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CATEGORY: Resources

Posted in Resources by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, September 24, 2023 at 10:50:31 ADT.)

Sunday, September 24, 2023

RESOURCE: 3rd PlanIt by El Dorado Software

I have been asked many, many times what software I use to create my track plans, and 3D renderings. For those of you that don't know, I have been using 3rd PlanIt by El Dorado Software exclusively for over twenty years. In those two decades, the program has never once failed to meet my requirements or my expectations. In fact, it has proven to include far more features than I will ever use. In the interest of full disclosure I should also mention that for the past year or so, I have been part of the development team that tests new versions of the software before the updates are released to the public. It has been an honour for me to be part of that group of people, and to see firsthand the dedication and effort the developer continually puts forward to roll out the best track planning software on the market today.

LINK: 3rd PlanIt Website

Views: 1394 | Comments: 8

Posted in Resources by Rob Chant. (Updated Sunday, May 07, 2023 at 11:18:40 ADT.)

Sunday, May 07, 2023

RESOURCE: Get Maps / topoView

I want to make you aware of a resource I have been using to do some preliminary research on US rail lines for the last few years. It is called Get Maps / topoView, and is a service that lets you explore historical topographical maps in the US. (Link included below or click on the image.). To start, you just type in the location and state abbreviation in the search bar at top right. Once the software finds your location, the viewer will show all maps available. You can narrow your choices down by scale (I find the 1:24,000 topo maps the most useful) and the timeframe you want. Once you see the map you want on the list, select it and download it to your computer. (You must download the maps to see the rail lines. The map on screen is just the index map.) The best choice for download is the GeoPDF format (if available), and my next choice would be the GeoTiff. If you just want to do a quick download to see if the map is what you want, use the JPG format.

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LINK: Get Maps / topoView

Views: 1077 | Comments: 4

Posted in Resources by Rob Chant. (Updated Friday, January 28, 2022 at 19:38:04 AST.)

Friday, January 28, 2022

RESOURCES: Some Good SHortline, Industrial & Terminal Railroads

Years ago, Model Railroader used to have special features titled "Railroads You Can Model." They were very popular articles that covered Class 1 to Class 3 railroads, but the series ended for whatever reason. I joined forces with Mike Kieran, and we are hoping to bring back that approach to our hobby, so we created a Facebook group call "Some Good SHortline, Industrial & Terminal Railroads."

We are trying to consolidate modeling information into one group so that we can make it easier to gather and share information. Many of the short lines that we will discuss have no, or very little information out there, but we will also discuss modeling freelanced short lines and their inspiration.

Our main focus are class 3 short lines with a information on traffic served. How much traffic? What kinds of freight cars. What did the industries do? We also want to know the railroad's history. How did the railroad come to be. Why did it shut down? In short, we are planning to go in depth about obscure and interesting operations, both past and present.

Eventually, that information will be made part of my blog, once enough background information has been collected. If you want to be part of the process, or contribute to this interesting project, please join our public Facebook group.

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LINK: Some Good SHortline, Industrial & Terminal Railroads

Views: 644 | Comments: 0

Posted in Resources by Rob Chant. (Updated Tuesday, November 02, 2021 at 3:40:13 ADT.)

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

RESOURCE: Trainiax

If anyone needs to test their freelance paint schemes on diesel locomotives, you can download drawings from the link I listed below or click on the image. The images included with this posting are from my own testing of a paint job that I developed for my fictitious Nova Scotia Railway. At the moment, I am contemplating whether to do an HO-scale switching layout based on this proto-freelance line, or to build an On30 layout based on a local coal-hauler that operated in the late 1800's.

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LINK: Trainiax

Views: 1250 | Comments: 2

Posted in Resources by Rob Chant. (Updated Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 4:31:51 AST.)

Saturday, January 23, 2021

RESOURCE: Journal of Model Railroad Design (Facebook Group)

Do you need some help planning and designing your next layout? Well, if you do, I just created a private Facebook group that offers free advice and guidance to members. So, please join up and post your ideas or concept drawings, and I will offer you some honest feedback once I know your goals for the design. I will also be using the group to notify members of updates to this blog. Looking forward to interacting with you.

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LINK: Journal of Model Railroad Design Facebook Group

Views: 835 | Comments: 5