Small model roller coaster - how to build the lift?

Hello,

I've accepted the challenge of building a small-scale (no riders) roller coaster model for use as a prop in my church's vacation bible school next summer.  The vehicles are based on skateboard trucks, and the track is made from 1.5" PVC cut in half lengthwise, secured to a wood frame.  Motion is all gravity-based except of course for the lift hill, and that's where I'm stuck looking for a good design.  The vehicle is expected to remain in motion without intervention for a few hours a day, so the lift needs to engage the vehicle at the bottom, lift it to the top, and release it reliably.  The frame is still a work-in-progress and is easily modified, but for reference it's about 30' wide by 8' deep.  The height of the hill top is also still undefined but I'd expect about 6 feet or so, with any reasonable slope.  Any suggestions?  Thanks for any ideas.

Kiteman5 years ago
"Real" coaster use a loop of chain with teeth that engage with a hook or loop beneath the car - think a giant, very slow chain-saw.

You could use a long loop of rope or paracord (plenty strong enough to lift a skateboard sized thing), with wooden blocks threaded on like beads. A motor with a crude cog on it (to fit around the blocks/beads) could fit under the slope, out of sight.