Which track planning software is best for Fastrack?

Right now, I am working with SCARM.  The main factor for me that took me away from RR-Track was the licensing and pricing.  Getting the right mix of up to date libraries was a pain.  With SCARM, I haven't had to buy libraries yet and the price for licensing the software is reasonable.  Also with SCARM, the author seems responsive to fixing issues where that wasn't my experience with RR-Track.

I downloaded AnyRail to try out because some of the layouts posted here were in that format.  I haven't had time to try putting my own layout in there.

If you are just going to stick with FasTrack, my suggestion is to download the free trials for a couple of different programs and then use the one easiest for you.  If you are going to use several different kinds of track and potentially other scales then you will want to pay attention to what libraries are available for those types of track and scales.

Regards,

Eric S.

Saline, MI

I have tried RR-Track, SCARM and AnyRail programs over the years. For me the easiest to use and intuitive to adapt to is AnyRail. Its not that expensive and it has huge track libraries and has a large self help web site. They do offer a free abbreviated program to try out,and  that's what sold me on their program.

Steve

I agree with Steve, I tried RR-Track and SCARM before using AnyRail. After trying the free version, I purchased the full version of AnyRail and used it to plan my FasTrack layout. The AnyRail software allowed me to build accurate sectional benchwork, the track fit perfectly the first time I set it up.

Good Luck, and have fun!

Bruce

TrainLayoutDesignIMG_20180605_192023505

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Intuitive and easiest to use, I believe, are going to be a matter of personal choice. If the program includes a Fastrack library then it will probably be an option for you. The 3 I have tried are Anyrail, RR-Track and SCARM. Of those I believe SCARM and Anyrail have trial versions. As I recall you still have to purchase RR-Track to try it out.

SCARM has really gained in popularity the last couple of years. There are some very well versed SCARM users here on the forum as well. I haven't followed Anyrail too much, but they have had some updates over the years and it was fairly easy as I recall. RR-Track still has some sort of bug that causes it to crash every once in a while. That's been improved, but still happens infrequently. RR-Track seems kind of like a forgotten program as far as a modern interface and regular updates. RR-Track has a lot of libraries, but they are all at extra cost after you select your initial version (they have some packages that include selected libraries for initial purchase).

I have seen some very impressive layouts posted here on the forum that were created with each one of the three I mentioned above. There are some very talented users of each program that visit and post on the forum. Each program is capable of creating very nice layout plans.

rtr12 posted:

As I recall you still have to purchase RR-Track to try it out.

 

I believe you can get a version free when you join the MTH Railroad Club.  It is limited to MTH track and some buildings.  If you want any libraries other than what it comes with you need to upgrade to the full version *AND* buy the libraries you want.  They do package some of them together but if you wanted something like I did (Lionel O and Kato HO) then you end up spending a ton on libraries.

As was pointed out, it does not get revised or updated very often.

Regards,

Eric S.

Saline, MI

I started with RR-Track, added SCARM while it was in beta and then paid for it when it went commercial. I've dabbled with AnyRail to help troubleshoot, but never designed a full layout with it. I don't think you can go wrong with either SCARM or AnyRail, so I recommend you install the trial versions to see which you like best. They all have their pros and cons, but they all do the job, so it's mostly a personal preferences. I no longer recommend RR-Track for all the reasons RTR12 mentioned, even though I much prefer how it allows one to define objects using x/y/z/angle coordinates. More people here probably use SCARM, so chances are you'll get more feedback complete with photos and SCARM files. Good luck with your decision.

DoubleDAZ posted:

I started with RR-Track, added SCARM while it was in beta and then paid for it when it went commercial. I've dabbled with AnyRail to help troubleshoot, but never designed a full layout with it. I don't think you can go wrong with either SCARM or AnyRail, so I recommend you install the trial versions to see which you like best. They all have their pros and cons, but they all do the job, so it's mostly a personal preferences. I no longer recommend RR-Track for all the reasons RTR12 mentioned, even though I much prefer how it allows one to define objects using x/y/z/angle coordinates. More people here probably use SCARM, so chances are you'll get more feedback complete with photos and SCARM files. Good luck with your decision.

Dave,

I used SCARM myself to design the basics of my new layout (with input from you and others on the Forum), but I recall that a couple of years ago there were discussions or issues about whether some of the lengths of the FT switches in the SCARM library were accurate. 

Is that still an issue or was it ever or is it just my memory going again ?

Richie C. posted:

Is that still an issue or was it ever or is it just my memory going again ?

I could be wrong, and Carl will correct me if I am, but I believe the only issue with SCARM and FasTrack switches is that SCARM doesn't force you to use those pesky 1 3/8" fillers. Unlike RR-Track (I don't know about AnyRail), SCARM will let you connect tracks to the switch without the fillers and that can throw off the entire layout during the build if you forget to include them in the design. Personally, I prefer SCARM though, but I wish it would popup a reminder asking if you want to skip the filler. AFAIK, there's nothing preventing you from cutting the roadbed off a longer piece yourself and connecting it during an actual build.

Gandalf97 posted:
rtr12 posted:

As I recall you still have to purchase RR-Track to try it out.

 

I believe you can get a version free when you join the MTH Railroad Club.  It is limited to MTH track and some buildings.  If you want any libraries other than what it comes with you need to upgrade to the full version *AND* buy the libraries you want.  They do package some of them together but if you wanted something like I did (Lionel O and Kato HO) then you end up spending a ton on libraries.

As was pointed out, it does not get revised or updated very often.

Yes, I am in pretty deep for their libraries as well. And my grandson has HO so I have some of those too. It just hasn't kept up with the times. I had forgotten about the MTH demo disc. Also forgot it had RR-Track on it? I should have one of those around here somewhere. 

And I also agree with you and DoubleDAZ (Dave) about the RR-Track. It just hasn't kept up with the times very well.

Hi Guys 

For Fast Track  I use Anyrail (free version )  I had the paid version for versions 3 & 4 .

I will speak up for RR track ,  Like many of you , I got the free Mth Lite version with train sets !  

The paid version is better !  plus buy the Buildings add on , you will be  set !   

The Lionel   add on sets are great too !    

I plan on buying the RR TRACK after Christmas !  

PLEASE NOTE Anyrail added MTH Track for their program !  some pieces are still missing after this last update !  

 

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