chuga-chuga Oct 2, 2013

  1. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

    My LHS is done and gone as of a couple weeks ago and the other one in the town just down the road also has limited MRRing selection, I believe the cause for that si the model railroading is probably more concentrated in heavily urban areas. the only other option would be online but when scrolling "the bay" I can find some Atlas, some ME, and a bit of Peco. which does beg the question, "where be the track?!"(read it like a pirate) maybe main hobby supply sites and ones advertised here carry the track in larger amounts than "the bay" sellers.
  2. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter


    A little obscure mom and pop shop on one of the backstreets in Moosebreath Montana ;-)

    *I said tongue in cheek*
  3. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

    I view that as more of a serendipitous side affect than an actual goal. But hey, that's just me :)

  4. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman TrainBoard Member

  5. Primavw

    Primavw TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for the hopeful comments Paul. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say we look forward to seeing stock back up to where it needs to be. Atlas is a great company, and for now, I'll be patiently waiting to build my first C55 layout!
  6. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    Just like in Frostbite Falls, Minn. next to Boris and Natasha's hair salon. However on a serious note my favorite pusher of railroad stuff west of Baltimore has a fairly good supply of code 80 and is starting to get some 55 that they didn't have.
  7. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    -1 .......sorry....I'll speak for myself...thnxs.
  8. chuga-chuga

    chuga-chuga TrainBoard Member

    Ya......sigh, I'll be patiently waiting also. My bench work isn't going anywhere and neither am I.
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I heard they've moved their operation to Lotsa Hotair, Arizona. :teeth:
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Exactly. I'm in this to relax and just have fun. Not to make it into work.
  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    Hey...thats right down the road from me...imagine that ! :p
  12. gregamer

    gregamer TrainBoard Supporter

    Now that's being resourceful. And something I hadn't considered.

    Greg Amer
    The Industrial Lead
  13. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

    On the subject of Atlas track, what happened to True-Track? You don't hear much about that anymore.
  14. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    Here's the secret. Ya don't need expensive jigs and fixtures to make your own turnouts. Yes, they speed the process up a bit, but you'll save a ton of money learning to build your own using nothing more than files, a Dremel, a cheap 35-40 watt soldering iron and free paper templates downloaded off the net.

    I've built nearly a thousand turnouts in the past 20 or so years, and not once have I used a jig or fixture. Just paper templates taped to my workbench.

    Yup, Micro Engineering flex is a bit more expensive than Atlas 55, but you get more track for your money since it's actually 36" long.

    Micro Engineering 55 track also runs pizza cutters just fine, and that, combined with rolling your own turnouts saves you a POTFULL of money.

    So, your statement that you need extra money to use ME track and to make your own turnouts (implying that this combination is more expensive than Atlas 55 track and turnouts) is wrong.

    Bob Gilmore
  15. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    *Yawn...* After a hard day's work at the drawing table, I relaxed today and had some fun by installing the second set of three hand-laid turnouts I built a while back which are the west end of my Emory center siding east of Echo Junction in my Echo Canyon section on my sectional layout.

    I decided to use ME code 40 flex for the center track, with ME code 55 on the two adjacent mainlines, with a short prototypical trailing point siding on the left-hand running East-bound mainline which UP uses to store MOW equipment.

    Track shortages??? I don't even think about it. Nor am I constrained by what number or type of commercial RTR turnouts restrict my trackplan because it's not a big deal at all to lay two #6 wyes, one slightly curved #12 on one end of the siding and two #8's and a #4 wye on the other end, with a curved #8 on the east-bound line for the short Emory siding.

    Since it takes me about an hour to create a turnout, then another half an hour or so to splice it in, I haven't lost a lot of time by rolling my own. In any case, the turnouts I'm using in this section of my layout simply aren't available in code 55 even when China is cooperating, so instead of waiting for months to get up and running and/or compromising my layout design by being forced to comply with what turnouts are commercially available...I just make my own...for about $1.75 apiece, and do it whenever I want.

    If I need a couple of #9's for a crossover...they're done by tomorrow. No ordering, no driving 17 miles to my LHS to see what he's got in stock. By the time my soldering iron has heated up, I've printed out my paper templates, taped them to my workbench and I'm ready to cut and file rail...

    As an added bonus, my hand laid turnouts run smoother and more reliably than any commercially-made RTR turnouts, and also look more prototypical.

    One of the really good things about the Atlas track shortage is that it has forced quite a few model railroaders to finally learn to roll their own turnouts and give ME track a try (it's clearly superior in appearance to Atlas 55 and runs pizza cutters just fine).

    I've got nothing against any track anybody wants to use for whatever reason. However, I will continue to encourage model railroaders to look at this shortage of good quality Atlas RTR track as an opportunity to learn an alternative solution to getting trains up and running that will free you from this problem should it ever occur again. You'll be in the same position as I am...laying whatever track you want, whenever you want, while the masses wait and wait and.....wait...

    Bob Gilmore
  16. Paul Graf

    Paul Graf TrainBoard Member

    All of the track had the same supply issues, and as we put the track back into production, we started with the highest volume lines and are moving through the list. We do have plans for more N scale True Track pieces once we get the supply issues smoothed out. There were actually a few new pieces ready to go into tooling before we had to move our production to new factories.
  17. jdcolombo

    jdcolombo TrainBoard Member


    I am sure that Atlas is as unhappy with the track supply situation as we are. Probably MORE unhappy, since it represents serious lost sales to them. I'm sure they are working as hard as humanly possible to get things back on track (pun intended). But I will say that the unavailability of Atlas Code 55 got me into constructing my own turnouts, a skill I had long wished I had, but simply hadn't tried. I started off doing #6's with a Fast Tracks jig, and then moved to #4's on a paper template (which aren't part of Atlas's track lineup anyway). What you find after you get the hang of this is that your own turnouts operate much better than commercial versions because there is no manufacturing slop. I can run my Big Boy through my #4's; it hates Atlas #5's (if you run only diesels, you probably won't notice this, but try running a long-wheelbase steamer through Atlas #5's and see what happens - at least until you work on them with an NMRA gauge).

    Atlas stuff should be back in the pipeline in a couple months; if you're really desperate, ME Code 55 flex and roll-your-own turnouts is a viable option. And you might find it is an even better option. Honestly, if I'd known what I know now, I'd probably have used Atlas flex and built all my turnouts myself.

    John C.
  18. Doug A.

    Doug A. TrainBoard Supporter

    Where do you get the paper templates for turnouts? Is there a good site with info on how to get started this way? Not sure that's something I'm looking at trying to tackle, but you never know. I might at least do one for the experience...we could use some new curse words invented. ;-)
  19. PaulBeinert

    PaulBeinert TrainBoard Supporter

    Fast Tracks has a ton of templates for download
  20. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Argh. If this were not a family oriented board, I can only imagine where that topic might lead us.

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