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What software does MR use to draw track plans?

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  • Member since
    January 2006
  • From: Sandy Eggo, CA
  • 1,270 posts
What software does MR use to draw track plans?
Posted by Ray Dunakin on Monday, June 27, 2022 11:34 PM

I really like the look of the track plans in the magazine. What software do they use to create those?

 Visit www.raydunakin.com to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!
  • Member since
    January 2021
  • 284 posts
Posted by Attuvian1 on Monday, June 27, 2022 11:46 PM

Ray Dunakin

I really like the look of the track plans in the magazine. What software do they use to create those?

 
Ray,
 
This issue gets raised every year or two.  If I recall from past responses, the MR track plans are in-house productions of the artsy folks at Kalmbach and not from commercially available software.  I also recall some saying that there are occasional issues regarding things like incompatible or commercially unavailable turnouts and clearance issues should they be transposed precisely to something functional.  As I say, this is all based on recollection.  At my age, that's dodgey at best! Whistling
 
[EDIT:  Well, I was half right, maybe a quarter (see below).  Hey, that's still better than I do remembering stuff daid by my sweetie!]
 
I will say that you can't beat the attractiveness of the MR plans.  They really fire up the imagination and they are excellent for concepts and overall design.  Many have used them as the basis for all sorts of home and club layouts.  What I'd really like to see is our club's pike done up in a drawing of the same type and quality.  It might help me visualize better where my trains go when they disappear into its many tunnels! I've been known to quick-step to one part of the room to pick it up coming out there - only to wonder if the delay is due to an out-of-sight derailment.  Lo and behold, here comes my consist sneaking up behind me! Laugh Laugh
 
John
  • Member since
    August 2003
  • From: Collinwood, Ohio, USA
  • 14,851 posts
Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 12:03 AM

It was a while back when I made the same inquiry and at that time the answer was Adobe Illustrator. They may have found other programs (or are they apps these days?) since then.

Regards, Ed

Moderator
  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Waukesha, WI
  • 1,699 posts
Posted by Steven Otte on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 8:37 AM

Our talented staff artists use Adobe Illustrator, with some in-house-developed plug-in extensions, for track plans. Other illustrations are either drawn or enhanced with Adobe Photoshop.

--
Steven Otte, Model Railroader associate editor
sotte@kalmbach.com

  • Member since
    July 2006
  • 113 posts
Posted by Mark B on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 9:45 AM

My layout-the Ashland and Iron Mountain- was published in June 2021. My drawing of the layout was a bit rough. I had all the dimensions correct along with all the sidings and buildings in the right spots with the correct labels. When I saw the published version I was blown away by it's accuracy and overall appeal. The MR staff had done a great job interpreting my scrawls, notes, arrows and I was very pleased. Thanks MR

Mark B.

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