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.

Thanks

Original Post

Atlas has a free, downloadable program that I used to design my track plan....worked

great for that, but, doesn't build the benchwork, so no progress made there.  It prints

turntables, various radii of curves as you want, and even lists Atlas item numbers and

their then current prices...I am thinking of going with Scaletrax, but still using this

plan.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

I couldn't find this program in my list,when responding above,  but did, and it's called RTS 8.0 Freeware (Right Track).  I laid out building locations on it, etc.  I'd think a

search under "Atlas" or the above title would make it available to download.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

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.

Thanks

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.

 

Regards,

Eric S.

Saline, MI

Originally Posted by chinatrain99:

i use anyrail.  it's free and allows multiple different track brands and different scales.  catch is, it will only let you put together 50 pieces on the freebie.

What I have found is that the free versions of things almost always come with a catch.  Anyrail and the free version of RR-Track are prime examples.  Either there is a limit on number of pieces of track or it doesn't have the libraries you want or the learning curve is incredibly steep or or or...

Regards,

Eric S.

Saline, MI

Anyrail is a good program. The 50 piece limitation can be worked around-- Just save the first part, then start another part with a new name. If you need more parts,just keep doing it in 50 piece chunks .  As to the Atlas O Right Track freeware, it is no longer available. The link is still on the website, but it goes to a page that states "Atlas is no longer providing layout software at this time". guess Gunther wanted more money-- If you want the "atlas" product, google "winrail"

 

I use RR-Track pretty much exclusively now. it's the best i've used, but it is expensive!

 

hope this helps--

 

William Pickert "A day without trains is a day wasted"
Originally Posted by Fec fan:

Anyrail is a good program. The 50 piece limitation can be worked around--

I agree. AnyRail free version is fine for smaller layouts and I have ways to stretch the 50-piece limit. AnyRail includes libraries for Atlas track 2-rail, 3-rail and 'industrial' versions.

The Atlas FreewareI will work fine for what you want to do.  It is at version 10 now and that is the one to use. Be aware, the help file is pitiful and it is intuitive but has a steep learning curve like all software of this type. Emails to the authors in Europe do get answered. Depending on how big the layout will be it will use a lot of memory on your PC  so when you use it probably nothing else will have room to run. Printing is not obvious but you can get a good hard copy picture to work with after a few attempts. Levels can be confusing but doable.

Ralph

I know you asked about freeware, but I've been using RR Track (now v5) since 2008. It has saved me more than the price in track. If I had started actually USING it, before I bought a ton of track on ebay, I'd have saved even more. Compare the price to the price of 10 or 20 track sections.... Your call

kmcsjr's Avatar

   Looks Ok To US

I himmed and hawed about spending the bucks for RRTrack. I have to say it has some pretty nice features and for the most part runs without constant blow-ups. Very stable. The learning curve isn't too bad either.

 

That said, I would like to see a bit more 'conformity' to some of the Windows standards for pop-up menus, better alignment to standard "drawing" programs, and customizable tool ribbon(s) for track pieces.

 

Is it worth the money? I have to say absolutely "Yes!". I think future editions/versions will further refine the product and make it just about indispensable in the planning processes.

Originally Posted by Mark440:

I himmed and hawed about spending the bucks for RRTrack. I have to say it has some pretty nice features and for the most part runs without constant blow-ups. Very stable. The learning curve isn't too bad either.

 

That said, I would like to see a bit more 'conformity' to some of the Windows standards for pop-up menus, better alignment to standard "drawing" programs, and customizable tool ribbon(s) for track pieces.

 

Is it worth the money? I have to say absolutely "Yes!". I think future editions/versions will further refine the product and make it just about indispensable in the planning processes.

 

I would endorse this vote for rrtack, but for version 4, not for v5.  I get periodic crashes with v5, and an annoying bug where I lose ctrl-c and ctrl-v for cut/paste.  I've also had many problems with the simulation not working correctly.  I did talk to rrtrack support for the cut/paste issue and he said "it works for me".  So I'm not happy with v5 at all.  (sorry to hijack this thread)...

A quick note on SCARM and AtlasO 3R track. I have been using SCARM for a week and for the most part I like it. Once you learn how to use the software, it becomes easier to use.

 

There are three areas I am concerned with. First, SCARM uses the long O-54 turnouts. Something to consider if you have the short version and do not use the included 4.5" piece included with the turnout.

 

Next, AtlasO bridges are not included in the available track library. To draw a bridge, you highlight the section of track and select the bridge feature. In the 3D view, the bridge appears as a flat section. In order to make a bridge less than 40", you must draw a custom piece of track, otherwise the 3D viewer will draw a bridge support irregardless of what is below the bridge.

 

Finally, drawing a custom piece of track is a PITA. Custom pieces are created by selecting a piece of flex track. That limits the length of the track to 40". If you are attempting to connect two pieces of track with a custom section, and the tracks are off by a hair, the custom piece will not be drawn.

Originally Posted by swise:
Originally Posted by Mark440:

I himmed and hawed about spending the bucks for RRTrack. I have to say it has some pretty nice features and for the most part runs without constant blow-ups. Very stable. The learning curve isn't too bad either.

 

That said, I would like to see a bit more 'conformity' to some of the Windows standards for pop-up menus, better alignment to standard "drawing" programs, and customizable tool ribbon(s) for track pieces.

 

Is it worth the money? I have to say absolutely "Yes!". I think future editions/versions will further refine the product and make it just about indispensable in the planning processes.

 

I would endorse this vote for rrtack, but for version 4, not for v5.  I get periodic crashes with v5, and an annoying bug where I lose ctrl-c and ctrl-v for cut/paste.  I've also had many problems with the simulation not working correctly.  I did talk to rrtrack support for the cut/paste issue and he said "it works for me".  So I'm not happy with v5 at all.  (sorry to hijack this thread)...

I didn't buy until V5...and you are correct: V5 has some funky bugs. I've learned to work around them, but it definitely has some stability issues.

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