Atlas Flex Track...

strummer Jun 5, 2016

  1. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    In the real world your turnout is not a radius like in a fabricated turnouts from model railroad manufacturer, it the measure from the point rail tie bar of the turnout to the crossing of the diverging rail over the standing rail at the frog as a multiple of the track gauge. You can find the information in engineering texts for railroad construction. In practice turnouts are made with straight rail and not from bent rail on class 1 railroads, there are separate sections in the engineering handbook for use on traction lines and industrial light and heavy lines, sections for bridges, etc . There is a direct relationship with turnout numbers and the crossing angle at the frog so the frog is usually a casting that is bolted to the rail.
     
  2. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Figuring out your angles requires trigonometry, you have the hypotenuse of the triangle you have the track gauge for height and you have the length as a multiple of the height so you can now solve that for the angle.
     
  3. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    We're at least 2 Z-scalers to have the same thought. ;)


    Of course you can. But you'll have to use cork roadbed under flextrack. With IBL's that roughly matches MTL turnout's plastic roadbed.

    Dom
     
  4. Heay Equipment Designer

    Heay Equipment Designer TrainBoard Member

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    Has anyone used Rokuhan switches with the Atlas flex track yet?

    -Jon
     
  5. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Member

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    I haven't done it yet but will. The reason for the response, just in case you didn't know about it, is that Rokuhan has a snap on bed/ adapter that's about 1/2" long specifically made for adapting to other manufacturers flex track with no roadbed. The adapter snaps into their track in the same fashion as the standard track pieces and affords alignment and support for the bed less track. It's their part number A014. I will be using them when I do this. You will have some adapting to do for the rail heights as the Rokuhan seems to be code 65 (measured one example at .064") and the Atlas seems to be code 55 (measured one example at .057") but for that .010" (or less, depending on tolerances as noted) you could probably shim and/ or file to match up the heights.

    I'm also seriously entertaining going the hand laid Fast Tracks route but that's a pretty serious money commitment. Then again, it's some sweet running stuff with the ability to alter tie spacing (I'm mainly interested for Nn3 at this time where that will be useful). Hope that helps.
     
  6. Heay Equipment Designer

    Heay Equipment Designer TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, that's a solution that will work for me.

    -Jon
     
  7. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Member

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    As an add, again maybe nothing new, but if the desire is to have track down without road bed (maybe sidings or as my Nn3 needs will require) there is an attachment for the Dremel tool that is called a "tile cutter" but in fact works as an adjustable depth router attachment and with a uniform diameter on the outside of the base. https://www.dremel.com/en_US/products/-/show-product/tools/566-tile-cutting-kit They also make a plunge router adapter but that is not the one as it's a bit bulkier and doesn't afford the uniform diameter to bump up against if using a fabricated perimeter guide. You can use any of the Dremel bits with it. This allow you to cut a very accurate pocket for the switch to set in.

    What I have used it for is to cut precise pockets in foam for under switch, switch machines, and for burying trolley track in the foam for street running. For repeat cuts it can be used with a guide made up from styrene strips that acts as a perimeter fence with alignment marks aligning to track C/L, pinned in place, and then chased around with the cutter. One guide for each switch size that can be flipped over for right or left hand switches. Freehand or with a guide you can control a very uniform depth by setting the cutter projection from the base on the bench. I have held a couple of thousandths tolerance on the depth by setting it using dial calipers. I never have seen one used this way before but I've found it to be a really handy tool for this work that I just stumbled on. Hope that helps, for this but anytime you need a good controlled pocket.:)
     
  8. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    I was wondering if there is any news of the Atlas turnouts? I was hoping to see an announcement at NTS this year. With the model railroading season (winter) ramping up it would be nice to know if there is a release schedule and maybe the physical characteristics of the turnouts.

    Mark
     
  9. RobertAllbritton

    RobertAllbritton TrainBoard Member

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    I agree - I have quite a few project "on hold" awaiting news of Atlas turnouts!
     
