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Discussion Starter #1
Just spoke to Steve Millenbach, csm for Atlas model rr. Here is the email about the status of n code 55 turnouts

Hello,

Due to a switch in Track factories our track has become quite scarce. We have started receiving the HO track. The N code 55 turnouts should start arriving in 8-10 weeks.

Steve

Steve Millenbach
Customer Service Manager
Atlas Model Railroad
1-908-687-0880 ext 7147

Dear Atlas, what is going on with the worldwide shortage of N code 55 turnouts, mainly right hand. I have scoured the web and every supplier is out of stock, and don’t know if they will get any more. Please don’t tell me code 55 has already been discontinued, I have been building this layout for 5 years, and now it’s looking like I’m going to have to scrap it due to not having the track I designed it for. I was just curious and starting to worry, please reply back.
 

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So instead of May 2013 which is the backorder date on most websites that list the Code 55 Turnouts, now it's mid to late June for the first stock to roll out and probably August before things have resumed? Ugh.

I guess they'll have things sorted just in time to avoid an all out riot at the NMRA show.

Got a friend trying to make some progress on his N layout and is going to bite the bullet any day and buy Peco.
 

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Well folks......Atlas moved its track manufacturing from NJ to China. The first manufacture, in China, closed his shop due to labor issues, among other matters. Atlas then went into a "Chinese fire-drill" and found another supplier. Then Chinese New Year hit and the factory closed for the event. According to Atlas, when the factory reopened less than 60% of the employees returned to work. Eventually, Atlas sent someone to China to see what was going on. Thought, (from my business days), our business plan required that a second supplier be available. Seems this was not in Atlas's business.
 

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so in the long run did they really save money on labor on there products by sending there production over seas with stuff being sold out and people will find alternatives to what they need. plus the us jobs lost because of out sourcing sucks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
yeah, it's a real puke

I spoke to Mr. Millenbach on the phone yesterday evening. I didn't even know about the situation, because I wasn't in the market for more turnouts until last week. I need only 3 rh #5's to finish my yard. I don't want to switch to another brand, I'm so used to working with atlas code 55 plus I love the look and performance. I guess he wasn't thrilled with my opinion on the manufacturing move and my opinion now about Atlas. Not only because the ridiculous delay but, about the shape that our job market is in and they outsource like sellouts. I would have been fine paying a fraction more for atlas products if it meant keeping some American jobs secure and and American made product.
 

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If I were to talk to Mr. Millenbach I'd ask him if it was worth being out of business for 6 months just to save a few bucks on manufacturing.
 

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I agree, I would of forked out a couple more dollars for ATLAS code 55 track if they were continued to be manufactured here in the states. Outsourcing is killing our country.
 

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I understand your desire to stay with Atlas Code 55. If you need code 55 turnouts NOW, may I suggest Peco code 55 turnouts. I have used them and have found the largest change is wiring. Good news is that there are a number of internet sites that offer excellent diagrams and white papers re. Peco. I have had success mix of Atlas and Peco turnouts, the larger Atlas turnouts for main line runs Peco #4s for yards.

Fifer Hobby seems to have Peco available: http://fiferhobby.com/html/peco_code_80_n_scale_model_tra.html
 

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Discussion Starter #9
maybe

I understand your desire to stay with Atlas Code 55. If you need code 55 turnouts NOW, may I suggest Peco code 55 turnouts. I have used them and have found the largest change is wiring. Good news is that there are a number of internet sites that offer excellent diagrams and white papers re. Peco. I have had success mix of Atlas and Peco turnouts, the larger Atlas turnouts for main line runs Peco #4s for yards.

Fifer Hobby seems to have Peco available: http://fiferhobby.com/html/peco_code_80_n_scale_model_tra.html
I have looked into the alternatives, but I get so aggravated with the transitioning, I can't stand it. These last few turnouts will be to complete my yard, so I would hate to have a heavier look to the track only in the yard. I know the rail is the same code, but the ties will stand out too badly. I noticed the peco and ME track has further spacing and higher ties. I will just wait it out I guess, I'll just work on building some stuff. Thanx for the suggestions though. I found a lady on e-bay who has quite a bit of Atlas code 55 turnouts, but she is really taking advantage of the situation. I don't need them bad enough to pay $30 a piece for them, that's over twice the normal list.
 

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I agree with what you are saying about the differences. Hope you don't have to pay that amount via ebay plus the shipping.
 

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Bishop....an update. N Scale Supply is showing #7 and #10 code 55 available. #5s are sold out.

Not sure if you are looking for 5s, 7s or 10s
 

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Was just looking at Wig-Wags Train site.......they are showing possible receipt of the code 55 #5.s in NOVEMBER 2013. What a way for Atlas to take care of its customers, both the retailers and the hobbyist.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
thanx

Bishop....an update. N Scale Supply is showing #7 and #10 code 55 available. #5s are sold out.

Not sure if you are looking for 5s, 7s or 10s
I am wanting 5s, but could settle for 7s, just a small measurement difference, thanx for the update Carl!
 

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It appears that the slow boat from China will not make it here until September. Atlas....there is a thing called air delivery.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
update........Just spoke to Atlas again

Just a little info, as from my original thread starter, stock was expected to be back in May according to Steve Millenbach, Atlas representative. I contacted Atlas again on Monday the 22, sent email to Joseph J. Kolnoski Vice President, Sales for Atlas Model RR. Here is the reply from him.
Dear Mr. Bishop,
We thank you for your interest in Atlas products, specifically code 55. We apologize for the delays in producing our track products but we are very close to getting things back to as normal as possible. We have been receiving shipments of HO track products, with N scale to follow. The schedule calls for the code 55 sectional pieces to ship early July getting them to us in early August. The #2000 Code 55 Super Flex is scheduled to ship early August to arrive early September. The turnouts are scheduled to ship in November.

We understand the frustration of model railroad enthusiasts and we certainly appreciate the patience and support from all including yourself Mr. Bishop.

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best regards,

Joe
Joseph J. Kolnoski
Vice President, Sales
Atlas Model Railroad Co., Inc/Atlas O, LLC
908-687-0880 ext 7017
908-687-8857 Fax
[email protected]

So, based on the previous time push backs, and Atlas telling the absolute soonest product will come back. I'm guessing we're going to be waiting at least another year, before they even start shipping n code 55 from the factory. I have decided to make the switch to ME and put in the transition work and tuning. I did respond to Mr. Kolnoski's email and let him know how I and a lot of other modelers felt. Mainly because this is a problem that could've been prevented by keeping manufacturing in the US, and actually communicating with their consumers to explain why we would be paying a couple bucks more for some products. Which I said in an earlier post, a real American would have been humble to pay to keep our product here and help our economy.
 

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Let me add to the frustration with Atlas. It is my understanding that they knew about the manufacturing issue prior to there occurrence and did not respond in a proactive manner....in other words, who ever was managing the matter was sleeping. Further, they could using air delivery, but found it too costly. All of this is really making very little sense, in business terms.
 
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