If you have a Mac, Empire Express by Haddon is a very good basic 2D system without a lot of bells and whistles. It is inexpensive, easily and quickly learned and easy to use. It is also accurate: I printed the plan at full scale to do the actual layout, and only a few very slight adjustments were required. Shopping Lists. A part list is automatically maintained for every layout providing an overview of the tracks used and the overall costs. Element prices are editable in the part list and RailModeller Pro will maintain a price database making sure costs of elements are kept in synch across all layouts. XtrkCad is open source, and is free. It is a very good track planning program with extensive, maintained libraries for nearly every scale, gauge and track manufacturer. The learning curve is not trivial (as is true for most of the better packages). XtrkCad has been successfully ported to the Mac.
- Free Model Train Track Layout Software
- Free Train Layout Software Mac Computer
- Best Model Train Layout Software
- Free Model Train Layout Software For Mac
>100 track programs
TRAX supports over a hundred track programs from various manufacturers, including Marklin, Fleischmann, Peco and Tillig. Whether it is Z, N, TT or H0, any scale is possible.
Move and link track elements and tables easily. Rotate switches in the direction you indicate and bend flexible track without cumbersome menu options and mouse clicks.
Show your work
With the TRAX viewer you can embed your layout plan in your own website or in a post on your favorite model railway forum. Readers then can explore your track plan interactivly, scrolling and zooming in as they like.
Create a landscape
Free Model Train Track Layout Software
Use the paintbrush and sculpting tools: paint mountains, rivers and fields directly on your design. Add buildings and other objects and bring your world to life.
The TRAX community
Contribute , share your knowledge on the forum, give your advice and appreciate the layouts others make. Make your own scenery objects and share them with other model train fans.
...and on top of that
TRAX features many more functions:
- Use satelite or aireal fotography as a background to model directly from prototype.
- create a railroad system of thousands of square miles if you like.
- fine tuning of curves in flex track
Free Train Layout Software Mac Computer
Oh yes, and did we mention it is 100% free?
Best Model Train Layout Software
Free Model Train Layout Software For Mac
Menus: The 'Terminus Layout' Track Plans Model Trains
'Terminus': Track plan
'Terminus': Making of
Pictures: On the track
Pictures: City scenery
Pictures: N scale details
Wiring & electronics
Terminus: 4x8 version
Track planning & design
N scale: myths & facts
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Pen or PC?
Although many model railroaders are working with a track planning software, I don´t really need it when designing a model railroad layout. It´s the idea that counts; so a pencil and a sheet of paper for the first draft is enough for me. The Fleischmann N tracks measurements are all in my head, and as I prefer small layouts I just start by placing the tracks right on the board!
Original sketch of the 'Terminal layout'
Model railroad design: The DO´s and DON´Ts
Of course, not everybody likes this 'try-and-error' practice as I do! A model railroad software is a helpful tool especially for bigger railway layouts, as it provides the exact requirements (tracks, measurements). And I confess: illustrating this webpage would not have been possible without a digital planner! But as I said: the idea is important, not the CAD program. Beware of the CTSS - the 'CAD-Too-Soon Syndrome', as it was described in a 'winking' article by Byron Henderson!
# 1: Hide each sharp curve radius
A sharp curve radius looks bad - on every layout! So hide it. Note the position of the tunnel in the following study: The track route is exactly the same, but the visual effect is completely different.
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# 2: Where is the viewpoint?
Involving the position of the (main) viewpoint in the planning process probably is the most important issue, when designing a track plan. It defines the routing of the 'parade railroad line' (where you want to see your long model trains), and it affects the appeal of the complete model railroad layout. So if realizable, plan curves bending 'towards' you instead of curves bending away. The wagons are coupled closer, and a train coming up towards you will always look more impressive than a train driving away.
# 3: Staggered height arrangement
I´m sure: You want to see your model trains as much as possible! This is determined by the viewpoint, too. But now I´m not talking about tunnels. A staggered height arrangement from the foreground to the background maximizes the ratio of 'train-visibility' on the complete layout. Look at in the following sketch: The routing is the same, but the second study provides a better visibility, as the railroad line coming from the upper left is not hidden by the ramp to the bridge in the foreground.
# 4: No geometrical appearance
The following sketch looks somewhat stupid, but the effect is enormous: Track plans work best, when they give a realistic and natural 'look and feel' of a model railway layout. Avoid long straight lines running parallel along the edge of the board, because they make the complete layout looking geometrically, even sterilely. For curves better use flex tracks instead of standard curves.
# 5: Avoid zigzag
Better a 'smooth' looking route with a wide curve (or even better: a flex track) than a zigzag rail line with sharp bends. And open your eyes on your next railway trip: The tracks always follow the landscape - not vice versa!
# 6: 'Flip' the turnout!
Take into consideration to 'flip' a turnout, if it makes a zigzag track line! In the example below the left hand turnout is replaced by a right one. Although it is a simple standard switch (and not a curved switch), the second example creates a more steadily routing.
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