Lifting Entry Section "Kalrail"
Rick Fletcher - NSW Australia
Easy Access without Crawling Under
Updated 11 April 2016

A light weight lifting flap (entry panel) to make getting into and out of the "Bat Cave" easier than ducking under. Especially for geriatrics!
The panel has a safety interlock which cuts all power some distance either side of the panel when it is raised a few millimetres.

This a view of the completed lifting section before scenery. The hinges will be covered by a scenic "feature" (!)
The non opened clearance under is 950mm (3' 1.5") for tiny people and flexible adults. This has been in use for 2 years with no problems. My mechanical wire-in-tube manual point control is visible. Works well but I have been seduced by the magic of MERG and using electronics, DCC and computers is my thing, so all are in the process of conversion to servo control, the fitting of which is the subject of another KLOG. (Kalrail BLOG ??? or MERGLOG ???... sounds like a chocolate!)

Preparation of the bench work either side is critical, as is assuring that the whole thing is level fore and aft.
This shows the basic construction using quality light timber (in this case hoop pine - Araucaria cunninghamii).
The joints are all epoxied together and reinforced by using biscuit joiners.
The CRITICAL consideration is that timber shrinks and swells ACROSS THE GRAIN and there is very, very little shrinkage along the grain.
So as much longitudinal timber as possible must be used across the opening so that damp/dry weather changes have minimal effect. The next photos show other additions to further reinforce that.

The underside showing additional cross bracing, both to support the 1" (25mm) foam and to restrict any shrinkage or expansion at right angles to the track so that the latter remains aligned where it crosses the joins. There has been no problem with track alignment or binding of the lifting panel since July 2014 even through flooding rain periods and temperatures in the room between less than 10°C and over 32°C.

The section alongside the lift up section has been prepared to accept the 2" foam -
this photo shows a hinge rebated into the support.

The hinged side. Quality heavy duty brass hinges (3" 75mm) were rebated into the frame and panel and the foam
is being bonded to the top of the layout with PVA & weights (no, this is not a Valvoline advert!)

The "landing" side carefully fitted so the top surface aligns when shut.

A later photo showing the H/Duty micro switch interrupting the DCC feed to the section behind.
The inset shows the one on the other side.
Underneath with the wiring necessary for the track on the lifting panel.
The track feed to the lifting panel has two terminal blocks near the hinge line and
a short section of flexible cable which can be replaced if necessary.

The joins across the lifting hatch require a little bit of care and attention.

See the section on Reinforcing the 1" Foam used in the light weight panels

Also see the section on "Laying Track Across the Join"    Yet to be added.