Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Using Woodland Scenics Layout Kit to build a different layout-How Hard Can It Be?

1528 views
12 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Smoggy L.A.
  • 10,670 posts
Using Woodland Scenics Layout Kit to build a different layout-How Hard Can It Be?
Posted by vsmith on Monday, March 06, 2017 10:12 AM

Famous last words no doubt. Heres a silly question to waste your time this morning.

A short time ago my wife came across a NIB unused Woodland Scenics Grand Valley layout kit at a local Goodwill Store (no kidding) along with the matching Atlas track pack and a blue box Athern GP60 and cars. Whole shabang $160. My wife whos NOT a train person basically made me come down and get it once she realized it was probably worth alot more that $160. Now the plan is she wants me to try Wink and resell it for at least $400, if I can't sell it than I get to keep it Big Smile

Trouble is, I really really REALLY dislike the basic track plan that comes with the Grand Valley layout. My plan is to build Linn Westcots "HO Railroad That Grows" based on the 1960's paperback book I got a while ago (at Salvation Army this time) I really like that track plan and it has more options for add ons. Before anyone says anything ...yes its a 4x8 and yes I know all about the pros and cons of 4x8 vs around the walls and no its not going into a spare room in the house, it will live in the garage which already has another G scale layout along the walls. 

I already have some code 100 track for a smaller unbuilt switching layout I had planned, the GV Atlas is code 83, I plan to use the 100 in places less observable and use the 83 in the most visible areas, and then use the Grand Valley layout kit as my "supply box" use whatever instructions might apply to what I'm doing, but chuck the rest of the instructions regarding the GV layout plan. I'm also planning to add a couple more spurs to the Westcott plan and a couple other ops mods. 

Now my silly question is, Is there anything I might need to consider if I move forward with this? Does this sound like a reasonably insane plan? 

I'm as of right now thinking DC track power, a real 1960's layout so I can run old vintage stuff on it. 

Of course this is conditional on me not finding someone crazy to buy the layout kit, I honestly don't think these sold very well but I dont really know what the real demand for it might be, especially if its local pick up as I think it would cost a small fortune to mail the box because it is humoungus!

The best part is even if I do sell it, I just go back to the original switching plan I already have a plan for, win-win either way. Big Smile

    Have fun with your trains

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Smoggy L.A.
  • 10,670 posts
Posted by vsmith on Monday, March 06, 2017 10:22 AM

Linn Westcott Track plan with mods Big Smile

Grand Valley Track Plan Sad

    Have fun with your trains

  • Member since
    February, 2015
  • 214 posts
Posted by Choops on Monday, March 06, 2017 10:38 AM

I built the ho railroad that grows when I was a teenager.  The track plan has a lot of grade changes with switches on them also.  loop junction actually drops below grade.  I thought the series of bridges across the center was also hard to add scenery around.  I did not have the advantage of DCC when I built it and it required you to switch the polarity of the tracks to keep the trains running so a dcc reversing unit is needed. 

I would enjoy following along seeing your build progress.  Good luck.

Steve

Modeling Union Pacific between Cheyenne and Laramie in 1957 (roughly)
  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
  • 3,534 posts
Posted by cuyama on Monday, March 06, 2017 9:19 PM

vsmith
Now my silly question is, Is there anything I might need to consider if I move forward with this?

The grades are steeper than they appear because there is no room allowed for transitions from level-to-grade and back. Or in some cases grade changes are shown within a turnout, which is usually unreliable.

I’ve seen a couple of these sitting unused in a corner (including my own when I was 14!) because they wouldn’t run reliably.

But if you have a lot of patience for tinkering and tweaking the grades, you may be able to get it to work. As far as adding additional spurs, it doesn't seem like there are a lot of places left for new turnouts that wouldn’t end up in grade transitions.

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Reading, PA
  • 22,664 posts
Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 6:36 AM

 I think Linn got about a smuch track as you can possibly fit in the space. THat's why the last chapter of the book adds a folding yard along one fo the long sides, for more switching.

                             --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Smoggy L.A.
  • 10,670 posts
Posted by vsmith on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 7:54 AM

Yeah I need to really double check the both track plan and my planned tweeks before I get too far along. I tend to plan out everything on a layout long before I begin so I have minimal surprises.

    Have fun with your trains

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: California
  • 3,918 posts
Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, March 07, 2017 8:59 AM

I sugest using a track planning program.  Duplicate the layout with prosed changes to get an idea of what will fit. Be sure to check the grades too.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: Fullerton, California
  • 809 posts
Posted by hornblower on Thursday, March 09, 2017 4:55 PM

It would be much easier to sell a completed layout for $400, or more, as there are lots of people who would like a layout but don't want to build one themselves.  So, you could enjoy building the Grand Valley kit as designed, using the process to further hone your modeling skills.  Then you could sell the finished layout and use the proceeds to help fund the construction of the layout you really want to build.  

Hornblower

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Smoggy L.A.
  • 10,670 posts
Posted by vsmith on Thursday, March 09, 2017 4:58 PM
Hornblower, thats an interesting idea, the only fly in that ointment would be transporting a fully completed 4x8 layout, it would require at the least a U-haul rental.

    Have fun with your trains

  • Member since
    November, 2013
  • From: Ledyard, CT
  • 1,709 posts
Posted by BMMECNYC on Thursday, March 09, 2017 6:15 PM

vsmith
Hornblower, thats an interesting idea, the only fly in that ointment would be transporting a fully completed 4x8 layout, it would require at the least a U-haul rental.

Or a 88 Chevy Suburban!

Rule 108: In case of doubt or uncertainty, the safe course must be taken.
  • Member since
    September, 2007
  • From: Charlotte, NC
  • 6,035 posts
Posted by Phoebe Vet on Thursday, March 09, 2017 7:07 PM

After abandoning my layout when I joined the Navy many many years ago, I forgot about model railroading.  When my grandchildren developed an intense interest in Thomas the Tank Engine, I bought them one, and a Woodland Scenics kit. (not the one you bought.)  Before it was completed, I was rehooked.  I added 4 turnouts to the track plan and the WS kit is still embeded in my around the two car garage layout.

On that module, the turns are tight and the grades are steep.  Both causeed by the limited space.  Some engines will have trouble with it but it runs small stuff reliably.  The larger stuff runs along the edges on the way to the rest of the 18x20 layout.

Dave

Lackawanna Route of the Phoebe Snow

  • Member since
    October, 2007
  • From: Fullerton, California
  • 809 posts
Posted by hornblower on Thursday, March 09, 2017 7:09 PM

vsmith
Hornblower, thats an interesting idea, the only fly in that ointment would be transporting a fully completed 4x8 layout, it would require at the least a U-haul rental.

Or simply request that the buyer haul it away.

Hornblower

  • Member since
    February, 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 10,006 posts
Posted by wjstix on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 1:36 PM

As far as the original question, of course you can use the components for something else. It's like getting a Lego set - you can build it per the instructions, or kitbash it into whatever you want!

BTW does the pack have regular Atlas code 83 'Snap Track' sectional track, or is it Atlas "True-Track" with the attached gray ballast sections?

 

 

Stix

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!
Popular on ModelRailroader.com
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
Find us on Facebook