Does what it does best, cad without cad knowledge

I'll keep this simple. If one goes to the site, one can see a screenshot of the controls etc. with some examples.

As I said above, this is a relatively "heavy duty" model railroad CAD program that is very easy to use.

I spent several hours fiddling with it, and the only non-intuitive thing to me was the "layers"...which are recommended if you are going to make a complex layout....to do it in "subsections" (the layers) and then look at the whole thing.

It has a simple "drag" and drop interface with a "right click" hook on the track sections which is used to rotate them. When they are relatively close together you can join them with a joining function by clicking the two ends and join and it does it.

The track appears as "lines" when manipulating the pieces but then colors to a kind of "orange/sand" so you can see things easier.

All the standard track companies, such as Arnold or Atlas etc. are provided and you can also make your own... and can use "flex track"...

It takes into account elevations and uses an "easement" function to make sure that the "grades" (rises and falls) are ok...

There are also functions for drawing circles, squares, etc, and insertion of "buildings"..

After you make the layout, you can run trains on it, but this is disabled in the downloadable version, at least I couldn't get the cars, they were supposed to be in usr/lib/xtrk and I couldn't find them.

One also cannot "save" your layout and the layout is limited to 96 inches by 48 inches(and you can work in metric).

As I posted above, this is a CAD system and a VERY GOOD one which is easy to use and works well....but....it is kind of showing it's age in terms of "the new hot software"...in that the newer, hot software gives you a 3-D, textured view and lets you sit in the engine to "ride" on your layout...

But....the POINT of a model railroad is to BUILD it... :) and this software helps you to do that VERY WELL.....

It is estimated that probably as many as "half" of the people who subsrcibe to model railroad magazines...and that REGULARLY purchase model railroad equipment NEVER BUILD a layout....they dream about it...

Well....this package will let one dream, but only from overhead.... but then.... that is all I ever had with paper and pencil when I was a kid...so...I guess that is ok tooo..

For a child who is doing a first layout it is ideal....one, because it also introduces basic CAD stuff...

and two:

It's a LINUX app!!! ....with a deb and rpm that, from here anyway...installs just fine....

And... I'm going to buy the full version and use it for my NEW layout....out in the garage.... he, he, he... :)

So....from me...this gets a big thumbs up....

Xanderguy1

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