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Free Track Plans Website


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Hello all,

 

Having trawled the internet for a long old time trying to find inspiration for my new layout, I’ve decided to make my own free resource for track plans on the internet. The designs will be based on OO/HO track, and should also be suitable for scaling down to N-gauge – the aim is to provide the ideas rather than fully developed plans with buildings and water features etc. This will be track plans only – the rest is up to your imagination!

 

The plans will be based on the following sizes of board -

 

4x2’

4x4’

6x4’

8x4’

6x6’

8x6’

L-Shaped

End-to-End

Larger Layouts

 

Therefore if anyone has any track plans lying around that they would like to contribute, or enjoys coming up with imaginary layouts (much cheaper than real ones!) I would love to hear from you.

 

Having spoken to the guys at Anyrail, all plans will be presented in that format, and the .any file will be available for download. As I’ll be presenting the layouts in their format, there will also be a link to their website encouraging the use of their product – it’s a win-win. I may even generate some advertising income that would allow me to pay contributors, but we’ll see how it goes for now!

 

Thanks for your time, hope to hear from you soon

 

Tom

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Anyrail, all plans will be presented in that format,

that's going to rule out many hundreds of contributors, a very narrow restriction as Anyrail isn't exactly either the most popular (judging by plans put up on RMWeb) or user friendly IMO.

 

and not wishing to knock the idea too hard (especially given all the time you are going to put into it) but what's wrong with just posting the plans on RMWeb which probably already brings a bigger audience to their viewing, has selected (and vetted) advertising, and is managed and available for a small annual "voluntary" donation ?

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Ok - I can appreciate that AnyRail might not be the most popular software, but the site is largely designed to give ideas for layout building, so the format makes no odds in terms of that. If people want to submit ideas (in any format) then I can always convert those to AnyRail before publishing.

 

Also, there are a lot of railway modellers (in the UK and abroad) that don't use RMWeb, even though it is fast becoming one of the major resources for railway modellers. It's also unlikely to be found in amongst all the other great contributions.

 

I just spied a hole in the market that wasn't available on the internet, something that I would find useful. We'll see how it goes, it might be that no-one is interested, but no harm in putting something together in my spare time.

 

Cheers

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Ok - I can appreciate that AnyRail might not be the most popular software, but the site is largely designed to give ideas for layout building, so the format makes no odds in terms of that. If people want to submit ideas (in any format) then I can always convert those to AnyRail before publishing.

 

 

except for people who try to model real track.

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Ok - I can appreciate that AnyRail might not be the most popular software, but the site is largely designed to give ideas for layout building, so the format makes no odds in terms of that. If people want to submit ideas (in any format) then I can always convert those to AnyRail before publishing.

 

Also, there are a lot of railway modellers (in the UK and abroad) that don't use RMWeb, even though it is fast becoming one of the major resources for railway modellers. It's also unlikely to be found in amongst all the other great contributions.

 

I just spied a hole in the market that wasn't available on the internet, something that I would find useful. We'll see how it goes, it might be that no-one is interested, but no harm in putting something together in my spare time.

 

Cheers

Still appreciating you offer of time - especially trying to convert layouts from other programs used for layout (paint, WinRail, XtrkCAD, Templot, ...) - as well as building and maintaining a web site.

 

Regarding people not using RMWeb (long time passed becoming THE major resource for railway modelling in the UK) then I cannot see how some new site of an unknown domain name is ever going to come up to the level of public awareness of RMWeb without considerable spend on advertising. Also if it not on its own domain name then it is unlikely to be even be seen by the major search engines.

 

Regarding being lost in RMWeb - there is -or- was already a thread http://www.rmweb.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=66&t=24472&start=0. If not you could easily start one. It is also even possible to attach an image or even the raw file to download (by most visitors). Then every time it gets updated it gets sent to the top of the Active list and seen by the Google bot that seems to reside inside RMWeb.

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See the layout plans on RMweb3, The XTrkCad group on Yahoo, and the Small Layout Design group on Yahoo(Yes, all 4 sections!) and Http://www.carendt.us . You could also add in the Trainplayer group on Yahoo, the HOG group on there.

Two more http://www.hunterval...es.com/gallery/ and http://www.cke1st.com/m_train2.htm

Those should keep you busy for a while, and if you still haven't found what you want.......

