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Atlas HO28 Layout Granite Gorge and Northern

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  • Member since
    August 2018
  • 3 posts
Atlas HO28 Layout Granite Gorge and Northern
Posted by WildPete on Sunday, August 12, 2018 9:34 PM

I have nearly accumulated enough track to start on this project but would like to find out more about the bench and trackwork and wiring for this layout. I believe there was a booklet put out with this when it came complete from Atlas - does anyone have this or is able to scan any pages for me

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
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Posted by cuyama on Monday, August 13, 2018 10:14 AM

Welcome to the forum. There would likely be better choices in the same amount of space. Atlas plans are intended to maximize the amount of track in a given (usually rectangular) benchwork size and there are often alternatives that offer more operation, more realistic scenes, better access, more efficient use of the room, etc. This particular plan dates back decades and there has been a lot of layout design thinking in the meantime.

But if you are set on this track plan, you may order the booklet from Atlas which contains more detailed instructions.

https://shop.atlasrr.com/p-9-seven-step-by-step-ho-railroads.aspx

You may also find the booklet on Amazon and elsewhere.

The original designer, the late John Armstrong, described an improved version of this layout to allow more interesting operation in his book Track Planning for Realistic Operation. But the wiring would be more complicated.

Good luck with your layout.

Byron

 

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Northern CA Bay Area
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Posted by cuyama on Monday, August 13, 2018 10:53 AM

By the way, your first few posts to the forum are moderated, so you may experience a delay in seeing them appear.

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, August 13, 2018 11:13 PM

Hi WildPete:

Welcome to the forums!!          Welcome

I strongly recommend that you buy the book that cuyama suggested, 'Track Planning for Realistic Operation' by John Armstrong, and not just because it has an improved version of your chosen plan. The book helped me enormously in understanding how railroads function. I used it to help design my club's new 20' x 25' HO permanent layout and everyone seems to be pretty happy with the track plan. The club members are looking forward to operating on the layout.

I designed my own layout before reading the book. The book showed me that my 'perfect' plan was full of mistakes. It simply would not have functioned the way I wanted it to.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
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  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:33 AM

Hello Wild Pete, and Welcome to the Model Railroader discussion forums. As was stated, your first few posts are moderated/delayed. Please stick it out with us and join our community. The moderation ends pretty soon enough.

.

Is this your first layout? If so, the Atlas track plan might be a good starting point to learn as much as you can. I designed my own first layout, and it was not good. Not that the Atlas plans are very good either, but at least you can be pretty sure they will work.

.

Please feel free to ask lots of questions. People in here are helpful.

.

-Kevin

.

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: AU
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Posted by xdford on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 8:01 AM

Hello and Welcome

 

Check your message tag as I have sent some info that may help you!

 

Cheers from Australia

Trevor

  • Member since
    August 2018
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Posted by WildPete on Tuesday, August 14, 2018 6:11 PM

Hi Kevin, it is my first layout, I have heard that the Atlas plans can be a bit approximate but decided to start with this. It may be a bit complicated for a first effort but I've got plenty of time I guess

  • Member since
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Posted by WildPete on Friday, August 17, 2018 8:07 AM

I've ordered the book as suggested, thankyou

  • Member since
    July 2020
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Posted by LaserRash on Friday, July 10, 2020 8:48 AM

I actually built this layout when I was 16.  Yes it was 1979 and I'm 56 now.   Here is what I learned from that experience.

 

First the Issues...

1. The bench work that came in the layout wasn't 100% accurate and it was very difficult with the cookie cutter method for this layout

2. The sectional track did not line up.  I could have been my issues being 16 but I learned that there isn't a .1" margin of error when laying sectional track and it became a guessing game of out to make it work.   My new layout i'm working on will be 80-90% flex.   I'll use sectional in turnouts, crossovers etc.   I'll also use sectional to help outline the track to just double check my calculations.  

3.  This layout was very heavy with all the wood.  So wants you build it with the moutains it's probably not coming out of a residential room unless you disasemble a lot of it.

4.  Lots of derailment due to sectional track being on inclines.  Those derailments happened mostly in the mountains.   Even when I adjusted it - there were still issues.   Just too many small sectional tracks that twisted and turned.   I learned never to connect multiple sectional track <3" together especially around a turn out.   I had to adjust the layout to accomodate for this and then we didn't have great tools like the software today and so it was a manual guessing game and took days to figure it out.  At least with my 16 year old brain :).

Second what I liked about it.

1. I loved the scenery - it was amazing when we built it

2. Sorry that was it there is no number 2

3rd Operations

1. Derailments abounded

2. If you bulid all the mountains the book suggests then you don't realy get to see the trains operate.    You need to get a good control board put together with turn out led indicaters because there are turnouts in the moutains.

Finallity

In the end - we finished it and then got frustrated and bored with it.  I was living in Houston so a year later a tornado came through - blew out the window to that room and destroyed both layouts we had built - it was almost a relief.

I was looking for this layout to try again but discovered railroading track laying software and flex track so I think i'm going to do something different.  My profile describes what I'm thinking.

Hope this helps anyone considering atlas layouts.   I think the layouts are probably okay - My recommendation is use the sectional track as a guide but build it with flex track.    

  • Member since
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  • From: OH
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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, July 10, 2020 8:53 PM

LaserRash
2. The sectional track did not line up. I could have been my issues being 16 but I learned that there isn't a .1" margin of error when laying sectional track and it became a guessing game of out to make it work.

I have built four smal switching layouts( 2 H0 and 2 N Scale) using sectional track with zero derailments. Like any track work care must be taken to ensure every joint is  smooth and the track sections remain straight and lacking any roadbed bumps. I still use sectional track as needed for short sections of track instead of cutting a piece of flex either way you will have the same number of joints.

With that said if I was going to build the GG&N I would replace a lot of that sectional track with flex.

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Stay Alert, Don't get hurt  Safety First!"

  • Member since
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  • From: Bradford, Ontario
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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 12:42 AM

LaserRash
I actually built this layout when I was 16.  Yes it was 1979 and I'm 56 now.   Here is what I learned from that experience.

Hi LaserRash!

Welcome to the forums!!!     Welcome

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Something that you may not have noticed is that the thread is a couple of years old so the OP may have moved past just contemplating building the layout. Also, he may or may not still be active on the forums so you might not get a response from him.

Don't get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with resurrecting old threads.

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

  • Member since
    July 2020
  • 9 posts
Posted by LaserRash on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 9:49 PM

Yes I was aware but I happened upon it and felt compelled to reply in the event others do a search.  I see atlas is still selling this layout :)

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