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XTrkCad - Model Railway/Railroad Layout Design Software

Author "mumbles and Ironduke" (forum members)



"XTrkCad is a CAD program for designing Model Railroad layouts. XTrkCad supports any scale, has libraries of popular brands of turnouts and sectional track (plus you add your own easily), can automatically use spiral transition curves when joining track and has extensive on-line help and demonstrations. XTrkCad lets you manipulate track much like you would with actual flex-track to modify, extend and join tracks and turnouts. Additional features include tunnels, 'post-it' notes, on-screen ruler, parts list, 99 drawing layers, undo/redo commands, benchwork, 'Print to BitMap', elevations, train simulation and car inventory." (Programmers Description)

 

Review: Using XTrkCad can be tricky to start with, but once you get the hang of it, it is very versatile, better than the Hornby software that I've used. I find the track plans look stylish. Also it just seems more serious, not like a toy/game like the Hornby software does. The amount of different track gauges is pretty extensive too. If you were really going to delve into it you can design your own points too. Below is an N and an 00 gauge layout that I've designed using XTrkCad
 Model Railway Track Layout Desgn - XTrkCad Model Railway Track Layout Desgn - XTrkCad

 

To download an file on this page, right click the link and choose "Save target as" for Internet Explorer or "Save link as" for Mozilla Firefox

 

Download: XtrkCad

Created By: Sillub Technology


To register, use this free registration key:
Name: Open Registration
Key: 248890010702
 


XTrkCad Designed Layouts

 

Oval with fig 8

Model Railway Railroad Track Design Software - Oval with figure of 8

 

This took only 1.3 metres off the end of the room leaving enough space for the dining table but I worked out that I wouldn't be able to reach to open the sliding window on that wall (not shown at the top of the plan). Besides, it was all track and had a rather unprototypical fly-over across the middle.

 

Download a copy of Layout01.xtc


Loop with central operating well

Model Railway Railroad Track Design Software - Loop with central operating well

 

After a while my wife asked me why I was lurking around the walls instead of using the whole room. I replied that I always was like that but I scrapped the L shaped plan and went for a full loop instead. I was determined to have a fishing port on my layout but it was proving very difficult to fit in.

 

Download a copy of Layout06.xtc

 

For more XTrkCad Model Railway layout designs visit Rob's Railway Pages

 


Help and Advice with getting started Using XTrkCad


 

These two files add Hornby points and track sections to your XtrkCad tool bar in both OO and HO scale.

Instructions:
Right click on these 2 links and choose "save target as" (for Microsoft Internet Explorer) or "Save link As" (for Mozilla Firefox) and save it somewhere that you can find it e.g. the Desktop or "My Documents" (that's your My Documents not mine)

 
1.  images\xtrkcad\HornbyHO.xtp
2.  images\xtrkcad\HornbyOO.xtp
 

copy the files to \program files\xtrkcad\params
 

In XtrkCad go to Files, Parameter Files and browse for HornbyHO.xtp and HornbyOO.xtp
lots of Hornby things will appear on your tool bar.

 

Note that for ease of use Xtrkcad is used in HO for both HO and OO, this allows the use of HO scale items in OO scale and vice versa. If you use XtrkCad in OO scale there are no parameter files, except for trees and control panel items common to all scales, unless you edit the ones you have. The Structure Parameter files contain only those kits which I've used on my layout and the part numbers are not accurate. The Hornby Track file is complete to my knowledge.

How do you delete and join tracks?
 

To delete, move or rotate tracks:
click the Select button XTrkCad Select Button - Model Railway Railroad Track Design Software and click on the object you wish to select - it will go red.
Be careful, if you have selected anything before without UN-selecting it they will also be effected by whatever you do now. To unselect everything first press the Esc key on your keyboard.

To move hold Shift + left mouse button and move the mouse.
To rotate hold Shift + right mouse button and move the mouse.
To delete press the Delete key on your keyboard.

If you like you can go to Options, Command and change the default command from describe XTrkCad Describe Command Button - Model Railway Railroad Track Design Software which show information about things you click on, to select XTrkCad Select Button - Model Railway Railroad Track Design Software which selects.
XTrkCad Command Options - Model Railway Railroad Track Design Software

To join two tracks click the join button XTrkCad Track Joining Button - Model Railway / Railroad Track Design Software then click on two unconnected ends of the tracks you want to join.
XTrkCad Joining Track Screen Shot - Model Railway Railroad Track Design Software
 


To set baseboard size


First go to Options menu, Preferences and set either English (imperial) or Metric
Go to Options menu, Layout, set room width and height to the dimensions or your baseboard and choose your scale
 


Can’t find 00 track?


No 00 track- select H0 instead
 


Getting Started


Try laying a point first then click on the "modify or extend" button. now if you left click on any end of the point you can extend it straight, if you right click you can extend in a curve
 


How do I get the track view - at the moment it's just lines?

 
you can change the scale at which 2 rails show instead of just lines by going to Options menu, Display and changing the value of "Two rail scale". The default is 16. The 3 zoom buttons are in the top left corner. If you click the middle button the list of scales are there... note this is the scale of the screen not the scale that you are modelling.
 


