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Can anyone please assist....
I received as a gift from my children a Atlas Grand Valley Layout kit and the Grand Valley track pack. I do not want to build mountains on my layout. I want a level layout. I understand that there are cross overs, etc that require risers. I’m not opposed to using risers. I just don’t want to lose train operational areas to a mountain. Can I restructure the Grand Valley track pack into an alternate layout??

Thank you,
UP/SP Super Fan
 

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Can anyone please assist....
I received as a gift from my children a Atlas Grand Valley Layout kit and the Grand Valley track pack. I do not want to build mountains on my layout. I want a level layout. I understand that there are cross overs, etc that require risers. I’m not opposed to using risers. I just don’t want to lose train operational areas to a mountain. Can I restructure the Grand Valley track pack into an alternate layout??

Thank you,
UP/SP Super Fan

UP/SP Super Fan;

I'll admit up front that I'm not familiar with the Atlas Grand Valley kit. I haven't built an Atlas track plan layout in many many years. However, you should be able to use the sectional track that comes in that track pack to build any layout you want. You may not use all the pieces, or you may need to buy other types of track sections, depending on what you decide to build. Sectional trak is just like building blocks, and can be assembled many ways.
If you want the track to be flat, as well as the terrain, then where two tracks cross each other you would use a "crossing". This type of track section is available in several different angles, including 30 degrees, 90 degrees, and others
. A "crossover" Is an arrangement of two "turnouts" (track switches) back-to-back, that lets a train transition from one of two parallel tracks to the other. The same maneuver as you would use to change lanes on a highway. The terms "crossing" and "crossover" are frequently confused by many people. Don't sweat it if you happen to use one term and need the other.
Risers, of course, are a way of raising one track above another track, or road, or stream. I don't know if you want a raised track at all since a crossing could keep both tracks at the same level. Like everything else on your railroad, that's entirely your choice.
The files below are some I wrote for new modelers building their first layout. Look through them if you wish. They may provide some useful information.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Maybe I'm missing a logic point, but I don't see why not.
I favor flat terrain anyway... very little elevation on my plan.
 

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Short answer: of course you can.

Longer answer: it's not as simple as that, though. The kit actually has a molded plastic base, which pretty much determines where the track is going to go. You can, of course, not use the base provided and substitute your own, but then the problem would be that the track pack has exactly the pieces you need for the layout. If you change the design, you'll probably end up needing to go buy more track. And there is the risk with all sectional track layouts that you will spend a lot of time tinkering with different pieces and arrangements to get the ends to line up.

At the end of the day, though wouldn't it be easier to build the kit with the plan as designed, and just not build the mountain? The 4x8 design of that plan doesn't give you much leeway to add track anyway.
 

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It appears to me that you could build it completely flat if you purchased another 60 degree crossing and placed it where the red circle is.

If I went that route I'd get a piece or two of flex track (of the same code) just to make sure the approach to the crossover is at the right angle.

542685
 

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Its unlikely that you can just put a 60 deg crossing in and still get the the track to fit right. Just don't put the tunnel covers on.
 

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So you are really asking if you can make an alternate track plan using the same track? Sure, I would clean off your table space and start playing around with different plans. Start with a basic oval and see how much more complicated you can make it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
UP/SP Super Fan;

I'll admit up front that I'm not familiar with the Atlas Grand Valley kit. I haven't built an Atlas track plan layout in many many years. However, you should be able to use the sectional track that comes in that track pack to build any layout you want. You may not use all the pieces, or you may need to buy other types of track sections, depending on what you decide to build. Sectional trak is just like building blocks, and can be assembled many ways.
If you want the track to be flat, as well as the terrain, then where two tracks cross each other you would use a "crossing". This type of track section is available in several different angles, including 30 degrees, 90 degrees, and others
. A "crossover" Is an arrangement of two "turnouts" (track switches) back-to-back, that lets a train transition from one of two parallel tracks to the other. The same maneuver as you would use to change lanes on a highway. The terms "crossing" and "crossover" are frequently confused by many people. Don't sweat it if you happen to use one term and need the other.
Risers, of course, are a way of raising one track above another track, or road, or stream. I don't know if you want a raised track at all since a crossing could keep both tracks at the same level. Like everything else on your railroad, that's entirely your choice.
The files below are some I wrote for new modelers building their first layout. Look through them if you wish. They may provide some useful information.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
Greatly appreciate the information and suggestions. The attachments you sent are under review. Thank You
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So you are really asking if you can make an alternate track plan using the same track? Sure, I would clean off your table space and start playing around with different plans. Start with a basic oval and see how much more complicated you can make it.
Your suggestion is noted... Thank You
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Its unlikely that you can just put a 60 deg crossing in and still get the the track to fit right. Just don't put the tunnel covers on.
I hope that the 60deg crossing with the "flex" track might work. If I use the plan without the mountains what will the risers lift the track to on the layout? Would I have to construct an upper level scenic area where the risers reach max height?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It appears to me that you could build it completely flat if you purchased another 60 degree crossing and placed it where the red circle is.

If I went that route I'd get a piece or two of flex track (of the same code) just to make sure the approach to the crossover is at the right angle.

View attachment 542685
Stumpy, thanks for the suggestion. I will play with this and see what happens.
Thank You
 

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Yes, the curve in the upper left leading to where the 60° crossing is would require flex-track to get the alignment correct. It looks as though the track is just coming out of the curve as it meets the crossing. You would have to use flex-track on the curve and play with the alignment until you have good alignment with no kinks or severe curves in the track to get it to meet the crossing.

The curve would come out towards the upper left of the subroadbed and be closer to the edge, but it could be done.
 

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OP:

How large will your layout be?
4x8 ?
Or... something else?

I'd just try the following search string (for 4x8):
atlas track plans 4x8
... and see what it comes up with.
 
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