If you looked at Video Update #6 you saw a live demonstration of the swing gate. Actually, the gate in the video wasn't quite complete - so in the interest of full disclosure here are some photos showing that it is indeed more than just a "piece of plywood and a couple of hinges..."
The underside of the plywood "bridge" is braced along most of its length by a plywood brace. Note how the brace gets thinner as it gets further from the hinges - an attempt to minimize sag and at the same time minimize the pressure on the hinges!
That plywood brace is itself strengthened by a couple of pieces of 1 x 2 arranged in an "L".
The hinge end with the bridge in the open position shows the hinge arrangement - nothing fancy here, I told Stic to just be sure everything was really sturdy! I think there's two boxes of screws holding this thing together!
This shot shows the swing gate in its fully open position - it opens up enough to touch the fascia on the layout.
Next trick is to figure out how to get the track in place. Stic tells me that's my problem.
Thanks to Stic Harris for his help with this project, and with all the various thankless tasks I always seem to assign him!
Today also happens to be his 50th birthday. He's taking a well-earned respite from model railroading to enjoy coastal Maine with his lovely wife. And he's officially joined the ranks of those us who complain we're too stiff, sore, or otherwise impaired to work on top of or under our layouts!