Screen shot of RR-Track v5 showing a single layout in compact tab interface. Each tab may be selected to show the layout in design in 2D Plan View, Component View, Terrain View, 3D View, and Simulation View. All of these are integrated into RR-Track v5.2.
RR-Track v5.3 is a Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 , Windows 8/8.1, or Windows 10 hosted, graphically based layout application for model railroads.RR-Track is based on track libraries which depict the actual sectional track available from more than 60 manufacturers. RR-Track prints from all views to any Windows supported printer.
RR-Track organizes your layout into five views ( Plan View, Component View, Terrain View, 3D View, and Simulation View) which are collected together in a tabular format. You switch between the different views of your layout design simply by choosing the appropriate tab. Click on any of the tabs above for a more detailed description of that RR-Track v5.3 feature.
Layouts may be of any size, with a minimum size of 1ft x 1ft accepted. You may zoom out to view the entire layout, or zoom in up to a factor of 64 on any part of the layout. Several layouts may be open at once so that you can easily go back and forth between layout variations, or copy items between them.
Track placement: track is placed by selecting the desired track section from the menu, and then placing it on the layout using your mouse or other pointing device. Track sections are joined automatically by RR-Track. Track sections of compatible types (such as GarGraves and Lionel O or Atlas HO and Peco HO) may be joined together if desired, and gauges may be mixed on a given layout (separate loops of course). RR-Track has a relaxation engine which allows it to dynamically adjust the positions and orientations of track sections in order to close loops since many manufactures track systems do not fit together exactly. Adjusting the track fit provides key information on how much stress you are building into your layout, indicating where you may wish to place special cut track sections. Custom cut-to-length and bent-to-radius track sections are included for those track libraries that support it, as well as cut curved sections in libraries such as Lionel O. Any track section may be designated as an overpass section in order to clearly show overpasses on your layout. You may also designate tunnel sections ( and include portals ) to allow 3D-View and Terrain View to generate terrain features that cover those track sections.
TrackWizard: track libraries whose manufacturers have flexible track, contain a ‘wizard’ which automates common tasks, like finding the combination of stock, custom curve, and general curve sections that are needed to fill the gap between two sections of track. TrackWizard is summoned when you use the ruler tool to make a measurement between track ends. A single button click then fills the gap with track of your choice. Of course, you also have the option of just placing a piece of flexible track, and manipulating it with the mouse pointer.
Bench work: terrain and layout bench units are created in Terrain View. You can specify contours of constant, height, single points, as well as rectangular, triangular, semi-circular and polygonal base sections. Terrain View is closely coupled with 3D View in order to create realistic-looking terrain with minimal user input.
Components:RR-Track organizes and displays your layout’s components in Component View. Here, among other things, you can review the estimated cost of your layout, with prices taken from configuration files that you may edit to reflect your own sources.
Layers: layouts may have up to 128 distinct, named, drawing layers with any number of track, accessory, and objects items in a layer. Layers can be working, active, inactive, grayed, or hidden. You may assign default drawing colors for the track in a layer. By making use of multiple drawing layers you can create complex layouts without having the complexity make it difficult to understand your plans. Layers are used to group track, accessories, and objects by visibility, and have nothing really to do with the height of items. Even for a simple layout with one elevation you can use layers to advantage by having a layer for mainline track, yard track, wiring, accessories, and scenery. In this manner you can work on items in one layers, such as wiring, without having to avoid items in another layer, such as the track layers. These layers could be set inactive, which would leave them visible, sort of like wallpaper, but not selectable with the mouse. While working on track arrangements, you could hide the scenery, and so forth. Since you can set the outline and fill colors for a layer, you can use layers to color-code different track loops.
Train Simulation: switching to Simulation View lets you test your layout design’s operation. Here you can assemble consists and run them around your layout to see how your mainlines, sidings, and yards will work with your trains.
Compatibility:RR-Track v5.3 is compatible with layout designs created using RR-Track v3.x, or 4.x.
Support for drawing basic objects such as circles, rectangles, polygons, and lines is included as well as simple buildings, shrubs, embankments, ponds, and boulders in order to depict trackside accessories and obstacles. These objects may be grouped together to form more complex structures, and may be colored and filled individually to suit your taste. All objects are editable; you can resize or re-scale objects at any time. You may designate electrical block breaks, and include straight track with an electrically isolated rail for activating trackside accessories. You may indicated elevations and grades in your layout.
