Author Topic: Atlas parts  (Read 1427 times)

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towl1996

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Atlas parts
« on: January 05, 2016, 10:47:13 AM »
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NOT trying to bash. And maybe it's just me, but it seems the parts I'm after are not in stock. I've been wanting the 70 ton Hart ballast trucks for years and recently I've been looking for the handrails for the VO 1000. I know Atlas is still on break and hopefully someone from Atlas will stop by with an explanation. It's probably related to the factory in China. Any one else having issues with parts availability?
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wcfn100

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 11:08:12 AM »
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Any one else having issues with parts availability?

Yes, for many, many, many years now.

I had a nice venting post, but just typing made me feel better so I'll skip it.  :P

Hopefully this year will see some restock of parts for older models and also first time availability of parts for anything less then 10 years old.

Jason

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2016, 12:16:19 PM »
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Atlas used to be great when it came to spare parts...then the China thing happened and the US housing thing happened and now they just don't bring in hardly any spare parts. A sad thing indeed but there's nothing we can really do about it... :(
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Catt

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2016, 12:27:59 PM »
+1
Do you Ebay? If so let me recommend this fella. The prices are good, the shipping is fair (and usually quick).No connection other than being a very satisfied customer. :D

http://stores.ebay.com/That-Train-Place/N-Scale-Trains-/_i.html?_fsub=3423064017&_sid=353828397&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322
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bman

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2016, 01:53:59 PM »
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I've not had too much trouble getting Atlas parts myself for the most part. Once in a while though yes.  I sometimes have to dig through their website to find what I am looking for under common spare parts, etc.  I do agree though after grazing through Atlas online store last week that some parts just don't seem to be showing up.  As far as Ebay and that store, my humble opinion is that just adds to any shortage situation from any mfg by buying in bulk then re-selling them.  But what do I know?  Maybe he runs a hobby shop and repairs stuff for customers?  Or does like I do at times and find cheap locos at shows needing a little TLC and parts and expanded on it.  It's a free market even though I may not agree with it at times.  I've not ordered from there yet....  the prices and shipping are reasonable I will admit.

peteski

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2016, 02:45:09 PM »
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You guys do realize that nowadays (in the age of China manufacturing and limited runs) manufacturers are doing us a big favor by supplying spare parts?  This has been discussed many times. They don't make much money on this service, and it takes time to package all those bits and to keep them inventoried.  Plus the Chinese manufacturers often flatly refuse to make exta parts (or make very few) when running a batch of models.

While it sucks that some parts are not in stock, I'm still grateful that several model manufacturers for providing the online parts service. Many don't even do that. Sime don't even offer any spare parts service at all!
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Rossford Yard

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2016, 05:14:36 PM »
+1
I have bought several items for kit bashing from "so-much-stuff". Good seller and glad to have him as a resource for Atlas and Kato shells.

towl1996

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2016, 05:22:47 PM »
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You guys do realize that nowadays (in the age of China manufacturing and limited runs) manufacturers are doing us a big favor by supplying spare parts?  This has been discussed many times. They don't make much money on this service, and it takes time to package all those bits and to keep them inventoried.  Plus the Chinese manufacturers often flatly refuse to make exta parts (or make very few) when running a batch of models.

While it sucks that some parts are not in stock, I'm still grateful that several model manufacturers for providing the online parts service. Many don't even do that. Sime don't even offer any spare parts service at all!

"doing us a big favor".... I understand your point, but something about that line rubs me the wrong way. Especially when a parts diagram is included with the purchase. If parts and support are no longer an option, don't include the part numbers. And if parts and support are no longer a current business model, then the new model needs to be made known.             

Why would the Chinese refuse to make extra parts? If it's written into a contract, make x number for assembly and y for parts, what do they care? And who doesn't provide parts? I can't recall having difficulty getting parts from any one else.
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John

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2016, 05:28:21 PM »
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Do you Ebay? If so let me recommend this fella. The prices are good, the shipping is fair (and usually quick).No connection other than being a very satisfied customer. :D

http://stores.ebay.com/That-Train-Place/N-Scale-Trains-/_i.html?_fsub=3423064017&_sid=353828397&_trksid=p4634.c0.m322

I've used this source as well .. very good service

peteski

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2016, 05:45:41 PM »
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Why would the Chinese refuse to make extra parts? If it's written into a contract, make x number for assembly and y for parts, what do they care? And who doesn't provide parts? I can't recall having difficulty getting parts from any one else.

