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Smart Engineer – Lionel 2317 Drawbridge – Adding Block Signals – Good

Why you need this

Lionel’s 2317 Drawbridge is a fun accessory that brings a lot of action to a layout without much effort. But to add even more action, try adding the Lionel 153 Block Signal to automatically change from red to green and back as the drawbridge lowers or rises.


The Lionel 2317 Drawbridge is an automated remote controlled drawbridge. The basic setup is a modified figure eight with a graduated trestles to elevate the track so the train can pass over.
With special safety features that cut the power to the track that is not passable, this accessory immediately increases the play value of any layout.


The Lionel 2317 is playable immediately out of the box. There is a constant interaction with the layout as the operator keeps raising or lowering the bridge for the train operation to continue smoothly.

For the drawbridge to work properly, it is necessary to create isolated blocks for both the top track and the bottom. This will allow power to be turned off in the direction to the bridge that is not safe.

The drawbridge has five connection tabs

    1. Transformer power, usually the lettered post of the transformer
    2. Transformer ground or U post
    3. Bridge activation
    4. Upper track power
    5. Lower track power

Connecting a momentary switch between posts 2 and 3 will activate the bridge. Holding down the button until you hear a “click” the bridge will continue event with the button not pressed until it is all the way up or all the way down.

When the bridge is all the way down, power is sent out post 4 which should be hooked up to the center rail of the upper track block and pow er  is not sent out post 5 to the center rail of the lower track block.

When the bridge is all the up, power is sent out post 5 to the center rail of the lower block and power is not sent out post 4.

When the bridge is moving, no power is sent out post 4 or 5.


  • Accessory is playable right out of the box.
  • No fancy wiring needed.


  •  Not very realistic

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