Track Planning Software?

Hello to everyone on the group.
After about 35 years, I am getting back into the hobby. But, I
need some trackplanning software. I downloaded the freebie from
Atlas, but don't particularly like it. Also, I am not in love
with Atlas Snap Track--even in the code 83 version, and that is
the only library that the Atlas software includes for HO--for
obvious reasons.
Can anybody recommend a good trackplanning package or CAD system
to use? I don't mind a learning curve, since it cannot be worse
than the statistical package, SAS-PC (shudder, gag, vomit). I
have used CAD packages long ago, but not recently.
Any suggestions? Many thanks, in advance.
Reply to
Woodard R. Springstube
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Look around for Templot, I think there is even a yahoo group for Templot.
Well worth a look.
-- Jim McLaughlin
Please don't just hit the reply key. Remove the obvious from the address to reply.
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Reply to
Jim McLaughlin
"RS> Hello to everyone on the group. "RS> "RS> After about 35 years, I am getting back into the hobby. But, I "RS> need some trackplanning software. I downloaded the freebie from "RS> Atlas, but don't particularly like it. Also, I am not in love "RS> with Atlas Snap Track--even in the code 83 version, and that is "RS> the only library that the Atlas software includes for HO--for "RS> obvious reasons. "RS> "RS> Can anybody recommend a good trackplanning package or CAD system "RS> to use? I don't mind a learning curve, since it cannot be worse "RS> than the statistical package, SAS-PC (shudder, gag, vomit). I "RS> have used CAD packages long ago, but not recently. "RS> "RS> Any suggestions? Many thanks, in advance.
I use XtrkCAD. Download it at
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-- this is shareware. You can download it and use it in 'unregistered' mode -- you are limited to 4' x 8' layout and can't print at 1:1, but you can get an idea if it suits before you plunk down the $65.00 to register it.
It does not have fancy 3D graphics (which I believe are a waste of time). It does implement elevations. You can run trains -- this is useful to check to be sure your sidings and yard leads are long enough and if you have turnouts where they are useful and needful.
XtrkCAD is available for Linux (which I use) and MS-Windows. It saves its files as plain text (a really big win from my POV).
"RS> "RS>
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Reply to
Robert Heller
WR>Hello to everyone on the group.
WR>After about 35 years, I am getting back into the hobby. But, I WR>need some trackplanning software. I downloaded the freebie from WR>Atlas, but don't particularly like it. Also, I am not in love WR>with Atlas Snap Track--even in the code 83 version, and that is WR>the only library that the Atlas software includes for HO--for WR>obvious reasons.
WR>Can anybody recommend a good trackplanning package or CAD system WR>to use? I don't mind a learning curve, since it cannot be worse WR>than the statistical package, SAS-PC (shudder, gag, vomit). I WR>have used CAD packages long ago, but not recently.
WR>Any suggestions? Many thanks, in advance.
3rd Planit . You can get it at
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I highly recommend it.
Jeff
Reply to
Jeff Binkley
The demo version also limits you to 50 layout elements. That can rack up pretty fast if you're using sectional track, but basic flex/handlaid track elements can create some fairly complex arrangements before hitting the max-elements wall.
Same here
What's even better is that those plain-text files are transparently usable across both platforms. This gives you a good exit strategy should you decide to leave the MS fold; you CAN take your work with you without it being tied to a proprietary format.
Not only are the layouts in plain text...the library files are as well. If you want to do a little "reverse-engineering" (like I did) of the library file format, you can create your own custom libraries (like I did) for track systems, structures, or other layout elements not included in the basic XtrkCad package.
Say, for example, scratchbuilt items!
As a tinplate tinkerer, I've created personal-use XtrkCad track libraries for AtlasO (both steel and NS) and Lionel SuperO (although the Atlas libraries are far from complete).
Your fellow fan of Tux [1],
Toolfox
toolfox*bestweb.net (un-splat the @)
[1] insert image of a penguin wearing a striped cap here...
Reply to
Toolfox
MP> Do any of these track planners have linux versions, or are they all for MP> Windows?
XTrkCad has a Linux version. Works great.
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MP> MP> Mike MP>
\/ Robert Heller ||InterNet: snipped-for-privacy@cs.umass.edu
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Reply to
Robert Heller
T> > "Woodard R. SprT> > T> > "RS> Can anybody recommend a good trackplanning package or CAD system T> > "RS> to use? T> > T> > I use XtrkCAD. Download it at
formatting link
-- 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> 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> T> > XtrkCAD is available for Linux (which I use) T> T> Same here T> T> > and MS-Windows. It saves T> > its files as plain text (a really big win from my POV). T> 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> 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 *schematic* representation (seriously non-trivial -- I am not sure if it can be automated).
