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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
I was wondering whether it is worth getting a piece of software for designing layouts.
I have tried TrkCad and found it useless. Does anyone have any ideas?

Regards
Ben
 

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I am very new to all this and am in the process of designing my first layout, so my advice might not be good. Having said that I have been using Anyrail which can be accessed from www.drailsoftware.com. The initial download is free but if you wish to use more than 50 pieces then you have to pay a fee.

R
 

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Hi Randolph,

I have been using Winrail for several years now, progressively upgrading from version 3 to version 7 and have found it to be excellent.

Below is a jpeg image of the layout I have designed using it. The image is not very good I'm afraid as it is converted from a Winrail file and then reduced in size but it might give you some idea of its capabilities. Unfortunately it is not free but then I always work on the principle that you get what you pay for.

Rectangle Slope Font Parallel Technical drawing

Regards,

Expat
 

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QUOTE (ben100 @ 1 Apr 2008, 16:58) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi
I was wondering whether it is worth getting a piece of software for designing layouts.
I have tried TrkCad and found it useless. Does anyone have any ideas?

Regards
Ben

If you mean XtrkCad then I am very surprised because I have used for it a medium sized layout on four levels and could not have done it without it. There is a learning curve but the help files and examples are very good. You can also use it to design the bench work and levels. The printing routines are very versatile and well designed. In previous reviews of this sort of software it has always been one of the favourites.

..and of course it is free and has a vast track library and a user group.
 

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Ben - I found XtrkCad needed some practice to get familiar with some of the common features but once you were familiar it was fine and even fun, and it does have most of the features most of us need.

There are several different versions available on the internet I believe the latest is 4.0.2. check you haven't downloaded an older version.

Regards

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (TimP @ 2 Apr 2008, 21:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ben - I found XtrkCad needed some practice to get familiar with some of the common features but once you were familiar it was fine and even fun, and it does have most of the features most of us need.

There are several different versions available on the internet I believe the latest is 4.0.2. check you haven't downloaded an older version.

Regards

Tim

Hi
I have checked and you were right- it's version 3.1.4
I have also downloaded the free version of AnyRail and find it easy to use and very clear.

Ben
 

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Paul Hamilton aka &quot;Lancashire Fusilier&quot;
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I even found at a basic level the Hornby VR2 I think it is called to be useful although a little limited, definitely good fun to run some rolling stock on your design after but a little limited with mutiple levels.
 

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I have HVR2 and I have found that even for multi level layouts it is very useful.An added bonus is you can run a couple of trains to test out your design
......................................
From

KiwionRails
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi KiwionRails
I have looked into HVR2 but had heard that it wasn't very easy to use.
I'll have another look though.
Thanks,
Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi everyone
I was wondering whether anyone knows a site from which XTrkCad 4.0.1is downloadable.
Thanks,
Ben
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi
That's the one I'm using right now- the trial is unlimited but the layout cannot have more than fifty track pieces. I haven't bought the proper version because its limited in ways of scenic design.
Regards,
Ben
 

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In the end it all depends on how 'used' to IT systems one is?

I have 'Anyrail'...and 'templot'.....which isn't a 'planning'device, rather a 'construction' tool.

I like Templot......but I would build my own track/turnouts anyway....

Anyrail I do not get on with...but then, I am an ancient Luddite.

For 'planning' I have never been able to 'beat' pencil and paper.

If I am in planning mode, I get one of those pads of graph paper.

and a plain pad for doodling...the doodles are simply to create 'ideas'...play around with various formations.....see what I would like to include on a layout.

These pads can be quite small.....fit in one's pocket or lunchbox.....to be brought out during quiet moments.

The graph paper, I use for 'sizing' and geometric shapes......devising a scale to work to, as large as possible......the shape of the overall space available.

I then cut out little squares with my max and min radius curves marked on.......if the squares dont fit, or meet..ie overlap..then I know I can't fit in my chosen radius.

If using setrack...or standard {Peco?] points and crossings, then I get an example of each, and try them out on a roll of plain wallpaper.

paper cutouts of these points can be made.....the critical issue being, to 'ensure' that each track-end is cut properly at right angles, and that each edge matches up exactly.

then one will not have planned in any kinks.

by drawing full size, an idea of the effect can be gained.

for me, I find it much easier to 'control' a pencil, a ruler and a compass........rather than a mouse and drop-down menus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi
I have just found the download page for Xtrkcad 4.0.2 (here ) and it looks good. I wouldn't disturb anyone, but I can't find the track inventory and so can't place anything. A google search revealed nothing.
Any help welcome,
Ben
 

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I've been using Xtrack for about 10 years maybe longer. Ben it's well worth persisting with. I've tried a lot of CAD packages and this is my favourate and it's free !
I even did beat testing on version 1.0........what ever it was for Steve Bullis the orginal developer
Remember you have to set up the space you have in inches if your using imperial measurement, then set up the perameter file for the track (HO) then and this is important under 'options/command/draw moving tracks' and set default command to 'select' make drawing easier.
set easements to 'none' , then under perfererances, angles 'polar', and untick all lables as it makes your drawing cluttered. Set your minium track radius and maxium grade. I draw without the sticky feature. Perhaps some of the best features to get you started are:
click on the radius icon and set the diameter you can postion these where you want them using drag and drop, and use the join tool to join them together.
Finally set the double track seperation and set this for what ever spacing you want between tracks. To print your work use snap shot. If you get stuck post here and I'll try to answer your question.
What you should do is to play with the package for a week or so trying out the effects of various settings get familar with it do it in 1/2 hour bursts, learnt to save your work fequently in a different directory. There are some bugs, when placing a turntable sometimes to program may crash , so save your work just before you place it "just in case"

Layers are simply a pleasure to draw in, using different colours for different tracks (BTW set Ties off in in dispay options). You'll quickly get the hang of things I'm sure................
 

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Hi
sorry for the link to another forum but it has lots of helpful answers

http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Forum...f=15&t=6568

you need to do the plan in HO assuming you are working in 00. The peco track is ther but for hornby you will need to download the files. they are on that page i linked too

persevere with the software as it takes some getting used to but once you are familiar you can do a track plan pretty easily
 

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Lancashire Fusilier replied with this post:-
QUOTE Another possibility for track design, and this depends of course on your modelling tendancies, is to use Templot which the output can be used by a laser for cutting the timber track bases / sleeper direct from the package. This is of course taking things to a different extreme from a pad and paper. Not better perhaps just different. Stay tuned on this as I am on the cusp of having my track plan laser cut into sleepers - probably this week!

which sent the topic off on a tangent which I have moved to here
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry I haven't replied, but I have downloaded the hornby inventory for the earlier versions, can I still use it for version 4?
 
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