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Hello everyone.

I am just getting to the hobby with my 10-year-old son. Many years ago I purchased the Woodland scenics river pass HO scale 4X8 layout set. never got to building it so it's been sitting in my garage for many many years. Now I'm ready to build and I have a challenge with space for the 4 x 8 layout. I could go to N scale, sell the kit, but since I already made a purchase on the HO layout I would like to build that is possible. I also like the details on the HO scale compared to N. So here's my question.

Is it possible or are there any instructions on the web to build the woodland scenics set on two separate 4 x 4 pieces and put it away when not in use to utilize the space. I found many instructions on building and scale on hollow doors. I am a woodworker and Can build pretty much anything I need to build as a base, similar to a hollow door. So the question is if I build two 4 x 4 hollow bases, how can I make the layout in a way that I can separate the two pieces. I am sure somebody has already done something like this that has the same space challenge many do. Thanks for the advice.
 

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There are several Woodland Scenics 4 X 8 layouts. It would be all
but impossible to make two pieces of some. It depends on
the track design as well as scenery.

Can you post a picture or diagram of what you have?

I made my room size layout using various size modules that I built
in the carport then assembled in the train room. That may be the
basis of what you would do it seems to me.

Don
 

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I beg to differ from Don. It's not too hard. People do modular layouts all the time, and cart them from train show to train show.

The 2 HO kits currently offered (River Pass and Grand Valley), have four preformed 2x4 pieces for the base. Rather than joining them together, create two separate bases, each holding two of the panels. You then just have to make sure you leave gaps in the track and scenery so you can separate them. Note that you may need a few more pieces of profile board to do this, but those are easily purchased at any decent hobby shop. Join the bases (but not the layout itself) with wing nuts and carriage bolts.

You will need to have short pieces of bridge track to go between your layouts (put joiners on the permanent pieces and solder them in place. This leaves you with two sets of joiners, one on either side, with nothing attached. On one side of the joint, cut off the outside part of the joiner, so the bridge track will drop into place on that side, being supported by the bottom of the joiner and held in alignment by the inner sides of the joiner. Slide the rails of the bridge track into the joiners on the side with the whole ones, then drop the other end into position. Use creative scenery (bushes, forests, rocks) to hide the joint between sections.

You will also want to create a wiring arrangement such that you are not relying on the bridge track to carry current across the gap. I have seen alligator clips, fahnestock clips, and Sony or RCA jacks and sockets all used for this purpose.

The other problem you may need to tackle is that if you're going to fold it, the scenery needs to be on the OUTSIDE of the fold, and securely fastened in place (even structures).

Speaking of structures, the layout kits currently being sold do not come with track, structures, or scenery materials. You have to buy those separately (Atlas sells special "Track Packs" designed for use with these kits).
 

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I agree, CTvalley. My layout is based on modules. In saying some
of the W/S layouts for a 4 X 8 would be nearly impossible, I was seeing
layouts with a large yard and several spurs right at the point where
one would cut it. While it could be done, cutting and aligning all those
tracks would be a PITA. Some other of their layouts with fewer tracks in the middle
would be a snap to cut into two modules.

Don
 

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Both of the ones currently sold would require 5 track joints.

Unless they have changed the design, River Pass is 5. I completely agree it would be a PITA, but not hard, conceptually.

Maybe a better option, since the OP has good carpentry skills, would be a rig to either lift the whole layout to the ceiling, or to fold it up against a wall (w/o separating in to pieces).
 
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