Anyone using XTrkCad?

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by seanm, Nov 27, 2004.

  1. seanm

    seanm Member

    I just started using XTrcCad to help with creation of my new layout. Seem spretty good but there are a few things I wish were a bit easier.

    Anyone else using it? Tips? Gotcha's? Does the digital layout really represent reality? I know even with graph paper and a compass etc that my paper plans rarely work totally in real space.... how about these CAD plans?

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Our modular club uses it - we have a "guru" who does a lot of the module drawing for many of the members. You can see some plans at . As far as I can tell, what gets planned comes out pretty close in real life.

  3. theBear

    theBear Member

    I've played with the demo version of it.

    I found it much easier to use if you get rid of all of the track templates that you don't use and if you add a template for a single flex track section.

    It also helps if you have a large screen and a decent mouse.

    I will be buying this program shortly.
  4. seanm

    seanm Member


    Thanks for that info.. I was really looking for something to take the guess work ou to laying out yards and such. Since I am building a really big yard this time, I will likely not have ALL items when I start puttingdown the track and the thought of getting almost done and having something bash into a wall or off the table really worried me.

    I think I am going to mess about with full size print outs and cement them to my sub roadbed and then lay cork over that. Should make it come out just as designed!
  5. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

    I used PlanIt3D and must admit the learning curve is fairly steep but I think are outweighed by the benefits. I even "did" my DCC wiring on it inc computing wire lengths which helped me locate the command station in the "electrical center" of the layout. I used the same techniques to equalize my grades and was able to reduce them from a max of 1.9 percent to 1.4.

    Sean (and others): I used fanfold paper to print out the more involved sections with a lot less taping requires. I was able to convince my Epson printer to use 8 1/2 x 33" paper!

  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi Sean,

    We have a new yard on our layout. You might want to try the "communications" contact on the web page ( to see if you could get a copy of the xtrkcad plan. The contact is email for "railway bob", who is a Gauge member as well.

  7. seanm

    seanm Member

    Well... I am about to post my first crack at the lower level of my new layout. Look for the thread TBA II in this section.
  8. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Dave - save your pennies - registration is now FREE!

    Shortliner(Jack)a way up here in the Highlands
  9. seanm

    seanm Member

    This is a good program and now that reg is free it is even a better value!!!

    I have gotten pretty used to it and can think and place my track at about the same rate. At first my mind was WAY ahead of the track placement and it was frustrating.

    Latest incarnations of my new layout...


  10. up_santafe

    up_santafe New Member

    Just my 2 cents worth, but one of the features that I like about XTrkCad is the ability to run a loco around the tracks. Finds all the mistakes and unconnected sections!
  11. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

    3DPlanIt is a 3D CAD program. You draw etc in 2D but can put it into 3D mode to run trains, check angles & views etc. In 2D you can also check clearances (vertical and horizontal) minimimum radius check etc. All very valuable "testing" before building the layout itself. So far I "drifted" a straight along a 32' wall from my plans and had to adjust the curve at one end by 1" radius. Other than that, very accurate. IMHO these type programs are worth the time and money if you're building anything beside a very simple layout. :thumb:

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