  10. z.scale.hobo

    z.scale.hobo TrainBoard Member

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    Paul Graf just sent me an email when I asked for an update: "(no updates) yet. Once we get something suitable to show, we will post photos. Once we have a release schedule in place, we will make a product announcement."

    A mid-July update from Paul said that the turnouts are being tooled and samples are on the verge of being prepared. That's the update I was asking to have updated when he just said there are no further updates. :D
     
  11. strummer

    strummer TrainBoard Member

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    ...one wonders if they'll offer something larger than #6's. Seems like that would be a no-brainer in Z scale...I've (also) reached a stage where I really need to commit to one brand or another. I like MTL, but their line is limited, and Marklin just looks too "European" to my eyes so I'd prefer going with Atlas, if they can make stuff available.

    Anyone have any thoughts about their (Atlas') flex track so far?

    Mark in Oregon
     
  12. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    Mark,
    Like Rob I've been holding off on some of my layout waiting for the Atlas turnouts. I've been playing with the Atlas track for a while and like it.By my measurements, the over height is the same as MTL, tie sizes, spacing and length are all within a couple of mils. The rail heal is a bit narrower so the rail is loose in non-Atlas rail joiners. The track comes in 5 section bundles and I'd suggest ordering it that way and keeping the sections bundled until you/re ready to use them. I can recommend the track.

    I'm expecting Atlas to initially released a 110mm turnout it's compatible with everything else out there.

    Of course you don't have to limit yourself to one brand of track. I'm using several: Rokuhan in a yard/station urban environment where the details of the track aren't obvious and MTL/Atlas in a section where the track is a major part of the scene. Now if some clever maker out there would just do a "U.S. to Japanese" plastic rail bed joiner....


    Mark
     
  13. strummer

    strummer TrainBoard Member

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    Mark

    Thanks. Just placed an order for a 5-piece bundle. We shall see... :)

    Mark in Oregon
     
  14. Tommy Keyes

    Tommy Keyes TrainBoard Member

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    At NTS I stopped by the atlas booth and asked a represenitive about the turnouts who said "look for news around December"

    Tommy
     
    strummer and markm like this.
  15. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Rokuhan does have a transition piece to go from flex or snap track with ties to their roadbed. part number is A014 it fits into roadbed and provide a platform for the flex which will match rail to rail for code 55 track.
     
  16. strummer

    strummer TrainBoard Member

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    I received my batch of (5) pieces today, and let me say that I'm very impressed. As I expected, it's very much like the code 55 track I'd been using in N scale, with the brown ties and close spacing.

    I cleaned the rails with my abrasive block, and levered a razor blade into the ends to cut the first 2 ties worth of spike heads, to allow the joiners to slide onto the rails. I tried both Atlas and Peco joiners; I found the Pecos (#SL-310) to be much finer in their appearance, and they fit the rails a little tighter than did the Atlas joiners, FWIW...

    It seems to conduct electricity just fine, and will mate to Marklin track; the rail profile appears to be just slightly larger than the MTL rail, so some "spreading" of the MTL rail joiners is needed to make those two products join together. However, if you pull off the stock MTL joiner and replace (with either Atlas or Peco), you're then good to go.

    I suspect most of this is old hat to you all, but I thought I'd post it anyway. :)

    My hope now if that the Atlas switches will be forthcoming soon, and then I can make a wholesale change over the that brand...

    Mark in Oregon
     
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  17. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Rokuhan rail joiners work even better than the Atlas or Micro Trains ones.
     
    tracktoo likes this.
  18. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Member

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    ... and look better. But from what I've seen they're a little pricey.
     
  19. Paul Graf

    Paul Graf TrainBoard Member

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    We just got in a restock of the flex track, and the factory is getting ready to sample the turnout molds. Once we are able to review the samples and put them through some testing, we'll be able to have a better idea on when we can put them into production.
     
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  20. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Anytime we can encourage a manufacturer of model railroad stuff to make new product (like that's going to happen) that's a good day.
     
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