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Track Layout & Design Help with designing your track work


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Old 11-08-2018, 01:57 PM   #1
Clive192
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Default layout planning software

Does anyone have a suggestion for a layout planning software package that will run on a iMac and is easy to use?

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Old 11-08-2018, 04:27 PM   #2
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Did you Google it Clive? There are lots that are a paid for system. This one is free but very clunky. R-
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Old 11-08-2018, 04:36 PM   #3
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Here is a Freeware one.

http://www.xtrkcad.org/Wikka/MacOSX

For help getting it installed on your iMac, please join iMacChat.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/iMacChat/info
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Old 13-08-2018, 11:15 AM   #4
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Railmodeller pro. Available from the Mac App store and very straightforward to use - I've been using it for years
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Old 13-08-2018, 12:22 PM   #5
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My suggestion is the old tried and tested method using few sheets of paper and a pencil and rubber. Look around (easier these days because of the internet) at other railways which have been built by people and there are lots of layout plan site to plough through.
Once you get an idea in your head as to what you would like then get hold of some flexitrack and get some track down and something running.
There are different programs around some are free but you normally have to pay for more advanced program which you will probably need.
These programs in my opinion can waste more time than they are worth.
The best way to sort out a track plan is to get the idea in your head and buy some track and get it down on a board. Not a better way to sort out how well track will fit your space than that. For most spaces I would suggest you make sure you have enough room for nothing less than 2nd radius 3rd or more would be better.. Try and forget 1st radius unless you will only be using 0-4-0 or 0-6-0 locos and small rolling stock.
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Old 13-08-2018, 12:26 PM   #6
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All very useful Footplate - but the OP is specifically asking about software. R-
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Old 13-08-2018, 12:44 PM   #7
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I've come back into railway modelling after thirty years so I am in a similar position. I found that some of the software was OK but I couldn't really visualise the finished design on my board.

I painted my board (which is just 12mm MDF) with a light coat of white primer. This sealed the board but also gave me a clean surface to scribble on.

My space is limited so I need to be careful with the radius - see my recent post! What did help was getting a flat piece of thin timber, putting a screw through one end and drilling holes for various radii that I could put a pencil on and draw accurate arcs. Even then, laying flexitrack things slipped a little.

Good luck with the software if you decide to use it.
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Old 13-08-2018, 01:08 PM   #8
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Check out Empire Express. Needs Mac OS 10.7 or better. Nevill Reid says he used it to plan 'Friarsgate'.


http://www.haddonsoftware.com/emexinfo.html
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Old 13-08-2018, 02:06 PM   #9
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I've had a quick look at Empire Express and it looks very good. Can't see at the moment what the limitations are for the free version. R-
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Old 13-08-2018, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajcooper4 View Post
I've come back into railway modelling after thirty years so I am in a similar position. I found that some of the software was OK but I couldn't really visualise the finished design on my board.

I painted my board (which is just 12mm MDF) with a light coat of white primer. This sealed the board but also gave me a clean surface to scribble on.

My space is limited so I need to be careful with the radius - see my recent post! What did help was getting a flat piece of thin timber, putting a screw through one end and drilling holes for various radii that I could put a pencil on and draw accurate arcs. Even then, laying flexitrack things slipped a little.

Good luck with the software if you decide to use it.
Don't forget you can download and print-out full size Peco Points, crossings etc. (there on the Peco site). When planning it helps get some sort of idea as to how these things will fit (and will they fit!). I used your idea of a piece of wood, but I used a piece of wood that fitted between the sides of my "U" shaped layout, put a screw/nail dead centre on the wood (and room width), and then with a length of string and a pencil worked out the radius of the curves that would fit into the top/bottom of the "U". I used Peco Code 75 track and bought a full set of Tracksetta gauges. No need for "track software". I should add that I already had a C.J.Freezer layout in mind, and after placing the Peco templates, drew lines straight onto the board.BB
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