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Peter

layout planning software

Question

Hi folks.

 

Can anyone recommend computer software for planning an n gauge layout? I use Apple mac.

 

Thank you.

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Hi Peter, Anyrail & SCARM are two I have heard of but not sure what the sotuation is regarding N gauge, should be ok, I have not used any of these except to play around with & that was Anyrail, which seemed to be ok, but someone on here has used SCARM & are happy with it, best of luck anyway

BTB

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I use SCARM and find it very good. It can do any scales and has plenty of track pieces and flex-track. It is also useful for gradients and fairly basic modelling. According to SCARM's website, however, it doesn't run on a mac. There is a workaround for the tech savvy, but I don't own a mac so I can't help with that.

 

http://www.scarm.info/index.php?page=help&topic=27

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Thanks for the replies. I found Railmodeller Express, a free version of Pro. It is written for mac. Helping me realise what space I need for my layout.

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Thanks for the replies. I found Railmodeller Express, a free version of Pro. It is written for mac. Helping me realise what space I need for my layout.

 

Hi Peter. Your post inspired me to play with the RailModeller pro on my MacBook this evening. I had played with AnyRail on Windows last year which was easy to use, but I found it easier to figure out tricky stuff using RailModeller. It was a bit confusing initially because Peco code 100 streamline track was listed under HO, not OO and they are missing many of the insulfrog points, but have all the electro frog versions so it does for track planning. After I figured it out I really like the way they handled flexitrack and auto joining track gaps. Noel

 

http://irishrailwaymodeller.com/showthread.php/3488-Kingsbridge-Old-New-Layout?p=95627&viewfull=1#post95627

 

terminusB.jpg

Edited by Noel

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Noel, is it possible for the software to produce a layout plan from a jpeg? I took a photograph of a track layout from a signal box and it would make an interesting project. Can your software do this, I also use the MacBookPro.

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Noel, is it possible for the software to produce a layout plan from a jpeg? I took a photograph of a track layout from a signal box and it would make an interesting project. Can your software do this, I also use the MacBookPro.

 

Hi Tony. There is an option to import an JPG and overlay out with high opacity, but I have not had time to try it properly. I managed to import a photo but couldn't find a way to resize it. I presume this is so you could trace the layout. Bare in mind track diagrams from signal boxes are usually not to scale and instead are schematic diagrams. Noel

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Hi Tony

 

Attached below a quick doodle of Omagh north in RailModeller Pro. The photo you posted is embedded in the track project but I can't see a way to calibrate the scale, so I had no option but to visually hand draw the track by looking at the photo. Also with a track system such as Peco code 75 or 100 one is limited to standard turnouts, so to do a true scale job one would need to build custom track points. The Peco curved turnouts are a sort of medium radius whereas the curved points on the signal diagram are quite long and large radius. But at least the attached is an approximation from a modelling point of view. The signal box diagram you posted only shows some of the track work to the north, so no idea what the rest of the track layout is. Hope this helps. Could PM you the '.layout' file if you have RailModeller on your Mac.

 

Noel

 

omagh_north.jpg

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Hi Tony

 

Attached below a quick doodle of Omagh north in RailModeller Pro. The photo you posted is embedded in the track project but I can't see a way to calibrate the scale, so I had no option but to visually hand draw the track by looking at the photo. Also with a track system such as Peco code 75 or 100 one is limited to standard turnouts, so to do a true scale job one would need to build custom track points. The Peco curved turnouts are a sort of medium radius whereas the curved points on the signal diagram are quite long and large radius. But at least the attached is an approximation from a modelling point of view. The signal box diagram you posted only shows some of the track work to the north, so no idea what the rest of the track layout is. Hope this helps. Could PM you the '.layout' file if you have RailModeller on your Mac.

 

Noel

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]26287[/ATTACH]

 

Noel, this looks fantastic and I thank you for taking the time to do this. I don't have RailModeller and I can tell you I've been tearing my hair out all day yesterday trying to retrieve a lost password assigned to my MacBook ID which the system doesn't recognise after an Apple Update. I went to the AppStore several times to purchase the software but it won't allow me access to the account. I'm going to have to delete my old ID and create a new one.

 

Getting back to your drawing, it looks very good and comes close to giving me some starting point. It would be interesting to know what size of baseboard would be required for this layout - end to end - as I have a space allocated for the building. I'm getting back into modelling again, easing myself in before I take too big a jump. I appreciate your response posted here, thank you again.

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With a board space of 2100 x 325mm I will have to redesign to allow for some reasonable shunting only using a shuttle controller. I purchased Gaugemaster twin-controller, super-shuttle and some flexi Peco streamline. I have gathered some wagons and a nice 0-6-0 loco to get me started.

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By the way, you have specified Elecrofrog points - is this the most suitable choice for this layout?

 

Electrofrog points are much better than insulfrog, with a live frog there is no dead section in the point and when shunting with small locos the won't stall on the point as they would on the dead section on an insulfrog point.

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Dave, thanks I think thats a good choice then. In my experience Peco point motors are quite noisy, do you know if the smaller Peco point motor that fits beside the lever on top is any quieter?

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Dave, thanks I think thats a good choice then. In my experience Peco point motors are quite noisy, do you know if the smaller Peco point motor that fits beside the lever on top is any quieter?

 

The surface mount is a bit quieter but there is a much better and smoother system out there. Check out my website and my YouTube channel on the Megapoints system.

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Noel, this looks fantastic and I thank you for taking the time to do this. I don't have RailModeller and I can tell you I've been tearing my hair out all day yesterday trying to retrieve a lost password assigned to my MacBook ID which the system doesn't recognise after an Apple Update. I went to the AppStore several times to purchase the software but it won't allow me access to the account. I'm going to have to delete my old ID and create a new one.

 

Getting back to your drawing, it looks very good and comes close to giving me some starting point. It would be interesting to know what size of baseboard would be required for this layout - end to end - as I have a space allocated for the building. I'm getting back into modelling again, easing myself in before I take too big a jump. I appreciate your response posted here, thank you again.

 

You are welcome. This software is so easy to use it took only a short time to draw. Ok, version 2 below now in N gauge, but compressed a little.

 

I've very roughly and quickly redrawn it for Peco N gauge fine scale track. The track work shown is 1.25m long and 0.45m wide, but I have bent the track plan compared than the previous version I posted so that it takes less linear space. It could be compressed quite a bit more, or reduce the curves to make it fit within your 0.325m space.

 

omagh_N.jpg

 

With a board space of 2100 x 325mm I will have to redesign to allow for some reasonable shunting only using a shuttle controller. I purchased Gaugemaster twin-controller, super-shuttle and some flexi Peco streamline. I have gathered some wagons and a nice 0-6-0 loco to get me started.

 

In N gauge that will should do nicely but you will need to compress the track layout little more and use shorted radius points.

 

By the way, you have specified Elecrofrog points - is this the most suitable choice for this layout?

 

As Dave says Electrofrog will give smoother running with less stalls especially with short wheel base locos or only two axles with pickups. You will have a little more wiring work to do with electrofrog. On our layout I have used all Insulfrog because most of our locos are long wheelbase with at least 3 to 4 axles for power pickup. The few short wheel base locos have 'keepalive' installed to avoid stalling over points. Having said that I started laying our track over 20 years ago and went for 'Insulfrog' then, but if I was starting out again with a blank sheet of paper I would definitely use 'Electrofrog' and put up with the extra wiring hassle.

 

Hope this helps.

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