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TrackLayer / BUILDER Contents

TrackLayer was developed as a way to apply rails to Linn Westcott layouts so we could run trains on them.  It has evolved into a fun, easy-to-use CAD system of value to anyone engaged in layout planning, design, or building.

Drawing track with TrackLayer is like drawing with a pencil -- only it's a really smart one which knows how to create perfect straights, curves, tangents, turntables, switches, and turnout angles.  Way easier than any CAD system, TrackLayer is more like a sketching tool, yet it offers enough convenience and precision features that it fills a need for any track designer.

Building a Layout with TrackLayer
  • Choose your scale. TrackLayer supports all scales from Z to 1/8. Choose any size layout -- there are no built-in limits. An adjustable grid sets the relation between your dimensions and the real world. Set all this up to match your basement space and your tastes, and you're ready to draw track.

  • Lay some track.  Press and drag -- you've got a working track section.  Drop another track on it and you've got a working switch.  Drag a circle, add legs, and you have a perfect circular curve which stays perfect even when moved.  One-drag creation of working turntables.  Multi-way switches.  Snap to precise switch angles and radii.

  • Decorate with scenery. No railroad is complete without scenery, and you can build that with TrackLayer too.  Add background texture and terrain features, then buildings, trees, structures, text labels.  See Scenery Toolkit for more on this subject.

  • Add details. Indicate what tracks are hidden inside tunnels.  Set up invisible track links between levels or to other layouts or modules.  Specify clipping regions beneath overpasses.  Color individual track sections.  Build a working helix.

  • Easy, intuitive track drawing -- just press and drag.  Draw a series of straight sections to follow any path.

  • Ingenious circle-based curve drawing and editing keeps straights tangent to curves, even while dragging.

  • Import layouts from AnyRail, WinRail, Atlas Right-Track

  • Snap-to-angle and snap-to-parallel allow for easy, precise yard construction.  Choose the switch angle(s) you prefer -- #4, #6, #5, or your choice.

  • Smooth construction of circles using drag or shift-drag to resize or move.

  • Switches are created automatically when one track is dropped onto another, or three endpoints are joined.

  • Create multi-way switches by joining more than three endpoints.

  • Turntable tool builds working turntables with one drag.  External tracks automatically snap to connect to table bridge.

  • Create links between layouts so trains move from one onto another.

  • Mark tracks as hidden, tunnel, untouchable to create invisible areas, hyperspace sections, non-editable regions.

  • Automatic track checker reports errors, highlights faulty sections.

  • Publish dialog exports layout components for public use.

  • Resize/rescale tool allows modifying layout size relative to track or background.

  • Full step-by-step tutorial included in online help.

  • Draggable grid adjustment changes relation between program and real-world units.

  • Choice of units on all displays: English vs. Metric, model vs. prototype.


Building a Layout


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