I have down loaded the program but do not have any track all I can use is a flexi track. I do not have any points. Am I having a blonde moment or do I need to add or change something to the program?


In Options menu, click Layout and choose HO, not OO, there is no track for OO.
Also make sure that in File, Parameter Files you have Peco HO Scale Turnouts (if not, Browse for pecoho.xtp) and, if you've downloaded it from my website, Hornby Points and Track Sections
(HornbyHO.xtp
right click the above link and choose save target as,
copy the file into c:\program files\xtrkcad\params
In XtrkCad click Files, Parameter Files and Browse for the file)
 


Can I ask if anyone using Xtrkcad has noticed any strange behaviour in their Add/Remove Programs section of Windows XP?


After installing Xtrkcad I noticed a large black space within Add/Remove Programs where I would usually expect to see a list of applications. I've been told this behaviour happens when certain CAD software is installed. After un-installing Xtrkcad the 'black hole' went away.
This in no way affects the running of the program and is only really relevant to sad people like myself who notice these things.
I have been told that some CAD software includes a negative value in one of the registry entries and this is the cause of the 'zebra crossing' in the Add/Remove programs.
 


Uh, how do you post a screenshot of the layout?


you can also print to a bitmap file under File menu in XtrkCad. Choose a scale of 8. You have to convert the picture to a JPEG (and resize it usually) or it takes too long to upload.
 


How do I join a crossing to a turnout. I've laid the turnout but the crossing keeps using the wrong track to join.  How do you lay curved track? I want it to curve right but it will only curve left? If I turn it, it automatically snaps back when it reaches the laid track.


yep it's the same, Shift + left click changes the sticky end of the point or track section.
 


Hey, is there any way to set Xtrk to print the entire layout out, in full size, on A4? So that I can lay it on my baseboard and build on top of it?


1. Go to File and Print
Check in Setup that you are printing to the right printer and paper size (A4)
 

2. Set the Scale to 1
I usually choose to ignore margins so that sheets can butt right next to each other, otherwise you have to overlap the edges or cut them off.
Click Print Roadbed Outline if you are using roadbed (AMI or Foam underlay or woodlands or cork)
 

3. Choose Portrait or Landscape
At this point you'll notice that lots of rectangular boxes appear on the plan. These represent pages. Click to highlight the pages that you want to print (just do 3 or 4 as a test at first)
Click Print to print :^)
 


How can I find out how long all the track is, excluding points/crossings? So that I know how many yards of flexible track I need...


Highlight the track (or anything) that you want a list of (or go to Edit menu and choose select all to do the lot)   Go to File menu and choose Parts List

 


And finally . XtrkCad beginners guide.... ummmmmm.


1.   If you're modelling OO, set your layout to HO: there's no track for OO in there. IE Peco Streamline track is there but it isn't called OO, same stuff though. If you're using Hornby track or peco Setrack include hornby3r.xtp in Parameter files (Ctrl-Alt-S)
 

2.   XtrkCad is really designed for Flexible track, its very difficult to construct a layout with set radii but not impossible. Just use flexitrack and Peco streamline points, they're better :^)
 

3.   For beginners set Easements to none (click the button that says "Easements" on the tool bar) Easements make for a better railway but the warning noise will drive you mad! You can change this by changing the default beep in Windows (Start/Control Panel/Sounds and Audio)
 

4.   Set your minimum track radius in Options-Preferences. Any curves tighter than this will show in Red, the default is about 60mm (or whatever the closest imperial measurement is) so if you're designing a layout using sectional track radii, the whole lot will be red! (Personally I wouldn't go under 55mm just because that was the radius of the circle I got with my first train set) You can also set "English" or "Metric" measurements here.
 

5.   Click options-layout and set the height and width of your table if its a plain oblong table or your room if the layout is "L" or "U" or "other" shaped. This is also where you set your scale, choose HO, N or Z (it also has other scales like P4 and On3)
 

6.   For an oval, start with 2 circles( the button with a circle and "95" in the middle). You can set the radius here (bottom of the window) or change it afterward with the "?" button. Then join the 2 circles.
 

7.   For a point to point layout, start with a straight or a point.
 

8.   Use the "modify or extend" button to run your track, left click extends a track (or a point) in a straight line, right click extends in a curve. Get the hang of this, it's my favourite part :^) everything makes sense once you master this.
 

9.   Use the parralel button if you run a double track. The default separation (in HO) is 2" (50mm) this fits with Peco streamline points exactly. You'll need to change it if you're using Hornby or Peco settrack points.

It will take a bit (or a lot) of practice before you get anything that you want to keep but it's worth it.
 



I hope that helps. All credit to Rob Ironduke who has guided us all on the long lonely road through xtrckcadland. I just cut and paste! Michael

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