T> T> Say, for example, scratchbuilt items! T> 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> T> T> Your fellow fan of Tux [1], T> T> T> Toolfox T> T> toolfox*bestweb.net T> (un-splat the @) T> T> [1] insert image of a penguin wearing a striped cap here... T>
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Reply to
Robert Heller
AND, it can export and import DXF format files which is the common CAD program format.
Dale.
Toolfox wrote:
Reply to
Dale Gloer
I have to add my vote for 3rdPlanIt. There is a bit of a steep learning curve when you first start using it, but making the investment really pays off. You can produce some remarkably detailed plans. The growing number of track libraries along with the continuing development of the program are keys "plusses" IMHO.
JDL
Reply to
Rideau River RR
If you are on a Macintosh (OS X or 9), then I think that Empire Express is the only choice. I use it for track planning and it Is pretty easy, but...
It draws the center line of the rail only, so if you want to represent the width of thr rails or the roadbed, it Is difficult at best.
As far as I can tell, parallel doesn't go around bends, so if you want parallel curves with a specific spacing, yoyo. The easiest is to be the straight sections at the end of a curve parallel and then add the flex track to join them.
You can create your own track, etc. templates. I measured my Pilz Elite turnouts and created turnout templates which were pretty much exact.
There is no simulation mode to run pretend trains.
For more info,
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I have no interest in haddonsoft other than as a user.
Ed.
in article Du6Bb.610292$pl3.105324@pd7tw3no, Rideau River RR at snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca wrote on 12/8/03 1:58 PM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
Still designing with pencil and paper. Of course, after more than thirty years and over 1,000 designs, a lot of the information is in my head. While CAD programs can do a lot of things, do they know about interchanges, clearances, prototype operations, best application of space, ease of access,etc., etc. Well, you get the idea. Perhaps my best analogy is; I have been around long enough to know that, although I have a medical program, I am not a doctor.
Don Cardiff Model Railroad Design How may we be of service?
Reply to
CBT2000
Check out RR-Track for Windows from R&S Enterprises. They're online at
rrtrack.com
Quoting from their website: RR-Track? has 42 track libraries in 8 different gauges to meet the needs of any train layout from G-gauge to Z-gauge
I've got the O gauge version and love it.
Dale
Reply to
Dale
"Rideau River RR" wrote in news:Du6Bb.610292$pl3.105324@pd7tw3no:
Many thanks to all of you who answered my query. You have been most helpful.
Woodard Springstube
Reply to
Woodard R. Springstube
Oh, and I just found another Macintosh OS X track planner on versiontracker.com. It is only $25, has extensive libraries, etc. I've not used it for a project, but it bears looking at along with Empire Express:
See
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or
formatting link
and search OS X for model railroad.
Ed. in article Xns944BDFCB991CEspringstjumpnet@64.245.249.102, Woodard R. Springstube at snipped-for-privacy@Diespammer.net wrote on 12/8/03 7:59 PM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
Several years ago when I was trying to decide on which software I would eventually want to use I downloaded the demos of CadRail, 3rd PlanIt and 3D Layout & Design from their respective web sites. 3D Layout seemed just a bit too rudimentary and limited. Can't go into more specifics now as it's been too long ago. 3rd PlanIt seemed pretty nice in some respects and I was able to work within the limits of the demo package to design a Timesaver-style switching module, which I built. I found a flaw in the program though. If I took a turnout and used the Rotate function on it, the turnout would distort into something unusable. The relationship between the parts of the turnout somehow broke down by doing this. However, I could use the Align function to drag an end of a turnout and attach it to an existing end of another piece of track and it would attach itself there without the aforementioned problem occuring. Go figure. Again, this was several years ago and this bug has probably been patched by now. CadRail had the highest learning curve but it didn't have the rotation problem mentioned above. When a CD and manual came up for sale on eBay at a price lower than current prices I bid for and won it. Unfortunately, the owner of Sandia Software gave me some grief when I tried to get it registered in my name since the previous owner had never sent in the registration card, so I don't know if I'll ever be able to upgrade it, but so far it's working OK. Now I am trying to make sense of all of the functions to design something for the space I have available.
Reply to
Rick Jones

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