Train track layout calculator

FasTrack was introduced in and is now Lionel's most popular track system. It is easy to assemble, can be used on any flat surface, and has a more realistic appearance than Lionel's older all-metal 3-rail track.

Also, FasTrack is available in many different curve and straight dimensions, and there is an infinite number of layouts that can be built using it. However, for many beginners FasTrack can be confusing, There are many pieces that perform special functions, and sorting them out and figuring out what is what can be a challenge.

The purpose of this short guide is to provide a basic primer on FasTrack, what the different pieces do, how they work together, and to give some ideas of train layouts that can be built using FasTrack.

If you have any other questions about FasTrack, feel free to email us at answers trainz. Have fun! Did you listen in math class? If the answer is yes, good! Because a little basic geometry comes in handy when working with FasTrack.

If the answer was 'no', read this article twice and then take the question test at the end of the article--just kidding. FasTrack is a rigid track system, and the track sections cannot be cut.

Therefore, Lionel has designed a multitude of track pieces to meet almost any need. Knowing how the pieces interrelate is important to planning and building a FasTrack layout. The key concept when working with FasTrack is knowing the angles--all of the curves and crossings except O48 curves work off of angles of 90, 45, O48 ironman mode osrs degree angles.

Since nearly all layouts require the train to make a circle in order to form a continuous loop, it's important to look at the curved track sections first. There are five diameters of curvature in FasTrack.

train track layout calculator

O36 is included with most starter sets. Note that each curve diameter is one foot wider than the one before it. Curved tracks are sold by the section:. O sections to a circle Lionel One section makes a degree turn. Each half section make a O sections to a circle One section makes a 30 degree turn. One section makes a Note that O36, O60, O72 and O84 track sections are made where multiples of 8 make a full circle, which makes it easy to make these circles symmetrical and work together on a layout.

However, O48 is made where it takes 12 sections to make a circle 30 degrees. This makes it a bit of a challenge to make O48 work in a layout using multiple curve diameters, because the angle of the curves does not match the other curve sections when making partial turns. Straights are pretty easy. The standard straight section is 10 inches longand a half section is available as well Most special track sections like block sections and accessory activation sections are also either 10 or 5 inches long, making it easy to substitute a regular straight section with one of these special track pieces.

Lionel also makes a 30 inch straightwhich helps when building large layouts and long straightaways. O36 Remote Switch. This makes it easy to integrate them into layouts. The O36 switch matches the footprint of one 10 inch straight and one O36 curve, and the wider diameter switches are usually the footprint of one of the matching curves, along with a 10" and a 5" straight hooked together.

All switches are available in both right and left hand turns. The O60 and O72 switches include extra fitter sections with them.Thank you so much for this brilliant program. SCARM has given me hours of pleasure and enabled me to produce some great layouts using my ancient Hornby Dublo 3-rail track. My 7 year old grandson has also caught the railway bug and is beginning to design his own layouts using your wonderful program. I love this program! Thanks so much for this program! SCARM 1.

Included Track Libraries. Data accuracy is not guaranteed. More libraries will come soon. Join us on the social sites, share your comments and stay up-to-date with all news and events, related to SCARM software. Languages and Translations. All rights reserved. Use at your own risk according to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. All mentioned brands and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

Just download the setup package, install it and start editing your first track plan. Testimonials Thank you so much for this brilliant program.

O Gauge Train Layouts

Andrew Jackson, UK I love this program! Pat Mattox Facebook. You can create complex railroad layouts with many train stations on virtually unlimited area You can shape flex-tracks easily, intuitively and most important — in very realistic way You can deploy your layout on more than one level, with different heights and slopes for chosen sections of the track route You can place tunnels and bridges on the track plan You can draw figures to create buildings of train stations, houses, industries, etc.

Additional libraries not part of the installation package - you can download and install them separately. FB Forum. Useful Links Check out these links to other model train related sites and resources.This tool for calculating train track grades is free to use, and is a quick way for model railroaders to accurately determine track gradients based on track lengths and required rises to haul a train to a higher or lower level on the railroad.

The RISE is the vertical height change from where the grade starts to where it ends. The RUN is the distance horizontally from the start to the end of the grade.

