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A relocation for a new job means my current layout has to come down. I bought into the Atlas track system thinking I would stick with it for any future layouts, but, truth be told, I am not impressed with its reliability, especially with the switches. I'm looking to sell my stock off (and it's one less thing to move then), but am not sure what a fair price is for used Atlas track. I bought it new and it's been lightly used, still practically in like-new condition. Ask 75% off the price I paid? 50%? Any ballpark suggestions? I'm looking for guidance for fair pricing.

Thanks!

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If we were in need of Atlas track, we would probably jump at a price 60% of what we could buy it for new. Assuming that it is in really good condition, I don’t see why what you paid for it or the list price matter.

How much does new cost?

What is 60% of that. Must be in very good condition.

If I read that you question its performance and were not satisfied, you would never hear from me.

@waylessway posted:

Expressing your honest opinion to a potential buyer is very honorable but can cost you.

Being honest pays off in the long run. Doubly so when when dealing with fellow train enthusiasts.

No idea about the overall market. Can only say what I would pay.  BTW, I'm not rich and live on a small fixed income.

If you had 48 pieces of flex track, in "like" new condition, I would offer $10/ea.  Can get them new, when available, for $18 by looking around.

IMO, 50-60% of the new price sounds about right.  Shipping can be a deal breaker due to the weight and bulk.

@Ted S posted:

I consider myself a potential buyer.  I've been frustrated by the on-and-off availability of brand new Atlas track from the retail distribution network.  But before I buy yours or anyone else's, I would like to know more about your reliability issues.  Especially the switches.  Do tell!

I have no direct personal experience, but I know some people who use Atlas track due to the realistic appearance, but they choose to use Ross switches with it.

A small history of Atlas track.

(1.) Problem with rail joiners:  First production track, the spring tension of the joiners was an issue, that caused intermittent track continuity problems.  Replacement rail joiners were much better, but sometimes difficult to install.

(2.) Turnout problem (1.)   Switch motor burn-out do to stuck push buttons.   Corrected with the 6924 relay board.

(3.) Turnout problem (2.)  Third rail dead spots, units/locomotives would loose power.  Corrected with the 6924 relay board.

(4.) Turnout problem (3.) Rough tracking through a switch.  In most cases, the switch needed to be flat/level.  Sometimes adjusting/loosening screws, corrected problems.

(5.) Black center rail material would coat the third rail roller pick-up, and inhibit continuity. Usually removing the black coating from the top of the rail corrected the problem. Third rail pick-ups also had to be cleaned.

(6.) Later issue Atlas model engines were designed with (4) roller pickups, which also improved switch continuity problems.

(7.) Note:  Atlas 3 rail curves were designed for 9" diameter increments, rails would  be 5 1/2 (Edit/correction 4 1/2, thank you), center to center.  O27, O36, O45, most common IMO, O54, O63, O72, O81, O90, etc.

(8.)  There was an Atlas flex track, difficult to bend, IMO, worked best O72 and larger curves.

(9.) Atlas track components allowed for fabrication of custom pieces as needed. Example: pictured.

(10.) There were adapters to mate Atlas track with both Gargraves and Ross. I found the Atlas track joiner would work with both Ross, and Gargraves.  The lower profile of Gargraves track, had to be removed with a dremel tool.

(11.) As with a lot of the hobby, (Built to order), may be, the most frustrating issue, as has been mentioned in this thread.

Last edited by Mike CT

My new layout will have ~200 feet of Atlas track and ~23 switches from O36 to #5.   About 85% of it was purchased used from the OGR Buy/Sell Board or train meets.  The switches were all purchased at no more than 50% of retail and the track was purchased at less than that.  The last bunch was purchased at the Fall 2019 First Frost meet.  Someone was selling 40 10" straight sections and a dozen or so 4 1/2" straight sections.   It was essentially brand new from a layout that never got built.   I paid $175 for all of it.

