Author Topic: Planning software  (Read 1055 times)

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Jbub

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Planning software
« on: August 30, 2021, 04:15:40 PM »
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Okay guys, I'm getting closer and closer to finishing up with house construction and yard design. I've been at it since May 2019 and it's a good feeling to see all the hard work come to to fruition and can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Although there are a few bigger projects left it's time to start planning the miniature world that's been residing in my head. I'm not quite ready to start a planning/building thread but wanted some input on planning software and opinions of pro's and con's. I do see value in purchasing a program if it's feature set warrants it. I've always used pencil and paper to make crude track plans but it's time to learn something new.

TL;DR
Looking for the best track planning software according to you.
 
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Bill H

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2021, 05:03:17 PM »
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Have used 3rdPlanit for over ten years. Like most of these types of software, it has a significant learning curve, but worth the effort. See https://www.eldoradosoft.com/

wazzou

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2021, 05:22:12 PM »
+2
AnyRail.
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nickelplate759

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2021, 05:33:55 PM »
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I have used SCARM.  I generally like it, but it has one important gap - there's no good way to do easements in SCARM.
The best you can do (as far as I can tell) is to indicate where they will be, but SCARM always wants track to be a mix of straight sections and fixed-radius curves.
George
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I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

mmagliaro

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2021, 06:30:51 PM »
+1
Another vote for AnyRail.  I tried about a dozen layout planning tools when I started planning my current layout, some that were free, and some that were not.  AnyRail was, for me, hands-down the easiest tool that had all the features I wanted in a layout planning tool.  It has a good library of commercial track components.  It allows specifying parameters like maximum grade, minimun radius, for example, to make sure you don't "cheat" and sneak in something too tight or steep just to make the plan fit.   It was very easy to include markings and annotations.  It had convenient use of layers to show underlying benchwork or supports, or major scenery features.  Basic drawing tool functions, like stretching, scaling, and rotating, were easy to use and that really frustrated me on some of the other tools.  (i.e.   "I've got this curve and two turnouts in here.  How do I select them all, make a copy, spin them around 45 degrees, and then snap that in over there?") 

But above all, it was just plain intuitive.  It seemed like I could just click around for a while and had it all figured out.

Maletrain

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2021, 08:10:27 PM »
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Another vote for Anyrail.  It is  easy to learn, and has a lot of features.  It is really good with flex track.

One shortcoming that I found a few years ago was that its "easement" was not actually a spiral curve.  The "easement" was too short and too tight at the end.
 I figured out how to make a true spiral easement with the flex track feature, and was in the process of trying to get the owner to fix the program, but he did not know how and wanted me to learn how.  At that point, life took me away from the project and now it is just a pile of paper in my desk that I hardly remember.  He may or may not have actually fixed it in the years since then.  But, worth checking before using, because it makes a problem if you use the easement feature to draw the plan and then try to put a true spiral easement in the indicated space on the actual layout.

keeper

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2021, 03:35:57 AM »
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Yep, Anyrail.
Ageing is inevitable - maturity is optional.

Simon D.

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2021, 08:25:00 AM »
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Hope this isn't a problem, but most of the planning software will not work directly on Macs, eg Anyrail, 3DPlannit.

spr1955

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2021, 08:48:26 AM »
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I downloaded "trial" versions of cadrail, 3rd plant, and another that I can't recall. Worked with each of their tutorials to find the one that "clicked" for me. That ended up being, cadrail. I highly recommend some sort of planning software as it makes it easy to keep your druthers in check and to quickly change/update as you go.

Dave

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2021, 09:00:51 AM »
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Hope this isn't a problem, but most of the planning software will not work directly on Macs, eg Anyrail, 3DPlannit.

I run Anyrail on an older Mac mini ("Late 2014"), under Win7 in a Bootcamp partition. The OS on my system has to be frozen in time (10.10) due to expensive (>$1000) software that has no upgrade path after Yosemite, so I can't advise a how-to with current Macs.

If I had to do it over again, I'd buy a cheap Dell or HP laptop solely to run Anyrail.

Jbub

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2021, 11:13:02 AM »
+1
Thanks for the replies guys. I have been tinkering with Anyrail6 so I'll probably end up getting it and learning its ways. And sorry Mike and Simon, I'm an Apple hater so I'll be just fine using it on my PC.
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Darth Vader

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2021, 12:06:48 PM »
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Late to the party, but will give my two cents worth. Get Anyrail!!
I messed with all I could get my hands on. After using Cad progroms at work, I couldn't stand some of the way things didn't work like a right CAD.
Anyrail just works, besides, DKS is a big supporter. Should carry some weight.

Don

Rich29

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2021, 03:01:21 PM »
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I use RailModeler Pro. I chose this app because it's compatible with Apple. I have found it to be
pretty good once you get through the learning curve.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2021, 10:08:29 PM »
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I use RailModeler Pro. I chose this app because it's compatible with Apple. I have found it to be
pretty good once you get through the learning curve.

Me too.

thbguy

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Re: Planning software
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2021, 10:26:46 PM »
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I’ve also used SCARM with good results on several modules. The track libraries are extensive and allows you to download a purchase list. They probably all do that. It is easy to use and I like how it handles flex track. The next house will see much more construction, and I might switch to Anyrail or 3rd Planit although my test of 3rd Plan it was a fail.
Michael Livingston
Modeling southern Ontario in N scale

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt. ~ Abraham Lincoln.