Layout design software for model railroading

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by jasbourre, Jan 25, 2005.

  1. jasbourre

    jasbourre Member

    Track planning and layout design software for model railroading.

    I'm sure this question has been asked before, can I get some opinion on what software you used in the past and which one you like. And ones that you don't have to be a computer wiz to use.

    Thank you
  2. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I'm guessing your using windows, but for the Apple folks out there, I've been using RailModeller. Excellent app for layout planning, and the only one i've come across on OS X.
  3. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I use XTrkCad, from Formerly commercial, now it's free. There may be others that some people like better but you won't beat the price. I like it but it's the only program I've used.
  4. rcline

    rcline Member

    jasbourre - I found a free shareware on the net called RightTrack Freeware. It works fairly nice for me.
  5. up_santafe

    up_santafe New Member

    I have used Atlas Right Track software for my current layout using Atlas track. Easy to used and you can print out a full size template! (4x8 took about 60 pages as I remember)

    I am now using XTrkCad since my new layout will be using HO Kato Unitrack. Both work very well and have an easy learning curve.
  6. Israel

    Israel New Member

    I'm using Xtrkcad. As said before it's easy to get the hang of.
    If you have problems go through the demos. It'll teach you step by step on how to do things.

  7. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    I've used both XtrkCAD and RightTrack. Both are the right price (free) and get the job done. RightTrack was much easier to learn and use, but XtrkCAD is a lot more powerful and has more options.

    There are a few commercial track building software programs out there, one even has 3D ability...but it was around $99 if I remember right.
  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Glad you pointed that out Dave! I didn't know it had gone free. Unregestered "demo" was limited to 4X8. It's a better program than atlas in many regards. Atlas is the easiest to learn though. Xtrack runs under Linux. Atlas was the last reason I was keeping a windows box in the house woohoo! :D :D :D

    Both are free, so why not try both? See which you like. I suspect atlas for ease of use, but you may move on the X. If you run Xtrackcad, be sure and run the demo before attempting to use it, because you just have to learn how things work in order to do the simplest tasks. Takes 1/2 hour if I recall.

    BTW: Atlas is and click on RTS Download to the left. One catch is you have to register. They don't seem to sell you e-mail account or spam you but they send an occasional newsletter. I think you can opt out of it.
  9. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    I think the commercial program that 2-8-2 mentioned is 3rdPlanIt. Yes, it costs $100 (or download only, without manual is $85). You can look into it here. You can also download a demo version for free (all functions run, but you can't save your work), and you can download several sample layout files and a tutorial from their website.

    If you REALLY want to have 3d previews of your layout, or if you even want to take a ride over your layout (i.e. engineers view), 3rdPlanIt is just great. It is a full fledged CAD program and of course you have to 'learn' it, if you want to use all its possibilities. Ok, I confess that I got quite addicted to it (This was before I started the real construction of the TC&W :thumb: ).

    If you want to look what is possible with this program, have a look at my website, too, e.g. on this page.

    But of course the other programs are unbeatable pricewise! And that's a strong argument, too! :D :D :D


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