I don't know?  Because they can?  Seriously, I have heard this directly from several US model manufacturers reps.  They seem to be at the mercy of the manufacturers who seem to have the final word as far as production numbers go for spares.  The US manufacturer/imported request the extra parts but they never get produced!  It is not like the US manufacturer can simply tell the Chinese subcontractor to go pound sand and move  production to another Chinese manufacturers (as I understand there are very few model train producers in China).

One possible explanation I was given is that even the Chinese manufacturers subcontract to yet more manufacturers and coordinating all of this is not easy.  Things like motors and other items are produced by other companies.  One could say that it should be just es easy to order extra few hundred parts for spares, but somehow that doesn't work. Maybe it is a culture thing?
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Mark5

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2016, 07:48:24 PM »
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Atlas has long been a leader in stocking in supplying parts, I hope that Atlas will not slack too much on this.

I've been waiting quite a while for some trucks to be available - especially the 22061 Friction Bearing Swing Motion caboose trucks.

Denver Road Doug

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2016, 08:20:14 PM »
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"doing us a big favor".... I understand your point, but something about that line rubs me the wrong way. Especially when a parts diagram is included with the purchase. If parts and support are no longer an option, don't include the part numbers. And if parts and support are no longer a current business model, then the new model needs to be made known.             

Why would the Chinese refuse to make extra parts? If it's written into a contract, make x number for assembly and y for parts, what do they care? And who doesn't provide parts? I can't recall having difficulty getting parts from any one else.

Have you ever tried getting parts from Athearn?  Not only NO but HELL NO.

You're right, the Chinese don't care, it's the manufacturers that are basically spending money making extra parts that often sit around and collect dust that care.   They probably do make "warranty coverage" parts but having the extra inventory--while it is a good customer service offering--costs real dollars.   Needing parts for repair is different than needing parts for kitbashing and improving the prototypical accuracy with correct trucks.  Hence the parts diagrams.  I'm sure that anyone willing to front the money to tack on a couple hundred trucks/couplers can probably make things happen. (that's not being smarta$$, I truly think we'll see some of that as a cottage industry going forward, but Atlas, for example, just won't be the one maintaining that inventory.)

I just think that we're seeing the stranglehold that our new age of model railroad manufacturers are being placed into, and it doesn't surprise me that "leaner, meaner" is the result.
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wcfn100

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2016, 08:23:56 PM »
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Have you ever tried getting parts from Athearn?  Not only NO but HELL NO.

The last three things I asked about were in stock.


Jason

peteski

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2016, 09:32:25 PM »
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I also had a fairly good luck with Athearn. Walthers seems to be the worst as far as having parts available. But their service/repair staff will try bending over backwards trying to help as best as they can.  I even asked their sales staff if they would be willing to start selling the 0-8-0 tenders, but that is not to be.

Kato and Atlas seem to be the easiest to deal with (they even have online parts stores).  But in this day and age of limited runs, can we really expect them to be fully stocked with all the parts?  My 30 year atlas loco has a parts diagram included. Should I expect Atlas to still stock those parts?  :|

Model Power used to also be good providing parts (if you called Mike at their service dept.) but I don't know if that is still the case after the MRC took them over.

Most companies will try to help as best as they can, but in many cases parts just aren't available.

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towl1996

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Re: Atlas parts
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2016, 10:57:54 PM »
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I don't buy the argument that stocking parts is a burden on companies. Micro Trains seems to have no trouble stocking parts, as do others, so it can be done. It just depends on the company's business model.

And limited runs doesn't mean it's never going to be produced again (thinking Atlas locos), shells may change, but the basic mechanism is still the same, so yes, a 30 year old loco should have parts available, if that's the company's business model.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 12:58:39 AM by GaryHinshaw »
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