Small model roller coaster - how to build the lift?
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.