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Rail question - Printable Version

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Rail question - Michael Horvath - 2014-01-01

I'm not familiar with the train and rail parts.

What is a good distance to separate two parallel rail lines from each other? Taking into account curved rail sections and the general way rail parts are supposed to be connected.

Currently I have them set as close as possible next to each other. I chose this value because part 949ac02.dat splits into two lines spaced this much from each other. But looking at Lego.com's TRAIN TRACK PLANNER it seems this can vary.

[Image: th_rail_sections_shapes_01_zpsd3fa3594.png]

Re: Rail question - Tim Gould - 2014-01-01

Usually people leave one full track (eight studs) between the lines. That makes it easy to join everything up and fits with the spacing from the switch tracks.


Re: Rail question - Michael Horvath - 2014-01-01

Which switch tracks though? I looked through all the parts in MLCAD and they all seem to be much closer to each other.

Re: Rail question - Tim Gould - 2014-01-01

Check out this web resource by Holger Matthes for (hopefully) all the answers Smile


They are all the same dimensions and, when used as intended (with a curve backwards) give a spacing of 8 between the two tracks.
Apologies. My mistake.

Re: Rail question - Michael Horvath - 2014-01-02

Is the 9V rail system on the left present in the parts library? I couldn't find it in MLCAD. Any unofficial parts?

[Image: track-points.png]


Also, do any other of the systems use the same dimensions as the 9V tracks?

Re: Rail question - Tim Gould - 2014-01-02

The modern all plastic track is essentially identical to the 9V track. The switch happened about seven year ago (or maybe longer... my memory is terrible) and the two are compatible apart from one having conductive strips.

Thomas Burger has made LDraw parts of the switches but they do have many errors and need work. But still - for such a complicated part they're pretty good.


Re: Rail question - Steffen - 2014-01-02

yes, the 9V track (with metal top) is available as unofficial file, see

you will get it when downloading all unofficial files

To much more easily layout train tracks, I suggest using software BlueBrick
which can save files in LDRAW format.

LEGO modified the 9V train track again some years ago to no longer have metal top
but instead be 100% plastic. These are not available in LDRAW yet except for 1 part, the straight rail 53401.dat,
which is an official file since update 2013-02.

Re: Rail question - Tim Gould - 2014-01-02

Wow. I hadn't realised the switches were so far progressed Big Grin Awesome!


Re: Rail question - Michael Horvath - 2014-01-02


What is the best way to work with unofficial files? Put them in the "unofficial" folder or the "parts" folder?

Also, can I inline all the sub-parts so I can distribute only a single unofficial file with my model?

Was this the correct thing to do?

Re: Rail question - Steffen - 2014-01-02

unofficial files placement: see http://www.ldraw.org/article/14.html
usually, unofficial parts should go into ldraw/unofficial/parts,
unofficial subparts should go into ldraw/unofficial/parts/s
unofficial primitives should go into ldraw/unofficial/p
or its subfolder "8" or "48"

inlining of subparts is not necessary. you should instead save your model as an mpd file.
MPD is simply a container file containing 1 or more LDR files.
thus, you can put all required unofficial files inside that file.
I usually use mpdwizard for this purpose. It scans my folders and puts all necessary unofficial files
into a single MPD, together with the original LDR model using it.
The good thing about that tool is that only UNOFFICIAL files get put into the MPD, all official ones are NOT.

I attach the tool to this post, as I was not able to find a download link anymore for it.
Rename it from *.zip.txt to *.zip, unpack it, you'll get MPDWizard.exe for Windows.
I cannot remember where I got it from some years ago. Maybe also some newer tool for that purpose exists.