Further track and accessory libraries may be added as you desire to your basic RR-Track configuration; track and accessory libraries beyond those described further on may be added in the future.
This is where it all starts, and mostly lives, the 2D Plan View of your layout. This is a view from above, showing the relationship of the components in your layout to each other. In the Plan View you do all of your positioning of track, accessories, objects such as scenery, roads, create and remove grades. With the exception of the Terrain View, all manipulation of layout components occurs in Plan View
.You can add track or accessory items by pulling down the Track menu and choosing the item you need, and then placing it with the mouse pointer. Or your can bring up the Last Item List to choose among the last ten distinct items added. You can also tear off menus (example at left) and leave them pasted up for one-click access to track/accessory components from any library. You may also create a custom list of up to 20 distinct items from any of your libraries and choose from these components. You can copy and past items in order to duplicate them. There are many ways to add items to your layout design.
There are a number of secondary windows/displays that you can choose to show or hide from Plan View. One of these is the overview window which shows a simplified depiction of your entire layout regardless of how far you are zoomed in. You can grab the red rectangular region ( which outlines the current view) and move it around to view other parts of your layout, or you can scroll the display in any direction.
Need to see things in more detail? You can quickly zoom in increments of two or four ( up to a factor of 64 ) anywhere on your layout design. You can then quickly return to where you were with a simple mouse click.
Want to reduce clutter to simplify working on a feature? Just show or hide drawing layers as necessary. You can employ up to 128 named layers in your design. This powerful feature of RR-Track lets you separate the components of your layout in any manner you desire.
Printing When you need a hard copy for study, or to use as a blueprint for construction, choosing the Print Layout command brings up the RR-Print module. Here you can customize most aspects regarding how your design appears in print. You can determine whether to use a fixed scale ( 1:24, 1:48, etc.) or have your pages automatically scaled to fit the printer page and orientation, you can choose the page orientation, and you can choose the destination printer using the Printer Setup icon.
Whether the coordinate axes appear, the overlay grid is visible, terrain items are visible, etc. are all customizable. The print preview shows an accurate representation of how your pages render to your chosen printer. When using multiple pages, page layout mode lets you set the location of the page boundaries in order to control the content of individual pages.
RR-Print lets you spread your layout design over as many as 256 pages; letting you zoom in to 1:1 in many cases.
Control panel mode is a feature designed to draw only track, and only on the centerline, for use as a template when creating a layout control panel.
Component VIew is a flat-file database of the items from various manufacturers that comprise your layout design. Component View shows the details of all of the track and accessory components in your layout, these may be viewed and printed and organized by manufacturer or layer. Items may also be sorted by name or individual cost as the need arises. Component View further allows you to show details of each individual component with a few mouse clicks.
This detailed inventory of all of the items, track, and accessories contained in your layout may be used for comparison with current inventory, for generating a shopping list, for estimating the construction costs of your layout, etc. Component View displays both a summary of all items as well as individual pages sorted either by manufacturer, or by drawing layer.
The first tab in Component VIew displays a summary of all layout components regardless of source or layer. Subsequent tabs may be chosen to view items from a given source or in a given layer as required. Each item entry may be expanded to show the details of all items of that type.
You can save item lists as a text file or print them directly to your printer using RR-Print, which shows a full print preview for any and all of your component tabs.
Working with the Inventory Manager, you can not only show all of the components required in your layout, but also show which components are not on-hand and need to be purchase.
Inventory Manager is an add-on to Component VIewer which lets you maintain a simple database of all of the model train related components you own or have access to that are also contained in RR-Track’s component libraries ( such as Lionel FasTrack items or Atlas code 100 HO track items).
Using Inventory Manager you can maintain lists of costs and quantities-on-hand independent of those contained in the standard RR-Track component libraries. Component Viewer can then compare these on-hand quantities with the required components for a given layout design and show you the difference, i.e. what you need to purchase to build your layout.