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Thanks for the replies and suggestions for sites.

 

I think I'm still going to go ahead with it - there's always going to be a trade off between battling as a small site on my own, or having a page on a bigger site that might slip down the pecking order. I really do love just looking through track plan books, having lots of them at home, I really can't get enough of track design and envisaging new and exciting model railways.

 

What I am trying to do differently is present the plans in a very easy to read format - great as the forum thread is, and as much as I love the micro layout scrapbook, I don't enjoy having to wade through 30 pages of (sometimes irrelevant) text, when I am just after the track plans! Hopefully this can be a useful resource, even for me just to post my own ideas, with a few updates now and then.

 

I am unfamiliar with the Yahoo sites - I have always struggled to find and access them, though that is probably my stupidity.

 

Let's see how it goes for now. If it bombs and no-one goes on it, I'll bring the content to my own gallery or thread on here, no problem.

 

Cheers

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I think I'm still going to go ahead with it -

 

Thanks for flagging this up in the appropriate way Tom. I've no problem with you posting the url in due course but it's worth bearing in mind Kenton's advise on exposure. Hugh Flynn had a massive amount of interest on RMweb3 with such work - possibly too much at times!

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Nice plans there Tom, will you be updating it reguarly?

 

With any luck I will be able to update it fairly regularly, responding to requests for specific locations or board sizes. Just getting going with the promotion so far, so we will see how much interest there is!

 

Thanks for your encouragement.

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Please feel free to comment on here, any suggestions much appreciated.

 

 

You could do with an index page which lists all of the available track plans and links specifically to that track plan.

 

If you want to grow the site in the long term, it might be an idea to give each plan it's own page with information on the prototype, expansion options and links to other resources as well as tags and categories (which can help boost your site up search engine results). Unfortunately, this is where the lone gunman approach starts to become more difficult due to the work required and the Wiki format flourishes (not that that doesn't have a plethora of other problems).

 

You may want to tinker with the text on front page and the contact page to emphasise the fact that you are looking to take submissions.

 

You might also want to consider investing in a domain name in the longer term. I believe this also helps to boost search rankings.

 

Other then that, it looks good so far. I was interested to see Banff there. It's a nice track plan, although I'd always seen it as being more suitable for an end to end. I hadn't seen Lossiemouth before, which looks quite interesting.

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Hammer, thanks for these ideas, I had thought about separate pages and might go down that route in future. The sites might be further sorted into end-to-end, continuous, 1 / 2 level etc.

 

I'm also looking to upgrade to more bandwidth and domain name in time, but that will depend on the success of these first stages.

 

Really great comments, thanks guys.

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Hello guys,

 

I've now implemented some of the changes suggested on here, due to problems with the account that I had before.

 

Therefore any comments on the new version of the site would be much appreciated - there is a link in my signature below.

 

Thanks again

 

Tom

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Tom,

 

Nice site - I liked the plans and as an AnyRail user appreciated you making them available for download. More plans aimed at those of us into Kettles and Green diesels please :D

 

Regards,

 

Dave

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Personally I would like to see the space for a fiddle yard /hidden sidings included in the plan as many of the plans whilst appealing wont function as a layout as there is no space to store trains so for example Fort William may be 8x4 as the plan but somewhere you need an extra 4-5ft for the fiddle yard.

 

Perhaps more of an issue for the continuous run layouts as with the end to end the fiddle yard can just be bolted on.

 

Colin

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Colin,

 

That's a good call - it could be confusing if I've put up a plan for 8x4 and it actually needs a massive fiddle yard on it as well.

 

With regards to Fort William, it was envisaged that the lower part of the plan would act as a fiddleyard, whether it was scenically developed or not. I haven't made that clear in the text though, and will do so now.

 

Thanks for your input!

 

Tom

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can I say what a find this is for someone like me. No experience and no idea - but wants to make a layout for his 2 grandsons. More libraries of scenics (esp buildings) would be something I would like to see.

Thanks for all your efforts froma real beginner.

 

Alan

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Hello Alan,

 

I would be happy to mark up a couple of plans with buildings / scenery on if you have any favourites. It is something I might add in the future, but it's the bare track plans that give me the most inspiration - adding the rest is the tricky bit!

 

Cheers

 

Tom

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 month later...

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