Author Topic: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?  (Read 9075 times)

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strummer

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Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« on: June 05, 2016, 12:46:55 AM »
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Just saw a video that had a very short blurb about Atlas offering Z scale flex track...this could be a big deal, right?

Mark in Oregon

Chris333

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2016, 12:51:43 AM »
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What video?  And unless it is code 40 in 36" lengths...

Sokramiketes

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2016, 01:10:31 AM »
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Listen to Craig, he has good news... :D
« Last Edit: June 05, 2016, 01:13:20 AM by Sokramiketes »
Mike

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strummer

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2016, 01:15:17 AM »
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There is a video posted on the "AZL" forum; can't miss it. 2:40 in. No details, just a passing mention of "the long-awaited Z scale flex track".

In any case, I can't help but see this as a good sign...

Mark in Oregon

Edit: that's the one... :)

C855B

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2016, 01:22:22 AM »
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Does @Mark W know about this? There's nothing like doing a bunch of work to roll your own "unobtainium" model or modeling supply to hasten announcement of a commercial solution.  :facepalm:
...mike

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Chris333

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2016, 01:25:40 AM »
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Doesn't  say what code.

Sokramiketes

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2016, 01:37:55 AM »
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Doesn't  say what code.

It's their Code 55 rail.  Should be longer pieces than MTL, and cheaper.  So while not Code 40, it will be close enough for me to be able to build a large layout without having to put a sharp object in my eye!

Track is a strangely neglected part of the Z scale market, and probably limiting its growth.  To have the major player in model railroad track enter Z scale is a *big* deal. 
Mike

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Chris333

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 02:14:21 AM »
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Well 55 would still be the smallest Z scale rail offered so far. But why not skip the toy track and go for something everyone can use.

nkalanaga

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2016, 02:38:38 AM »
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My guess would be that they 1) already have the code 55 in-house, 2) want to be more-or-less compatible with existing track, and 3) are making their first foray into a new scale and don't want to take too big a risk.

Just my opinion:  Code 55 flex will work fairly well with the existing turnouts, while code 40, with no turnouts available, would appeal only to those who are willing to handlay their turnouts.  Those people, in turn, are also more willing to handlay the rest of their track, so less likely to buy the new track, regardless of the rail.
N Kalanaga
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Chris333

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2016, 02:58:39 AM »
+1
What code 55 turnouts are available? Only ones I can think of are roadbed track and they are code 65.

Btw what code is Peco flex? Just wondering.

Mark W

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2016, 04:25:43 AM »
+1
Does @Mark W know about this? There's nothing like doing a bunch of work to roll your own "unobtainium" model or modeling supply to hasten announcement of a commercial solution.  :facepalm:

First time I'm hearing this.  I have to agree with Chris, if they're not going with Code 40 rail, well, why the heck not??!! (Sure I get the economics of it, but still)

Granted, I'm brand new in Z Scale, so I really don't know anything about the community's opinion on existing track, except that what I wanted wasn't available.  My displeasure of existing track is; If I'm paying this much for locomotives and rolling stock (and track), no way I'm using humongous rail.  Hell I googled for a week in search of a code 20 or the fabled code 30 rail to use with my 3D printed ties before accepting 40 as my rail of choice.

Nonetheless, definitely excited all the same.  Not everyone has the same motivations for modeling, and as Mike said, a big player entering Z is a big deal.  Hoping we'll see some Atlas brand Z Scale locomotives and rolling stock follow suit. 


Just for giggles, I glued some Atlas C55 rail to a 3D printed tie strip to compare with C40 rail. 



Any chance they might sink the rail into the ties to simulate a shorter height??   :scared:




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Chris333

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2016, 05:57:50 AM »
+1
I haven't laid an inch of Z scale track that was taller than .040" (.043"  ;)  )

I had to make turnouts either way no matter the rail size.

Catt

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2016, 07:57:32 AM »
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I for one will be quite happy with code 55 flex in Z.Unless  they are cutting the rail to a different length the track will be 29" long.
Johnathan (Catt) Edwards
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ednadolski

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2016, 10:17:27 AM »
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if they're not going with Code 40 rail, well, why the heck not??!! (Sure I get the economics of it, but still)

My guess is that it is a supplier thing.  They want to use their own C55 rail and not depend on an outside source (i.ie., ME).

.055" is about a scale foot in Z, so the height should be similar appearance-wise to C80 in N scale.   I'm not sure about the railhead widths.

Ed

Sokramiketes

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Re: Atlas Z Scale Flex Track?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2016, 11:30:59 AM »
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It's all about the economics and Atlas has the Code55 rail already, allowing this project to come to fruition.  Remember the only existing North American tie spacing flex is MTL, which besides being ungodly expensive (to pay for that rail tooling??) is annoying to work with. Once you pull out the weird sloping end ties, and the middle donut ties, you're down to ~11" a section. Two 14" radius end loops I built used up most of 3 boxes of track! 

So there was room to improve both in price and longer sections. I wanted Code 40 as well, so visited with ME to see their operation and talk through a Z scale product using their rail. Again, the rail being available was key. We even visited their old tool maker to see if he was willing to do the tooling. The economics would have worked, and I had the tooling drawn and was ready to fund it out of my pocket, but the project fizzled as it was during the time Atlas was moving factories and ME was running two shifts just on HO track to keep up with the uptick in demand!  There wasn't time for another specialty project. I've been busy with other things and haven't checked back in, but am willing to use the Atlas stuff now for my Columbia River Sub layout.

I think this new track will allow Z scale to expand. Maybe someday that means the economics will work to have Peco style buried Code 30 rail in amazing flex. But right now the Atlas stuff will ease the cost factor and laying long main lines with fewer joints.

Now that we have SD70ace's to push a long string of coalporters, and Z trains, and international stacks, and... It's time for Z to move out of the gimicky micro layout stage!  Let's see some heavy duty mainline action!
Mike

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