You can search the Buy/Sell board for "Atlas track or Atlas switch".  Those that haven't been deleted will give you an idea of how much is too much as will the completed listings on ebay. 

It depends if folks want it now or are willing to wait.

What 'ctr' posted above is sound advice imho.

-Greg

@Mike CT thanks for the recap.  I had heard about most of those issues.  You didn't mention the tendency of rails to come loose from a switch, requiring them to be re-glued or re-staked.

I also understand that most of these problems have been addressed by Atlas in subsequent releases.  Unfortunately, as I posted on another thread, Atlas didn't update the product number or packaging to differentiate the "new and improved" product from the old.  (I'm guessing, to protect their dealers' and distributors' inventory value!)

@Greg Houser How did you know what you were getting?  Are there any "spotting features" that I can use to avoid the trouble-prone first generation track & switches?  I need a LOT of track, and especially O36 switches. Given  the vagaries of supply, I'll probably have to buy some used :-(

Last edited by Ted S
@Ted S posted:

@Mike CT thanks for the recap.  I had heard about most of those issues.  You didn't mention the tendency of rails to come loose from a switch, requiring them to be re-glued or re-staked.

I also understand that most of these problems have been addressed by Atlas in subsequent releases.  Unfortunately, as I posted on another thread, Atlas didn't update the product number or packaging to differentiate the "new and improved" product from the old.  (I'm guessing, to protect their dealers' and distributors' inventory value!)

@Greg Houser How did you know what you were getting?  Are there any "spotting features" that I can use to avoid the trouble-prone first generation track & switches?  I need a LOT of track, and especially O36 switches. Given  the vagaries of supply, I'll probably have to buy some used :-(

To me the track connectors were always a non-issue - just buy a pack of joiners.  As for the switches - ask for a picture of the back and you can see the jumper wires.  If not, they are not difficult to add yourself.  The best deals in switches are the ones who's motor doesn't work.  You can fined replacement motors for under $10. 

I also never used the Atlas push-button controllers to throw my switches.  They were wired to an AIU.  You can buy any of the numerous push-button switches on the market to throw the switches - you aren't limited to the Atlas ones.

Another way to save money is if you have tunnels on your layout.  The track under the tunnel can be far from pristine as it can't be seen - ie: missing ties, scenic elements attached, etc.   These you can get dirt cheap at train shows.

-Greg

In the last two years, I tore out all my Fastrack (way too noisy) and replaced it with Atlas. It’s between 350–400 feet. Much of it was used at about 35-40% of the price of new. All my operating switches (not many) were bought new to avoid the historical problems. I have some old switches that are static on non-operative sidings, etc. I bought them cheap.

I just finished rewiring my layout after selling off my Fastrack and replacing it with Atlas. I cut down the switches, so I could have a yard with 4 3/4" centers- bought half of them cheap (used/ broken) and fixed them. Finding used 40" straights wasn't so bad- I bought 2 cases at 25% off MSRP from other Atlas users. I bought half of my curves from OGR Forum/ Atlas forum sellers at a decent discount from hobby stores too- 25-30% off MSRP.

I need more Atlas track for a storage yard I'm planning to build- when you figure out your pricing, I'd love to hear what you are selling. I need 072 switches, 10" and 40" straights,  072, 081, and 090 curves.

Geno

I'm working on a new layout using my old Atlas track. I was an original purchaser way back when they first brought it out. I'll be selling my surplus at the Greenberg Edison show in August. I don't really know exactly what that will be, but no 072 switches. I will have 054 switches, 054 curves and most likely smaller radius curves. Probably some 10" straight also. I haven't thought about pricing yet, but this post is helpful. It is too heavy to ship.

I've found the Atlas track to be great. My switches are version 1, and they had their challenges. Screwing on the motors fixed most of the issues, but on some the power track came loose. I believe they were thrown out. All the other track is great and has held up well. Some of the plastic clips at the ends have broken, but I screw my track down on vinylbed, so that doesn't matter to me. And most of the connectors have been replaced with the ones that have dimples.

Gerry

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