the copper clad board. I like a good big blob, solder is quite strong and a larger blob reduces the stress exerted by any external forces.

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I’ve soldered wires to the board also, these will go under the board and be connected using easy release connectors which will ensure electrical continuity across the track.

Now you can cut the track with a Dremel and metal cutting blade.

You're good to go!

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  • 1 year later...

 May I suggest a safety feature.

I have used it on a bridge on a garden railway which has been opened sometimes while a train was running, by someone coming into the garden. 

It is a single line but trains run in both directions.

Using 2 insulating joiners and 2 phosphor bronze strip contacts.

Place one insulating joiner on one rail at the joint before the gap. Remove the feed wire from that rail between the joint and the gap. Place an insulating joiner on the other rail at the joint before the hinge and remove the feed from that section of rail between the joint and the hinge. Solder the phosphor bronze contacts to the copper clad circuit board on the movable bridge section, one to each side of the track, so as to make contact with the other piece of copper clad circuit board when the bridge is closed.


hen the bridge is open, one one rail is insulated from the insulated joiner to the gap and the other from the insulated joiner to the hinge and on to the gap.

 --------x--------------l   l------------------l------------------feed.                                 feed ----------------l   l------------------l------------------x----------

X insulated joint

l  l  gap with phosphor bronze contacts.

l.  Hinge


During 20 years, I have had  no trains diving through the gap.  Some have  been stopped by this safety feature.!!









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