I am looking for reviews/recommendations for track planning software.  Planning on using this for a future 16' x 24' 3-rail layout, using Atlas track, with multiple levels, grades, using a combination of sectional and flex track.  Also hidden staging with Lionel O-27 42" diameter sectional track and turnouts. 

I have dabbled with the free version of SCARM and Atlas TPS (same thing).   While it is functional, I find it a bit clunky.

Also proficient with AutoCad.

Before I purchase a license for SCARM, would like opinions on other software packages. 

Thanks,

Jim

 

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Not an unexpected comment from someone used to AutoCAD.

You might give AnyRail a try to see if you like it better. There’s also RR-Track, but no trial version.

I used RRTracks (rrtrack.com) liked it a lot. Has an extensive library and several view features. I used atlas track but it has a lot of other options. Here is a printout of the layout, you can also place buildings but not all mfgs are in the library. Very easy to use.

757

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Jim Harrington posted:

I am looking for reviews/recommendations for track planning software.  Planning on using this for a future 16' x 24' 3-rail layout, using Atlas track, with multiple levels, grades, using a combination of sectional and flex track.  Also hidden staging with Lionel O-27 42" diameter sectional track and turnouts. 

I have dabbled with the free version of SCARM and Atlas TPS (same thing).   While it is functional, I find it a bit clunky.

Also proficient with AutoCad.

Before I purchase a license for SCARM, would like opinions on other software packages. 

Thanks,

Jim

 

Forgot to mention that is the size of my layout and RRtrack has both atlas and lionel track. The atlas allows you to flex and cut to length. It was also nice that the library included the MTH bridges I was using.

I have rrtrack. I used it for years. It gets expensive buying the different track packs. Especially if you use multiple scales. fast forward and I can’t read the rrtrack CDs on 4 different computers. Getting support was a PITA, so, while I appreciate the work Russ Becker put in, I've moved on to scarm, simply because 1 license got me everything and there is no need for physical disks to reload the program on a new computer  

I just bought a scarm license. I find it really easy to use. Any rail isn’t bad either. 

Last edited by Marty R

I "second the motion" for the suggestion about ANYRAIL.  It has a modest learning curve, but is easy to  use.  It has multiple track libraries and design capabilites beyond what I would ever want/need to use.

Mike Mottler   LCCA 12394

Last edited by Mike H Mottler
Marty R posted:

I have rrtrack. I used it for years. It gets expensive buying the different track packs. Especially if you use multiple scales. fast forward and I can’t read the rrtrack CDs on 4 different computers. Getting support was a PITA, so, while I appreciate the work Russ Becker put in, I've moved on to scarm, simply because 1 license got me everything and there is no need for physical disks to reload the program on a new computer  

I just bought a scarm license. I find it really easy to use. Any rail isn’t bad either. 

Sorry to interrupt, but I couldn't help overhearing the conversation as I was passing by.

Is the SCARM license a one-time buy?  Or does it have to be renewed occasionally?  Seems like it was a pretty good buy, IIRC.  I do have the free version.

Mixed Freight posted:

Is the SCARM license a one-time buy? 

Yes, one time buy.

Marty R posted:

I have rrtrack. I used it for years. It gets expensive buying the different track packs. Especially if you use multiple scales. fast forward and I can’t read the rrtrack CDs on 4 different computers. Getting support was a PITA, so, while I appreciate the work Russ Becker put in, I've moved on to scarm, simply because 1 license got me everything and there is no need for physical disks to reload the program on a new computer  

I just bought a scarm license. I find it really easy to use. Any rail isn’t bad either. 

I started with RRtrack and like Marty moved on to SCARM. Keeping current when updating OS was an issue. Most laptops on the market today don't have a built in optical drive. Discs are dead. I'm using the free Atlas version of SCARM. The files are interchangeable, even though they have different .suffix.

I use RR-Track, and while I agree with Marty R on the hassle of putting it on a new computer (never needed support), I find it easy to use and make complex track plans.  When I tinker with my "final" layout with over 700 items, not stage 1 or 2, the program will crash if I try to move too many items too fast.  This may be more of an issue with my old computer.

I have a free copy of SCARM that I use to look at layout files downloaded from the forum, but I have not used it to build a layout.

I purchased a SCARM license, as I had started planning with the free/demo version. 

I looked at Anyrail and the interface did not appear much different.  RR-Track $ and add-one seemed like going down the rabbit hole.  

Thanks for the recommendations. 

Jim

I've found Anyrail to be closer to AutoCad than SCARM. Working on layout now. Made multiple versions. Easy to cut and paste one file to the next. As to how accurate either are for measurements, I guess I will find out.

Bill

I have been using RRTrack for years. It's a 2D program with some 3D capabilities that need to be hardcoded as it has entries for the z-axis. Here are some of the 3D images rendered from my in-progress subway and elevated layout.

Image001Image002Image003master

Also images from a layout I am designing for a friend who has a huge basement.

Iteration_004.1.113Iteration_004.1.112Iteration_004.1.111Iteration_004.1.110Iteration_004.1.109 

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I forgot to say, but that was AnyRail.  The free version is limited to 50 pieces.  With a 4x8 layout 50 pieces is easily achieved.

One thing they had on AnyRail in term of pieces and part numbers was Lionel 2301S, which is 1 7/8 inch.  Is that a real part?  I have been unable to find anything that recognizes the number, much less having the part.

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