Coming from an N-scaler's perspective, the one frustration I've had with my forays into Z-scale modeling is the lack of flex track and turnouts having both American tie spacing and no molded-in plastic roadbed. I haven't used sectional track in decades, but had no other option it seemed when I built my Z-scale layout. Rail height is another issue - code 55 is ideal for N-scale, but is too large for Z. Code 40 rail would be more appropriate, not to mention more visually appealing. I see these as areas of growth and opportunity for Z-scale.
Given AZL's ongoing advancement of Z with regular releases of high-quality models, perhaps offering a line of Z-scale track would be a natural evolution of their product line. I personally think that a line of roadbedless American flex track and turnouts using code 40 rail would be a welcome addition to a scale that seems dominated by sectional track, oversized rails, and plastic roadbed.
Chris, Both MTL and Atlas are producing code 55 flex track and Atlas has announced plans to release turnouts, possibility an NTS announcement coming. IMO code 40 rail for operating track would be a ways off, not until there is a new z scale wheel profile.
Chris, why do you state "I haven't used sectional track in decades, but had no other option it seemed when I built my Z-scale layout."
Getting smooth track often is related to longer lengths, and flex track is that. MTL flex has been out for a while, so did your first layout pre-date flex track availability?
Just curious if it was lack of availability, lack of knowing it was available, or something else?
However, Chris is right and it's my main frustration as well : until Atlas comes to town with its future turnouts (I just hope their first samples will be #6 or above, and not #5 as some said), we just have to rely on unprototypical and/or unreliable turnouts when it comes to speaking of RTR samples. As I'm not satisfied with Marklin's (cosmetics and operations), as I'm not satisfied with MTL's (operations) and as I didn't try Rokuhan's yet (looks like these are very reliable but in my opinion they are visually mostly toy-like), I'm confined with building mine using Fast-Tracks gigs. The process is funny I agree but it's time consuming and I think I'd better use my spare time doing some scenery or rolling stock improvement (couplers, weathering) rather than building turnouts.
But let's keep tuned. Whichever brand these are, I think these future Atlas turnouts will really be a hit for our scale.
Some of us were able to get dozens (and dozens and . . .) of Peter Wrights turnouts which are like Fast Tracks turnouts with molded ties (John Duino has)
If you not looking at the layout with your camera 6" away, the Fast Tracks turnouts look good. Just takes 20-30 minutes to make one. You also create your own using a paper template underneath. Then you can make 8's and such for passenger crossovers.
Post by Hans Riddervold (AZL) on Aug 10, 2017 17:26:54 GMT -5
We had a track project going until Atlas did their announcement and release. If Atlas expands their range, Z scale should be well covered with Marklin, Rokuhan, Atlas, Peco, Micro-Trains and Fast Tracks all offering tracks. On top of that several individuals are offering custom built switches. So, AZL does not have any track in development at this time.