BTW: Paul at Atlas commented on Trainboard that they are looking into Turnouts:
"There are turnouts in the future, but nothing far enough along to announce a what or when just yet." Additionally, they are looking into matching their N scale offerings. So, possibly a 'normal' #5-#6 turnout, to be close to our typical mainstream market, a larger #8 for us large layout/modules, especially double-track mains on 1" centers (our Z scale 'standard' practice) and maybe something new too, like their Wye Crossings would help too.
But lets help them recover their costs with flex to help them justify the expansion their Z scale offering. I also Atlas will be honest with us if their sales are not as expected. It will take a white for the Z scale community (MUCH, MUCH larger than the typical 10-20 that post on the forums) to get wind of this new line, especially from a non-Z manufacturer (<-- I mean most only know Atlas for N and HO, for example).
Received my Atlas 2810 flex track. $5.95 retail price, often discounted. Comes in 5 pc per bundle to retailers (a.k.a.LHS) and 5 bundles in a box (25 pieces total). Each piece is 24" long. Flexible (moves easily back and forth). One rail is fixed, the other slides (common with almost all flex track [N, HO], MTL flex both rails can move but still [stays in curved shape] and only 12" long.
So to compare prices to MTL, each $5.95 piece is 2x as long as MTL. MTL has 10 pieces, 12" long. So equivalent to Atlas 5 pieces at 24". Therefore, $5.95 x 5 = $29.75. MTL includes 24 rail joiners ($5.40 if you bought separately) Atlas does not include them so add $3 (Atlas 2090)
In general: * Light brown ties with embedded wood grain, about the same cross-section as the MTL black no-grain ties * Near same tie spacing as MTL (MTL has 1 tie more over 12" so call it the same * Larger tie spike, slight random orientation compared to slightly smaller well centered MTL * 24" long (yeah), one rail fixed (like most other N, HO flex), other rail free slide. * Easily bends, springs back about 1/2 way (MTL stays bent) * Overall rail/tie height same * Rail head wider than MTL. Same width as märklin and Rokuhan * Uses N scale Code 55 rail joiner (Atlas 2090) which is OUT OF STOCK virtually everywhere. MTL's joiners do not fit (narrower than Atlas so 'split' open more) but Micro Engineering 26-055 will but look 'huge'
I like it well enough to use on many mainlines with my Peter Wrights and FastTrack turnouts that use the narrower rail head. A bit more rail head might give a bit more better electrical pickup for shows and a bit better stability for the AZL loco thin width traction tire than stick out from the wheel's tread surface. The traction tire is about the width of the MTL rail head so sometimes likes to 'ride' a wobbly line on the tight rope.
All right, to answer my own questions... The Atlas track and joiners because of it's width, is a perrfect match to handlaidtrack's rail and joiners. Micro trains line will join to the atlas track using the atlas joiners. The reverse doesn't work, they cannot be joined with micro train joiners. Since I have both and because this is a new layout, the Atlas track is easier to layout but forget about drilling and nailing it, it has to be carpenter glued to the road bed. But on the positive note, it looks way more prototypical than MTL flex and is way easier to bend and shape because of the fixed rail...
Thats my 2 cents... I will be putting my MTL flex on industry sidelines... Now if only AZL could make us a dcc switcher ´ a nice GMD-1 or an Alco S2
Rob, Perhaps a better place to post your query is on Trainboard: Paul Graf seems to monitor the Atlas track posts there. His last post (14 Jan) was that they were in the final design stages and that they would do a turnout and matching crossing.
Post by boxcarwilly on Apr 15, 2017 10:11:11 GMT -5
I agree that competition is good for business. It would be nice to have another manufacturer to make the engines that MTL no longer makes, and AZL can't make. Same for rolling stock. MTL doesn't make new stuff anymore just repaints and AZL only makes certain pieces. It would be nice to see some cranes, utility cars and MOW units as well as snowplows and other pieces.