For the last 2 years I have been really struggling with my track plan.
As I am on a Mac, I never did find a CAD/layout design program that I liked and that had a complete track library. There was one that I played around with, but honestly I couldn’t get it to work properly (and I am trained as a graphic designer!). Maybe that was the problem as I am used to more sophisticated layout and design programs.
In any case, the lack of good design software meant that every idea in my head and then roughly sketched on paper had to be manually tried (and tested) with turnouts on the benchwork. What looked good ‘on paper’ never really fit together the way I intended and I never could get it all quite ‘right’.
After watching Bill Beranek, The Track Planner’s excellent Operations presentation (above) on the YouTube Model Builders channel, and visiting his website, I became very interested in the AnyRail track planning software . Also happily, I just bought my 10 year old son his first computer – a PC. I purchased a full version of AnyRail and started playing around. It was fun, easy and finally I was able to try out ideas and really see what would work!
The result is my track plan (downloadable PDF file). I am still soliciting feedback from friends in the hobby that know more than I do about operations; however, I feel very close to having a track plan that works.
I can recommend the AnyRail track planning software and there is a fully functional free trial. Any thoughts or comments on my track plan are greatly appreciated.