Walk Through; Duck Unders or Gates


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What's your preference? It's easy to understand why a walk in entry is the most preferable, but it limits some types of track planning. My layout essentially is a loop to loop with the loops in the center of the room on a peninsula in an around the room layout, so a movable entrance way is necessary.
I had two choices a Duck under or a Gate and due to my age Duck Unders were out of the question and a gate was the most desireable. There are two types of gates one that hinged to lift up or a section that can be lifted out, or a Swing gate that opens inward or outward from the bench work.
For myself I chose the gate that swings outward to open, no bending or heavy lifting. It would be interesting to know what your choice would be and why.

Cheers Willis
Once I get around to building my layout, I'm thinking of putting both a duck under and a gate that drops down.

The drop down would be the primary access point and the duck under would be to other areas of the layout
I believe it to be less of an eye hazard. I've been around layouts that have had gates that raise up and they tend to be eye-level.

I realize that the dropp-down may not be train friendly if you forget about it, but there are ways to solve that....just put a kill switch when the gate opens for the blocks immediately in front and behind the gate.
Marc, I realize you are in the planing stage and these things should be considered before making a final decision. What first comes to mind now, is there going to be scenery on it, because contact with a moving leg would be disasterous to any scenery when it was in the down position. The next thing is how wide do you plan to make it, keeping in mind the tendancy to flex when being lifted into place, unless it's just a flat board with only track on it. I agree it's easy to kill the power to any of the approach tracks, I did mine with a simple cupboard latch and spring loaded contacts, opening the gate kills the track power from the yard and the track power from a spur and the main line, the rest of the layout remains under power.

Cheers Willis
OK here's a real stupid thought. Use a duck under BUT, get an old or cheap office chair with no arms and take the back off of it. Sit down and with minor head ducking, roll to the other side. Might be able to use it to work underneath the layout as well. Stupid right?
Stupid right?
Don't know! But I guess we shouldn't knock it unless one of us trys it. If the benchwork was high enough, maybe it'd work, but not for us old guys still have to bend.
work underneath the layout
Gosh if I got down that far I'd have to take a lunch, might be hours before I could get up again :D

I prefer neither.

That said, a lift-up bridge can be quite slick. But I'd be concerned with being able to make it work smoothly, so me, I'd probably build a duckunder and save myself a headache. Well, untill I bang my noggin on it anyway. :D
I'm very pleased with my gate, and I wondered why more people don't use them. I built it two years ago, it has kept the track alignment perfect in all that time, winter, summer and the months in between. Easier to open and close than a door. Open it walk through, close it behind you with perfect track alignment each time without even looking, or if not running trains leave it open. No ducking, bending or lifting and zero derails on it. It is scenic'd to be a river with a 3 span bridge across ( scenery not quite finished some rockwork to do) :D

Cheers Willis
OK Bill I can set something up and add it to this thread, if this is the way you want to go. Keep in mind the gate will not be the width of modules as it would take up too much room when open. It would be also very heavy :D
Attached are two old pics. The bridges are the scenery for the gate and the second one shows the gate open. You will also be able to see the diagonal cut across the track so that when a set of wheels is crossing a cut on one track the other wheel is on solid track with a guard rail.

PS: My interpetation of some one elses idea :)

Cheers Willis
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that is excellent. I never considered hinging the gate to open horizontally! That is a nice idea.I can see that the gate must be diagonally cut in order to be able to open. Thanks.

Hi Bill, if you do decide to go with the horizontal opening gate, let me know as there are more a few more things to consider.
Cheers Willis
More Info....please!

CBCNSfan said:
Hi Bill, if you do decide to go with the horizontal opening gate, let me know as there are more a few more things to consider.
Cheers Willis

This might be the answer I'm looking for, what else should I look out for?
This might be the answer I'm looking for, what else should I look out for?
Now sir that is a tall order :D
Hi bobaloo000, seriously I'm having a hard time with the question. The problem is I have no idea of what you are doing or your available space to do it in. I was following Bill's posts all along so I had a reference to base my posts on. I'll be happy to help you decide if you want to go in this direction with a horizontal gate or not. In Bill's case the considerations were info on securing the gate while closed so that no lateral movement of the gate would be possible. The closure has to remain constant even through changes of humidity. To acheive this I had to secure one side of the opening to a wall leaving the other end of the benchwork standing on it's own. Blocks added to the movable gate to pull it all together so that there are no gaps in the rails when closed. This is not as difficult as it sounds. Post a picture or drawing to give us an idea of what you are thinking of.

Cheers Willis