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Free Model Railroad Track Plans To Start Off Your Model Railroad The Right Way

Free model railroad track plans are available all over the internet. The trouble with the downloadable or PDF type is that usually you will like one track plan, but you won’t have the space to accommodate that particular model train layout in your house or shed.

However, when you search for free model railroad track plans that suit the space you have available, you will find that the layouts don’t suit the style you are looking for.

I’ve spent hours upon hours searching through free model railroad track plans and have always been disappointed.

But, there is a much better way!

Instead of looking for free model railroad track plans, create your own plan on your computer. It has become so easy to design custom model railway plans with software that runs on your computer.

Some of these software programs will not only allow you to design your model railroad, but will also allow you to control your model trains from the computer or simulate the operation of them.

But, let’s get back to creating your own model railway plan that suits the space and budget you have available.

Basically, you run the software in design mode which gives you a grid pattern to work with. It’s all drag and drop. So, if you want a straight section of track, you click on it in the pallet to the side and drag it into position. Then you would click on the next section you want and drag it to join to the one that is already there. It’s incredibly simple and prompts you the whole way with tips.

Once you have completed your track placement, you can move onto the application mode. This is where you add elements like the power supply and the grade of the track.

Then you can switch to run mode and actually run a simulation of the operation of your model train.

If you need some inspiration to start off the design of your model railroad plan, the software also comes preloaded with a list of free model railroad track plans. You will be amazed to see the complexity of some of these track plans.

If you are keen to take the next step and actually control your model train layout’s hardware from the software, this can easily be done with the USB driver. You will need to buy the cable and a few bits to make this work, but they are pre-made so you don’t need any special knowledge to do this.

Try designing your free model railroad track plans now, you’ll love them. I have listed the popular software programs below, and they are in no particular order.

Some are free and the paid software programs have demo versions that allow you to try before you buy…

Right Track Software – available from the Atlas website and works well for simple model railroad layout designs using Atlas equipment.

Anyrail – is probably the easiest to use model railroad track plan software. It’s also entirely independent, so you can build with almost any brand of track.

XTrackCAD – is a CAD program for designing model railroad layouts. XTrackCAD is available for free on Windows, LINUX and MacOSX.

Railmodeller – an excellent program for Mac users. RailModeller provides a set of powerful tools and features to support you in the creation of your model railroad track plans, no matter what scale or manufacturer of tracks you prefer.

RR Track – for Windows is an excellent easy to use program for sectional track. You can view the layout as a track plan or just the terrain or both together. It has 3D views as well.

Cadrail – is a slightly more complicated program with lots of bells and whistles. This program is at the upper end of model railroad track planning software.

Trainz – for detailed model railroad planning and simulated railroad operations.

Microsoft Train Simulator – is a train simulator program with lots of bells and whistles. Multiple add-ons are available for running many types of trains through different locales and scenery.

3rD Plan-It offers you a complete line of features that will meet the needs of the most demanding hobbyist.

3D Railroad: Concept and Design – this innovative program simultaneously compiles a materials list and renders your layout in stunning 3D.

Train Player – Contains over 100 pre-designed track plans that you could use or modify for your own railroad.

NOTE: Always check the system requirements for the software programs to make sure your computer has all of those requirements and more. Some programs are for PC’s only and some for Mac’s only.

Want more information on free model railroad track plans? Then check out the popular and 100% FREE Model Train Newsletter. This is compulsory reading for any model train beginner. It contains valuable information on the right way to build your model train table, build your dream model railway and achieve this within the time, space and budget you have available. More at http://www.buildmodelrailroad.com/

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About Dan Morgan

Dan Morgan is on a mission to encourage more people to give model railroading a go... There is just no better hobby in the world!

6 Responses to “Free Model Railroad Track Plans To Start Off Your Model Railroad The Right Way”

  1. What linibaterg knowledge. Give me liberty or give me death.

  2. bob hancock Reply Tue at 11:17 am

    I am putting my entire O scale layout on a single sheet of 4×8 plywood. I’m a rank amateur, and just getting started. I’m also an old man dealing with a 1946 model Lionel train set. Space is limited, and I want to make it as attractive as possible in the small space IO have. Suggestions?

  3. You should designate which of the programs you list are actually FREE, because most of them are NOT free. Maybe one can get a free demo, but that’s hardly enough to do real track planning with.

  4. Michael Cieslak Reply Thu at 6:37 pm

    where can i get the software you are talking about

  5. Nevo Martelli Reply Thu at 4:24 pm

    Can you make a suggestion or tell us what site to look at to get this free program.

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