Granite Gorge and Northern benchwork?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by ExtremePCs, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

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    Hi all,

    I finally decided on a track plan. I'm going with the "Granite Gorge & Northern" from the Atlas "Seven Step-by-Step HO Railrods" (Chapter 6 in the book) I Google'd around this morning and found some saying that the benchwork shown in the book is flawed, and they had problems with it. Nothing too specific about the problems though.

    Has anyone built this layout using the benchwork plans from the book? Did you need to change anything? One site I found recommended going with L Girder construction and a foam top rather than the cookie cutter plywood method shown in the book.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Could you post a pic of the layout for those of us who don't have the book?
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

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    Benchwork is what you find comfortable. I like L-girder, but I use it to support cookie-cutter surfaces sometimes. I'm still sceptical about foam under the tracks; I like Homasote. My choice would be Lgirder supporting Homasote roadbed (or plywood + Homasote) with foam scenery around it.
  4. ExtremePCs

    ExtremePCs Member

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    I couldn't find a picture of the layout, but here's the link to the track plan from Atlas' site. I plan on using Atlas code 83 track. Impossible to find in any of my local hobby shops, so I ordered it on-line.

    http://www.atlasrr.com/Code100web/pages/10028.htm
  5. JAyers

    JAyers Member

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    You know, I look at this plan and I don't see anything that requires elevation except the double track diagonally across the middle. You could and probably should, do that with a elevated track so that you can have town underneath.
    So, my point is, other than a flat sheet of plywood or foam, what benchwork could possibly be required here? Don't overthink this, if you get all hung up on trying to make cookie cutter benchwork here, you're defeating yourself before you begin. Use some of the suggestions at this link:

    http://www.nmra.org/beginner/bench48.html

    and then get the track and some sort of elevated trestle thingy for the middle and you're off to the races in no time.

    John

  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I don't trust commercial trestle sets to properly support ho track. It may just be a presonal prejudice. Atlas bridge piers look pretty substantial, but you still have unsupported track between the piers unless you use Atlas bridges which are a good choice. The problem with using a bridge pier set to raise the track up and over is it just looks phony to me. What I would do with that plan is to figure out exactly what track needs to be elevated and where the elevation needs to start. I would also put in some mountains or something to require the change in elevation. Once you know where your grade needs to start, "cookie cut" the first foot or so of plywood to give you a good transition curve into the grade. Then cut out your subroadbed from a second sheet of plywood, door skin, etc. To join your cut subroadbed to the sections you "cookie cut, cut a piece of plywood the width of the subroadbed or slightly narrower about 8-12 inches long. glue these pieces under the subroadbed to bridge the joint and support both sides of the joint. This will keep you from getting a verticle "kink" at the joint. You can use wood blocks fastened down to your table top to support the new subroadbed. Where the train comes out of the tunnel from the mountain to go over the town, put in your bridges and piers. Run your trains with no scenery installed first to make sure there are no track problems. Once you are satisfied with the operation of all of the trackwork, you can cover your track with masking tape to keep out the plaster and make your scenery forms. If you put in mountains and tunnells, be sure to make an access from underneath so that you can get into the tunnell to rerail trains. If you have hatchways cut through the benchwork for access, put up a barrier along the track to keep derailed trains from falling off the layout.