What Track Planning Software Do You Use Poll

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What One DO You Use For Track Planning?


  • Total voters
    130

modelbob

Administrator
#2
I use just about all of those, but I also use Cadrail. In fact, I've used it a couple of times to do some full scale track planning, along with Turbocad Pro.
 

kenw

5th Generation Texian
#4
Hmmm, 25 years in the computer bidness...graph paper, pencils, some straight edges, a few circle templates and a good Pink Pearl eraser...

KenCad is what I call it.

Actually I know several who have used AutoCad, but they were already proficient at it.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
#5
Well, the way I figured it, the time would be better spent building it than learning to become proficient with a cad program. I'm not too sure that was the right idea as there were some hic up's on the way. There still are some minor ones to fix caused by rectifying the major ones from " by the seat of the pants " planning.
There was a Basic program in the Model Railroader Mag. that I used when determining the length and width of the plywood pieces for the curves. Other than that I guess I used my version of the KenCad for the bench work then just filled in the spaces between the curves. :D

Cheers Willis
 
#6
I have both Cadrail and 3rd Planit, and both are good.

You should list Cadrail as I think a lot of guys use it. I find it easier to use if you really want to build a railroad, and are not worried about 3D.

3rd Planit is excellent for 3D viewing, but the scenery mode is a lot harder to master. However, it is a great program also and it's 3D modes are excellent.

MKTMIKE :D
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
#7
kenw said:
Actually I know several who have used AutoCad, but they were already proficient at it.
Count me as one of those. Every day I descend into a dungeon, press a button to fire up my computer and battle it out in AutoCADland....

AutoCAD is pretty easy for me, so I use it for everything. I have to create everything myself, but I don't deal with sectional track or anything like that, so no big deal. And turnouts are pretty easy to draw - a no. 6 is a 6:1 deflection, so that's really easy to do.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
#9
JeffShultz said:
Since it just went open source, I'll be trying to figure out XTrkCAD...
Me too...CBCNSfan pointed it out and I downloaded it. I'm not planning on building a layout anytime soon, but I thought it would be interesting to play around with.
 
#11
RCH said:
And turnouts are pretty easy to draw - a no. 6 is a 6:1 deflection, so that's really easy to do.
Well yes and no... The 6:1 deflection will get you the proper diverging angle in most cases (some frogs, prototype and model both, don't actually measure up to their supposed frog number). The one thing to be careful of is that what you won't see is where the turnout actually starts. The angle you're drawing will locate the P.I. of the turnout, or "Point of Intersection". You also need to know the location of the P.S. or "Point of Switch" which will be ahead of the P.I.

Your way will work, the only thing is that you need to be sure you're leaving enough room between the frog and point of switch before you start a curve or another turnout for example.
 

RCH

Been Nothin' Since Frisco
#12
True about the PI, but I fillet the two lines, so it gets it pretty close. And I allow for a little extra room between turnouts, keeping the tracks 13' on center. Actually, you might be surprised how much of this stuff is automated in AutoCAD with the civil engineering module. Besides, most of my design is based on aerial photography, so it's not hard to get it right when you're tracing! ;)
 
#14
3dPlanIt for me, but I would have used XtrxCad if it had been around as it is now. I have played with Xtrx and it pretty much does all that is needed for basic design...and its free.
 
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Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
#15
I've tried and semi learned Cad-rail. Too clunky.:( I think it assumes that you have somewhat of an engineering background or Auto-Cad user. Owned and have used from first version to the latest Atlas RTS. All were too limiting and in many situations, too poorly performing. :(

I've had an original copy of 3rd planit given to me, (along with Lic#). The original owner decided he didn't want it and let me have it.:) Good program, just never could get the hang of it.

Then there is Xtrkcad! Price, perfect. After using the well thoughtout tutorials, extremely easy to use. My favorite!:D
 
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#19
I use a KENCAD version 0.00021, consisting of a big eraser, a couple 2H pencils, straightedge, compass, Frence curve and some colored felt-tip pens.
I use graph paper for base designs and run copies for landscape, track, electrical and structure location plans. A track profile revealed some planned hidden track...in plain sight. It also helps locate tunnel portals and bridge abutments.
Just an old dog...:eek:
Mikey
 
#20
I've had an original copy of 3rd planit given to me, (along with Lic#). The original owner decided he didn't want it and let me have it.:) Good program, just never could get the hang of it.
Carey, I'm interested in whether you can give a bit more insight to this. I also used CAD-Rail for many years and found it too demanding. I'd heard that 3rd Planit was easier to use but it sounds like it may have its own issues. Would like to know more.
 



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