Website or programs for planning track layouts

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Elite Lancer, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. Elite Lancer

    Elite Lancer Member

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    Are there any programs or websites that you can plan layouts with? If so please tell me what they ae or give me a link to it. Thanks in advance. :)

    Just to give you an idea of what I'm looking for here is a picture of a program I found with basically everything I need in it except for some reason couldn't download properly:





    [​IMG]
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

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    Not sure what your problem would be with MS Visio - it is a commercial product though, so I doubt you'd find anywhere to download it for free...

    However, there are two free programs that you can get. Atlas offers "Right Track Software" or RTS, and www.sillub.com offers XTrkCAD. XTrkCAD has a bit of a learning curve, but you can do great stuff with it.

    There are other options - do a search of The Gauge to find more. "Trainclown" does some great drawings (for example: http://www.the-gauge.com/thread16360-switchbacks-for-thought.html) but I can't recall what software he uses.

    Andrew
  3. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

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    I just checked into that program, $200.00 US.... :eek:

    For that I will stick with RTS or XTrkCAD. I am finished my trackplan (for now :D ). I think when I am ready to expand I will sit down and follow through the tutorials of XTrkCAD, it looks great and far more productive than RTS.

    Just my $0.02 worth. :)
  4. ATSF-Loco

    ATSF-Loco New Member

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  5. Elite Lancer

    Elite Lancer Member

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    Yeah I downloaded those two free ones, however there is an annoying prblem in each of them:

    In RTS I can't scroll around the layout at all. So the only way I can get a veiw of anything is by zooming out.

    In XTrkCAD it is just plain annoying to lay the track the way I want it. It does offer more variety in structures and track but it is simply really annoying to place and connect everything. Also, all those icons that label what track it is block the view.

    If you have any solutions to these problems please tell me.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Also, i found that the download for that program above wasn't a download for a it. Instead, it was a download for that track layout on that program.
  6. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

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    You can disable different things from displaying in XTrkCad under "options", "display". As far as the annoyance, I think the only answer is practice. Did you do the tutorial (help/demos)? I don't think Visio would be a good choice for layout drawing, although it might work for only sectional track. I think flex would be a disaster.

    Good luck,
    Jeff
  7. zedob

    zedob Member

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    I use 3rd Planit and for the $100 I spent on it, it's well worth it. I can see saving that much in screw ups in the long run for even a small layout, so I justified it. Nice move, aye? It's pretty powerful, but best yet, it's fun. It will do both sectional (I don't use) and flex. Easmements are a snap. Scenery is cool, but memory hungry. You can even run trains, from the cab. This is the "Armchair MRRer's" dream.

    The learning curve was not to bad. I'm still learning, but I don't use it everyday, so YMMV.
  8. Elite Lancer

    Elite Lancer Member

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    Well thanks for the help guys. So far XTrkCAD has been the best free one I have. I might look into the ones you buy but we'll see how it go. To tell the truth I'm not sure if I'm even going to be able to get a real train set. However if worst comes to worst I guess a virtual train set would be a good substitute.
  9. shortliner

    shortliner Member

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    Well, you can certainly run trains on XTrkcad - There is an XTrkcad group on yoohoo http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XTrkCad/ There are some runable trackplans in the files, including an HO version of the Claremont & Concord that TH did in G in Modlel Railroader. I'm one of the moderators, and I use XTrkCad for trackplans for Model Trains International magazine
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  10. Elite Lancer

    Elite Lancer Member

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    On XTrkCad, you know how when you insert track it'll automatically connect to one you place it near? Well I want to do that ith curved track but it always is curving the wrong direction. How do I change it so that it'll curve the other way when it automatically connects?
  11. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

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    I'm guessing you are working with sectional track. When the piece of track comes up in the selection window, click on the other end, so the black box changes position.

    Jeff
  12. Elite Lancer

    Elite Lancer Member

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    Oh. I didn't know I could select sectional track from that list menu of it (the ok was always shaded gray meaning i couldn't click it). I always inserted them from the shortcut menu. Hey thanks a lot. You saved me a lot of hassle.
  13. shortliner

    shortliner Member

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    You may have a different version to me, but if you are using sectional track from the bar across the top, left click and drag it into the main window, then right click on it and rotate it to the angle you want it, then left click and drag it into position, just as you do with switches.
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  14. jerrytbirdsc

    jerrytbirdsc New Member

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    Hold shift while you left click and the track or switch will flip. Then let go of the shift button and left click place and enter to set.