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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone every built this layout using Wood land Scenics sub terrain system instead of the depressed plywood method as shown in the original plans? If so....any issues too be aware of cautions to heed or hints how to make the build easier then not?

Sid
 

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I built a modified version but used plywood, sorry I cannot help on the WS products. I really like this track plan since my thing is the electronics and watching the trains run, not operating, switching.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Can I ask how you modified the plywood...the original plan is quite a bit of madness cutting all the pieces to make it work
 

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I used 2 pieces of 5X10 Russian Birch plywood so that the layout can be divided in two for moving. It has been moved twice. If you click on my images to the left you can see a pic of the layout and drawings of the track plan. It is basically the GG&N but modified with the double crossover and reversing loop. Cut were very much simplified in my mod.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
one more question

One last question if I may...how did you figure out the elevations for the inclines and declines if you didn't follow the original framing plan? That seems to be the most complicated part of the layout and Im not sure about how to make it work...
 

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One last question if I may...how did you figure out the elevations for the inclines and declines if you didn't follow the original framing plan? That seems to be the most complicated part of the layout and Im not sure about how to make it work...
Very simple. Build the 5’ x 9’ base (using your choice of plywood or 2” pink foam) and let that be elevation 0. Build all the risers (using the woodland scenic Inclines) up from the base. A lot easier than all the cookie cutter method shown I the Atlas track plan book. That is the whole reason for the foam inclines.

You CAN do it.
 

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This is one of the most difficult old atlas plans to build successfully. The combination of inclines, curves, and turnouts makes track laying extremely demanding to avoid derailments and decoupling. It does have good spectator appeal in its favor though. The original design should be limited to short 4 axle diesels and rolling stock unless your track laying skills are impeccable.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That is exactly what I want to do...use the woodland scenics inclines in lieu of the crazy original plan to requires very precise and complicated cuts of the supports. What would help is if anyone has any experience and/or notes that indicate the approximate elevations to make the inclines (and declines) that I could beg borrow or steal for my own build. Its one thing to suggest starting from elevation 0 to determine which sections get risers (both up and down) to make this rather complicated layout work successfully.
 

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You should allow 3" of clearance from the top of the rail to the bottom of the rail support above the rails. Most people want 2 degrees of rise or less to pull long trains. This layout is too small for long trains and rolling stock with it's much greater rise rate with curves as well. Three of the turnouts are located on transition elevations which is also problematic. Most of the trackage is either rising or falling, so a lot of it would need the Woodland risers for double track.
 

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That is exactly what I want to do...use the woodland scenics inclines in lieu of the crazy original plan to requires very precise and complicated cuts of the supports. What would help is if anyone has any experience and/or notes that indicate the approximate elevations to make the inclines (and declines) that I could beg borrow or steal for my own build. Its one thing to suggest starting from elevation 0 to determine which sections get risers (both up and down) to make this rather complicated layout work successfully.
The picture below illustrates exactly what I suggested as a much easier way to build the GG&N. No sub surface track grades to worry about. When I said make you base elevation zero that is precisely what I meant. EVERYTHING else goes up from there. All using W/S risers. Then you simply “backfill” for lack of a better term... using pink foam to create the next level.

I guarantee this will work. In 2018 I designed an 11’ x 22’ HO layout using the same theory for elevation 0 and contracted to have it built. The layout was delivered in December and I run my trains on it almost every day.


http://www.scarm.info/layouts/pics/Atlas_Granite_Gorge_&_Northern_HO_layout_3D_view-2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for you mighty helpful replies....I am convinced the woodland scenics material is the way to go. I'll take it slow and plan things out step by step and figure our those elevated turnouts one way or another.

Again...thanks for your insight.

I'll post pics as things develop. It'll be a slow process as I need to do a bunch of things before I can even start the benchwork And then there's the issue of getting the track, evidently Atlas is out of stock with some pieces and so are the vendors.
 

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May I suggest that you visit Walthers website. Enter “Atlas HO Track” in the search window.

They have lots of the Atlas track and most of it is on sale.for about 20-25% off.
 
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