While attending 2 rail and HO for some years, I get the idea wider radius "027-style" curves were available from various manufacturers. Can anyone give a general overview of the facts, and if this kind of thing is still available; and if so, some current sources?
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O27 profile track is no longer made by any manufacturer. It was available in 27, 42, 54 and 72 inch radii. Switches were limited to 27 and 42 inch radii. Lionel and K-Line were the OEM sources. There is a ton of 27 and 42 out there in the secondary market. Try Tinman, a forum sponsor, various auction sites and shows for secondary markets.
As Ahitpy said O27 height tubular track is no longer made but plenty is still available on Ebay or swap meets.
Came in O27, O34 (Marx only), O42, O54 and O72 (K-line only) sizes. O72 is VERY hard to find, the others are relatively easy on Ebay. Prices are climbing. I never saw O96 tubular O27 height track but, if out there, I'd love to get some.
So you don't go nuts when trying to line up wider radius O27 height track, note that:
When using O54's, the K-line version is 1/4 inch longer than Lionel's.
When using O42's , the K-line version is 1/2 inch longer than Lionel's. Also K-line's O42 track has 5 ties, Lionel's have 3.
I am planning on a medium size (16 x 6) layout using 027 profile track and switches. The Mianne bench work kit arrived today. I nave accumulated a lot of track and switches over the years. My last acquisition was a loop of 054 track from Pat’s Trains. I think I exhausted their supply. They initially sent 031 profile track but quickly made everything good and even threw in a couple of extra 027 profile 054 curved pieces.
if I need anything more I will look at TinMan. I have four K-Line 042 switches that need controllers which they carry.
Looks like the TinMan has some 042 in stock . . .
Make it easy on yourself. Go with Gargraves Track and switches. Ross or Gargraves make a ton of different switches. Make your own radius. Don
My bad: I should have clicked once more.
My bad: I should have clicked once more.
No worries palallin,
Almost no dealers have stock of just about any O27 height track, much the wider radius curves. Demand has long outpaced inventories. At least Menard's is saving tubular by producing traditional O gauge tubular track
Lionel was the last provider of O27 height tubular track - that ended about 5 years ago - I think they stopped manufacturing them about 2 years prior to that. The O72 curves were only made by K-line, and then for only about 3 years. That production stopped over 15 years ago!
I wish someone could locate Lionel's or K-line's tooling and start up production again.
@Lionelski, actually just for your info, Williams by Bachmann was the last contractor of brand new 027 track, made at the Kader (former Sanda Kan) facility, which made the K-Line and Lionel 027 track. Though to my recollection WBB only made actual 027 radius curves, straight tracks, track pins and an uncoupling track. I don't remember if they initially made any wider radius curves, or extended length straight tracks. I know they did not make any switch tracks.
This issue for the manufacturer is how quickly the production run goes out of stock. Their need for it to sell in a timely fashion is more important. The WBB 027 tubular track is now also in short supply and hard to find, but this was not always the circumstance. It took a number of years for this to happen.
As you mentioned, Lionel stopping making 027 track long before it went out of stock - at least on a distributor level. It is in the manufacturer's interest for any product (even one continually cataloged) to go out of stock on a quicker time frame, so that they can have more made.
Thanks brianelO27, I learned something new, I never saw WBB branded track - maybe those were the ones I bought a few years ago with nothing stamped on the ties.
IMHO the demand was killed when Lionel and others stopped putting O27 height track in their starter sets, a huge volume of production I'm sure. That then led to the slowdown of track sales for starter layout expansions.
If the tooling is out there I think the current demand is here for at least a couple large limited runs.
I'm glad I started hoarding straights, wide radius curves and switches a few years ago when prices were low and the availability was high
My layout is all 027 profile track with Ross switches. When I started it 12 years ago I was able to find K-Line 072 027 profile curves, so the main lines have 072 and 054 027 profile curves and track. Next layout (if that ever happens) will probably be Gargraves/Ross track, because it's easier to find and has a larger curve than 072.