Reply to "Best Free Track Planning Software"

Originally Posted by Austin G.:

I want to get a track planning software to help design my new layout.  I dont really want to buy a software because I'd use it so little so I was wondering what you guys think is the best free software? Also i'd like to use Atlas O track.


It sort of depends what track you're using.  The Atlas product mentioned above works well with Atlas track and the one that comes "free" as a member of the MTH Railroader club works great for MTH products and RealTrax.  I am not familiar with the Atlas product but the MTH one is a dumbed down version of RR-Track which is a pretty good product which you can use free or pay to upgrade for additional track libraries and capabilities.


There are other packages that are free and/or open source but the ones I know about are primarily aimed at HO/N scales and their needs.  O-scale sectional track libraries may or may not exist.


You may use the software more than you think.  I find it handy to create lists of track for a given layout so I know if I can build it or what pieces I need to be able to do so. For me, the LHS is almost a 90 minute drive (each way) so I am not anxious to find myself short just one piece of track when I go to build.  


Another time that I find the full version of RR-Track handy is when someone posts (or sends me) a track plan.  Being able to look at it in the program vs. just a bitmap of it is very helpful.


I do understand tight budgets but this is an item you might consider shelling out the money for.



Eric S.

Saline, MI

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653