• Questions about model railroad planning software

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by phoenix
 
Can anyone sugest links or personal expereince regarding the use of layout planning software.

my research suggests that a lot of it deals with a programming mode called CAD which I am not familiar with.

any leads please?

CAD

  by Tom Curtin
 
I think I've commented on this on the forum before, but here it is anyway. I cannot too highly recommend "Cadrail," which I have been using for several years. It produces plans that I can only describe as scarily precise (Any one of us who has been plotting a curve on your layout and had the track run into the wall knows too well what happens when your plan is not precise!). It does have a definite "learning curve" and requires some practice developing expertise in its use; however, the manual comes with a pretty good tutorial to get you going.

  by Statkowski
 
Another route to go (as opposed to CadRail and its brethren) would be Right Track Software from Atlas. Although geared to their track components, RTS 5.0 is available as a free download from the Atlas site. It's relatively easy to use, and you can't beat the price. Also included with it are building templates so that you can figure out where to put your proposed structures.
  by Paul Cutler III
 
I and my club are using 3rdPlanIt for our software. It's a great drafting program, and compares well to AutoCAD.
  by keeper1616
 
Paul Cutler III wrote:I and my club are using 3rdPlanIt for our software. It's a great drafting program, and compares well to AutoCAD.
I couldn't agree more that 3rdPlanIt is the way to go - Although I have not tried CadRail, RTS is just plain cheesy. There is no easy way to control the flex track. All software has its limitations, but overall, 3rdPlanIt is teh bast that I have used so far. Demos are free for download (you can do everything except save)