Enter only numbers, not fractions. To enter fractions of an inch simply alter them to a decimal format:. You are welcome to share the link to these free track calculators with friends in the hobby. This grade calculator is for measuring a straight track. NOTE: With scenery and structures in the way, it is sometimes difficult to measure the exact run.

However, with most model railroads, it is generally accurate enough to simply measure the length of track from the start to the end of the grade. The difference is usually minimal. The amount of slope on a track grade is based on the rise in feet per foot of track length, and is expressed as a percentage e. Unfortunately the world is not perfect, so railroad grades need to vary according to the terrain. The steeper the rise, the fewer cars the locomotive will be able to haul up the incline without it stalling or the wheels slipping.

The downward pressure on the track is lessened the steeper the incline gets. For a particularly steep section of track a train may require more than one loco. This is precisely what happens on real railroads, so the same applies with scale models. The other option is to minimize the train length if it is to climb a steep gradient.

In the real world a railroad would consider the various financial, efficiency, and safety ramifications for increasing or reducing the length of a train, or for adding extra engines to a service.

Real railroads are expensive to operate, so delays and extra costs caused by inefficiency or accidents are avoided. The model railroader has the advantage of simply picking up a derailed train and placing it back on the track, however this would be a dangerous and expensive outcome in the real world.

This however is not always possible especially on branch lines, where the grade could reach or exceed 3 to 5 percent. A line servicing a mining town might even rise higher. As with real railroads, the track on a model railroad does not always run in a straight line. This is even more likely when a train is climbing and winding through a mountain range. You can measure in inches, miles, millimeters, centimeters etc.

If you are working in inches, use the free fractions to decimals calculator above. Here is an example where the grade on a model railroad is just over 1. The grade rises by 2. You therefore divide 2. The answer is 0. Then multiply by to get 1. On a full-sized railroad the same formula works:.

Here the grade rises feet on a 5 mile run.The Backstory. Track Plan. Grade Calculators. Who Is Railroad Boy? Contact Railroad Boy. Railroads The grade calculators on this page display the grade of a length of track as a percent when you enter the rise and run and optionally, the radius if the grade is on a curve.

train track layout calculator

Keep reading for some background information about grades or go directly to the calculators. Grade for a straight length of track is independent of scale; a grade in N-scale is measured and calculated the same as a grade for HO, S, G, O, or even a full-size railroad. Rise is the change in height from the beginning to end of the grade.

Run is the horizontal distance from the beginning to end of the grade. Why Grades Matter The steeper the grade, the fewer cars a given locomotive can pull up the incline without stalling or slipping its wheels.

Certain special lines such as mining branches may be steeper still. If grades are excessive, locomotives may have trouble pulling cars up the incline. This is true for both model railroads and full-size railroads. In both cases, steep grades can be managed by reducing the length of the train or using more than one locomotive per train. Sometimes that means two or more engines at the head of a train, but you can also use helper engines at the end or even in the middle of a train, just as real railroads do.

Calculating Simple Grades For a straight length of track, the formula for calculating the grade is: Rise and run must use the same units of measure.

Atlas N Scale Layouts

For straight grades, you can use inches, millimeters, feet, miles, etc. If you use inches, convert fractions to decimals. The formula divides rise by run, yielding a small number.

The formula then multiplies by to convert the number to a percent. Example 1 a model railroad : A grade rises 2. Dividing 2. Example 2 a full size railroad : A grade rises feet in a run of 10 miles.

Now use the formula. The formula for straight track works for any scale! Railroad Boy Tip: It can sometimes be awkward to measure the run. Scenery and structures may interfere. Fortunately, your grade calculation will be accurate enough if you simply measure the track length from the beginning to the end of the grade. For the percentage grades we use in railroading, measuring the track length instead of the run introduces only a very small error — one you can safely ignore.

It's easily good enough for model railroad work! What About Curves? When a grade is on a curve, the curve exaggerates the effect of the grade, making it behave like a steeper incline. As you might expect, the formula for calculating this effective grade on a curve is more complex, compared to the simple formula above for a straight grade.

