Atlas curved turnous? Why not? is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
As I'm building and designing my layout one question kept popping up in my head... "Why doesn't Atlas make any curved turnouts?"
Does anyone know of a reason why they don't. They practically corner the market on track sales. They have a good quality product with a good variety of accessories, but the one thing that eludes them is curved turnouts. I would think it would be a positive score if they ventured into that market. I have all code 83 Atlas flex and turnouts of all sizes but my curved turnout are Peco or Walthers.
I live about 1/2hr from their headquarters, maybe I should drive down there and knock on their door one day and say "WHAT THE...?"

Just wondering out loud.

Steve B

I didn't know that, now i'm curious too. they would be onto a winner if they did, they are ideal for the layout builder with limited space, i have used Peco curved turnouts due to space problems


Lazy Daydreamer
My own uneducated guess is, the investment in new tooling required to produce curved T/O's would be enormous, and with Walthers/Shinohara and Peco [plus a few others] already making them, Atlas may not believe there is enough potential sales volume to recoup the investment.


Diesel Detail Freak
Personally, after allot of temp track laying, I prefer Micro Engineering, the rail is much more stiff. I have ME flex & an ME turnout on my modules.


Pennsy Tuscan Red Blood
I understand there are better quality track out there but for the price Atlas is very tempting to alot of modelers out there. I wish I could afford the best track out there. My big thing I keep pushing on my Dad(my partner in crime) is to limit the derailments:eek: as much as possible.

Have a good new year.


Diesel Detail Freak
Oh, Atlas is a great quality track, I was just stating that I prefer ME (basically saying, I wish it was ME with the curved)...


I don't understand that either, Ron. You would think that Atlas, being an industry leader and Grandpa to this hobby, would be out front with everything you need for track. They certainly have enough of other combinations of track. That's ok though; I'll stick with the Walthers curves;) .


I'll have to agree with Ken about the investment in new tooling.

Atlas produces good quality products and the selection is large compared to many others. Atlas, does, however, use the same solenoid machines on all their remotes. They would have to develop a curved turnout AND a curved solenoid machine (or at least an adapter for the existing machine). I doubt if Atlas wants to make that kind of investment for what may be a limited demand. In addition, so many modelers complain about how Atlas solenoid machines look attached to the turnouts. A curved turnout would probably look even worse!

If I were running Atlas, I think I'd be considering an investment to re-design ALL the turnouts for under-table NON-solenoid machines. Now THAT might be an investment worth making! I've always wondered why the turnout machine couldn't be incorporated UNDER the turnout, like Kato does.

Darrell, quiet...for now


Diesel Detail Freak
I'd doubt that they'd make a curved turn out, outside the custom switch line. Snap switches in curved situations make me nervous!
"Why doesn't Atlas make any curved turnouts?"
Do you mean N or HO. Because for HO the real question is why did they stop making them? They used to have a really nice one with 30 degrees of 18" radius for the inside and 22" on the outside. They fit perfectly into other layouts made with custom line track. These are the turnouts that were used in the Jerome & Southwestern featured as a series in MR back in the early 1980s. So all the spectulation about not wanting to invest in new tooling is just wrong.

I have a stock pile of them and continue to pick them up at swap meets and garage sales whenever I can, so I'll have them when I need them.

I believe Model Power also made one with the exact same geometry, but I never saw one in nickel-silver, only brass.

Peco's small is wonderful. It is not quite a 22"x18" but close enough. They won't fit exactly in a custom line layout either but a clever person can use the tiny Atlas straights to fit it.


I suppose this question should be address to Atlas..I also wonder why Atlas doesn't make a curve switch after all these years.

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