Inventory Manager organizes the available components in your RR-Track system by the libraries ( manufacturers ) that you have, regardless of scale or type. Any or all of your manufacturers libraries may be expanded to show each available component.
You can edit both prices and quantities at any time, and choose to save these so they become permanent updates to your RR-Track system.
place and size bench units: rectangular, triangular, semi-circular, and polygonal.
place terrain height anchors.
graph terrain cross-sections.
determine layout area.
Terrain View shows the layout bench units and contour height points that together create the terrain on your layout design. With Terrain View, RR-Track allows you to set up realistic terrain features for your layout. The terrain objects you place in your layout interact closely with 3D View to automatically generate realistic looking topographic features with minimal user input.
To switch to Terrain View from Plan View ( or any other view ) just click on the Terrain View tab.
Terrain overview window is the main workspace when you are in Terrain View. The primary layout components shown in Terrain View are the track plan, the layout bench units ( in green ), the height contours ( in yellow ), and sample cross-section line. In the terrain overview window you can add layout bench units (analogous to benches) and contour objects, set contour heights, modify layout bench and contour objects, and remove terrain objects. To do so you use the same methods used to add, modify, and delete items in Plan View.
Cross-section window: this window shows a height cross-section of the layout along the line denoted by the cross-section path The cross-section path is a white line with red dashes as shown above. You can move one or both endpoints of the cross-section path.Terrain View shows the terrain heights in red, track in blue, and points that are not above a terrain base object in yellow.
Terrain Items Data Sheet window: lists all of the terrain objects in the layout along with their relevant parameters; these include layout bench units and contour height points. These may be sorted in several ways to meet your needs. Along with each terrain object, the data sheet window details the height, horizontal and vertical positions of the object origin point, the x and y extents (size) of the object, the number of points (if open or closed contour, or base polygon), the area, and the locking status). Right clicking on data sheet window items shows a set of shortcuts that let you delete or edit that terrain item as required.
independent control of azimuth, pitch angle, and magnification.
display from above for publications purposes.
automatic height calculation for scenery, buildings, roads, and track.
set lighting position and angles for more realism
3D View is where RR-Track lets you visualize train layout designs in a virtual three-dimensional space. 3D View minimizes user input in taking a layout design from the 2D plan view world of RR-Track to the virtual three-dimensional space of 3D View. You may change your point of view, zoom in or out, move the viewing point, change the color scheme, and a number of other parameters.
You do not manipulate the location and orientation of individual track, accessory, or other items in 3D-View (you do that in Plan View), but you may examine your layout from all angles and all locations. 3D-View automatically generates solid filled or smooth shaded terrain for your layout based on terrain information that you provided using Terrain View. You may choose to have 3D View automatically adjust the heights of scenery items such as trees and buildings to match the terrain features. 3D View can also adjust the terrain to compensate for track and accessories letting you visualize features such as elevations and tunnels.
Viewing your layout in 3D could not be simpler, simply click the 3D View tab from any of the other RR-Track views. You can switch back to the Plan View or Terrain View, make some changes to your layout design, and immediately inspect them in 3D by choosing the 3D View tab. A set of sliders along the bottom of the 3D View tab lets you quickly adjust the azimuth, pitch, zoom factor, and x - y offsets of your viewpoint. You can have 3D View anti-alias the layout rendering to further improve the appearance.
If needed, you can print your 3D rendering using RR-Print. Here you get a full print preview as you do for all of your other printable views.
Simulation View lets you place and run consists, toggle turnouts, make and break trains, and otherwise simulate railroad operations on your model pike. This is where if you see whether you can actually carry out the train actions that you envisaged during design. By running consists on your design you can check things such as siding lengths, clearances at turnouts, and switching operations.
Simulation View lets you have as many trains as you like, but only one cab. At any given time a single train is under cab control ( moving or stopped ); you may switch between trains that are ‘live’ as you need in order to test your layout design. The above screen shot shows a typical model railroad design with four consists, one of which is active on the mainline. The simulation overview shows a 2D plan view of your layout. Turnouts are depicted with their throw state: green for thru track and red for spur track. At right are a set of controls for starting/stopping the simulation and for invoking the New Train Builder to construct a consist to add to your simulation. Below these controls are a list of all of the trains currently in the layout simulation.