The calculation for effective grade depends both on the scale of your layout and on the radius of the curve. When using these formulas for curved grades, the units for riserunand curve radius must be in inches. For HO scalethe formula for a curved grade is: For N-scalethe formula for a curved grade is: These two formulas were empirically derived by model railroaders, including John Allen and John Armstrong, who actually measured the effort required to pull trains up curved grades as compared to pulling trains up straight grades.

NOTE: Both of these formulas for curved grades require that the units used in the calculations be in inches. The simple formula for a straight grade can use any units: millimeters, inches, feet, kilometers, miles, etc. Enter the rise and run in inches.Before beginning N scale track plansyou must first choose what to design the plan on. The best suggestion currently available to build an N scale layout is to use a hollow Core Door.

Another great attribute is that the doors come in a variety of widths that give you the flexibility in choosing the type of n scale track plan that suite your layout best. The plans below are a helpful starting point for you to start planning your n scale layout.

Learn more about building your own model railroad. Some key features to remember when viewing this layout is that all curves are inch radius and an interchange track is added at the upper right. There are also additional features added such as a small engine service building and the track takes a different course along the front of the layout.

Wiring this n scale track plan shape can be a little daunting but just remember that each section of track between track switches is connected to the DCC controller.

train track layout calculator

Even a small model train layout needs to exist! The size of this layout is only 2. There is a possibility of using even smaller curves, but the overhang is noticeable.

You can use a variety of things for a shelf layout most model train enthusiasts prefer foam insulation and paper building placement. Quick tip to remember is to add a bumper to keep the cars from falling off the shelf. N Scale Shelf Layout Video that is 13 feet long and is only missing the backdrop scenery. When building your first model train layoutchoosing the right model train layout plan is vital to reduce hours of frustration.

N Scale Shelf Layout.Move and link track elements and tables easily. Rotate switches in the direction you indicate and bend flexible track without cumbersome menu options and mouse clicks. With the TRAX viewer you can embed your layout plan in your own website or in a post on your favorite model railway forum.

Readers then can explore your track plan interactivly, scrolling and zooming in as they like. Use the paintbrush and sculpting tools: paint mountains, rivers and fields directly on your design. Add buildings and other objects and bring your world to life. Contributeshare your knowledge on the forum, give your advice and appreciate the layouts others make. Make your own scenery objects and share them with other model train fans.

TRAX features many more functions: - Use satelite or aireal fotography as a background to model directly from prototype. The TRAX editor has matured and offers tons of new features, like landscaping, dragging new track directly from the list onto the canvas and creating modules. Lots of bugs have been fixed, libraries have been updated and the interface has been entirely redone.

But not only the editor has been improved, the website has had an even more thorough make over. We have moved to a proven content management solution that offers many of the features a modern website needs.

We want to enable you to connect with them, share with them and learn from them. You can now create groups with friends, with your local club or with people who share the same interests. You can share your plans with your group and allow group members or your friends to work together on the new layout. It is held by Fedor van Eldijk. Home News. What's happening?

Getting started Documentation Ask how to Remember Me.

Lionel FasTrack Layouts

Log in. EN NL.Leave us a question or comment on Facebook. Com All Rights Reserved. This script creates a calculated table of scaled size objects from measured real life size objects, based on the scale fraction, or the type of model railroad, in order to create a more accurate layout. Track distances are the most difficult scale to achieve because of physical space limitations of most layouts. These scales vary somewhat worldwide and from manufacturer to manufacturer; however these are the generally accepted sizes and conversions.

Calculations can be made in an automated fashion by selecting the scale of your choice current, generally standard scales listed onlyentering the Real Life Size in feet and clicking on Calculate; the default is The scale fraction will show in the scale fraction box after clicking on Calculate.

To manually process the calculation, choose Other for the scale; enter the scale fraction of your choice directly in the scale fraction box. If the size scale isyou should enter the 50 in the box.

Enter the Real Life Size in feet. For instance a wall is 8 feet high; enter 8. Then click on Calculate. This will work with any scale size relationship. To do any additional calculations, click on Clear Values prior to entering any new values.

You might be interested in our Model Railroad Scale Converter also. Typical model railroad scales are largest to smallest : Large Scale Search or Browse Our Site.


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