Staging at Fillmore: the Staging Elevator is behind with the Staging Fiddle Yard in front.
When I was designing the Staging Elevator, I assumed that I would need another one on the passenger & express car switching side of the layout. I knew the design would be slightly different with four parallel tracks on two levels. As I was laying out the drawing, I started to think if I really needed the sophistication of another elevator. The alternative I came up with is a self-serve, single level, portable Staging Fiddle Yard.
In the picture below, we see the operator side.
Starting from the top, the brass wire hoops are supports for a fitted cotton cloth cover. This limits the dust from collecting when not in use. The four parallel yard tracks are evident below them. On the left end we see the coupling mechanism to attach to the main layout along with the pivot block that rides on the layout beam (this maintains consistent rail height). Like the Staging Elevator, this trolley has lateral movement like a transfer table to align any of its yard tracks to adjacent parallel layout tracks. The two silver handles are used for this purpose. The six red boxes are car storage. The square on the right is a folding table. The clip board holds the permanent switch lists for the passenger cars and express cars (2 separate lists). At bottom, there are four casters to make maneuvering the trolley easy (it is stored in another room, the workshop, in my apartment).
Above, we see the non-operator side showing metal straps and metal book-ends that hold the boxes in place. The roll of wire dangling is an accessory whereby I can hook this trolley to a command station and use it as a portable locomotive wheel cleaning station. Rather than have to move locomotives on the layout to a place where I can clean the wheels (by laying paper towel on the rails and running the drivers on top), I wheel the trolley to where the engines are. There is plexiglass on three sides of the yard level to keep the rolling stock off the floor.
Connecting the trolley to the layout is the same as the Staging Elevator, using modified door hinges and removable pins. To the mid-left, the mating slider for the pins is seen. I use a Cinch-Jones connector to maintain track polarity when connecting to the layout power buss.
Above is another view of the previous picture. The layout beam is seen at centre of picture. The pivot block rides on this. The black round magnet on the hinge plate is used to activate SoundCar, which is seen on the far left side.
In the above view, we see the trolley coupled to the layout and the pivot block seated on the layout beam. This end of the trolley is lifted up onto the beam, raising the casters off the floor (below). My floor is not level and this set up ensures that my sloped living room floor will not influence negatively on consistent rail heights as tracks are aligned via the lateral motion.
The wheels are raised about 1/4″; the rear trolley wheels run on the floor.