You can store up to eight consists that you can recall anytime you run RR-Track; RR-Track also remembers the last eight consists you add any any given session so that you may quickly restore them ( RR-Track removes all trains from the simulation whenever you make changes to your layout design in Plan View ). Stored consists may be accessed from the consist list found on the Simulation View status bar.
While trains are running you can dynamically toggle turnout throw states ( as long as a consist doesn’t occupy the turnout). In this manner you can run your consist all over your pike, checking all aspects of its operation. At any time you can modify a train by either coupling it with another consist, or uncoupling it and breaking it into two trains. Simulation View keeps track of running statistics on your consists as well as showing your overhang/underhang distances for any train unit.
RR-Track’sSimulation View includes a selection of locomotives and revenue cars that allow you to simulate nearly all consists encountered on a model railroad.
RR-Track’sModule Compiler lets you create an unlimited set of building blocks for construction of larger pikes. Each of these may be manipulated like a single piece of track, attached and reattached to other modules and track sections just as you would any other track component.
Shown above is a rendering of a 4x4 O-scale corner module that Module Compiler is about to ‘compile’ into a single module with four exposed track ends ( non-exposed ends are shown in dark green with exposed ends in light green). Module may be composed of any combination of elements found in a standard RR-Track layout: track, accessories, general purpose objects such as trees, roads, etc. At right is the source layout for the above module with several accessories, trackside signals, an access road, and trees part of the layout design for the module, you can make modules as detailed as you like. Of course to fit with other modules you should follow standards for the offset of the track from the module front and the spacing between mainlines; these for all scales may be found on the NMRA website.
Once you have created your modules, they may be accessed from a list that you can show or hide at your discretion. There is no limit to the number of modules you can create. All modules need their component track and accessory libraries for proper rendering: if you create modules from Atlas c100 HO track you will need a c100 HO track library for proper display.
Once you have a set of modules, you can use them to create a layout design, like that shown at left. Here a total of eight modules are in use, some more than once, linked together exactly as you would track sections, in fact you can mix standard track with modules.
If you are part of a club that utilizes modular layout construction, you can maintain a set of module designs that you can arrange and re-arrange as needed for club meetings, public shows, etc. Modules can be altered by editting the source layout design and then re-compiling ( modules themselves are treated as non-changeable track components).
Below is a 3D View of the above modular layout. You can see the duplication of the corner modules as well as some of the other connecting modules. A single module is at center for illustrative purposes
30-50 Mb depending on exact track and accessory library mix.
Windows XP 32 or 64-bit, Windows Vista 32/64 bit, Windows 7 32/64 bit, Windows 8/8.1, or Windows 10. OpenGL graphics required (this is native to almost all Windows systems). We have tested RR-Track v5 on all of the above Windows systems.
RR-Track v5.3 Feature Summary
Fully graphical, point and click interface.
Multiple open layouts, easily copy / paste between layouts.
Multiple drawing layers in each layout, up to 128.
2D Plan View for layout design.
Component View for layout inventory.
Inventory Manager so you can keep track of what you need to build your dream layout.
3D View for realistic layout visualization.
Simulation View for running trains and checking for proper layout operation.
20 levels of Undo to back track from mistakes.
Help system fully compatible with Windows Vista and WIndows 7. Six part tutorial to get you going with your design.
Trackwizard for quick filling of gaps between track ends.
Automatically calculate grades and putin elevations. Elevate track graphically as well as individual grades.
Draw in your own buildings or place accessories such as stations, platforms, and other buildings from our pre-built libraries.
Maintain a custom list of up to 20 components just a mouse click away from your layout.
Tear off individual track and accessory menus for easier access to multiple libraries.
Create tunnel portals for more accurate scenery representation.
fully editable drawing objects. May be edited on screen with the mouse or with the keyboard. You can group / ungroup objects to create complex structures.
use true flexible track with sectional track. Flexible track may be edited on screen with the mouse.
print to any Windows printer; let RR-Track scale the layout, or print at a fixed scale.Printing may span up to 256 pages.
Backwards compatible with layouts created using RR-Track v3.x and 4.x.
Modular layout support. Turn small layout designs into component modules which you then manipulate like individual track sections.