T> > "Woodard R. SprT> >
T> > "RS> Can anybody recommend a good trackplanning package or CAD system
T> > "RS> to use?
T> > I use XtrkCAD. Download it at
-- this is
T> > shareware. You can download it and use it in 'unregistered' mode -- you
T> > are limited to 4' x 8' layout and can't print at 1:1, but you can get
T> > an idea if it suits before you plunk down the $65.00 to register it.
T> The demo version also limits you to 50 layout elements. That can rack
T> up pretty fast if you're using sectional track, but basic
T> flex/handlaid track elements can create some fairly complex
T> arrangements before hitting the max-elements wall.
T> > XtrkCAD is available for Linux (which I use)
T> Same here
T> > and MS-Windows. It saves
T> > its files as plain text (a really big win from my POV).
T> What's even better is that those plain-text files are transparently
T> usable across both platforms. This gives you a good exit strategy
T> should you decide to leave the MS fold; you CAN take your work with
T> you without it being tied to a proprietary format.
T> Not only are the layouts in plain text...the library files are as
T> well. If you want to do a little "reverse-engineering" (like I did) of
T> the library file format, you can create your own custom libraries
T> (like I did) for track systems, structures, or other layout elements
T> not included in the basic XtrkCad package.
I'm working on a CATDF (Computer Assisted Train Dispatching Facility)
and I wrote a Bison++ parser for XtrkCAD's files, so the CATDF software
can read in a layout designed by XtrkCAD. Plain text data files *rule*
Now I only need to figure out how to convert a *layout*
design to a
representation (seriously non-trivial -- I am not sure if it
can be automated).
T> Say, for example, scratchbuilt items!
T> As a tinplate tinkerer, I've created personal-use XtrkCad track
T> libraries for AtlasO (both steel and NS) and Lionel SuperO (although
T> the Atlas libraries are far from complete).
T> Your fellow fan of Tux ,
T> (un-splat the @)
T>  insert image of a penguin wearing a striped cap here...
Robert Heller ||InterNet: firstname.lastname@example.org