Last night I wanted to put together an article on breaking-in locomotives using a Figure-8 track plan built with Rokuhan track. I fired up my copy of AnyRail track planning software and created the basic Figure-8 track plan shown on the back of the Rokuhan 90° crossing package.
I quickly ran in to a snag, the detailed Figure-8 shown on the package doesn’t work when using the software. It’s a small thing and if you look at the AnyRail screenshots, you can see it doesn’t miss by much but really, it shouldn’t miss at all, should it?
There are times when you can, and do, fudge a bit with sectional track to make it fit. On even a small layout, there’s some wiggle room. When a simple and very symmetrical design like a Figure-8 is problematic though, I have to wonder… if I were building a larger layout would it be off, not by fractions of an inch, but several inches. That would be too much to fudge, that would be a problem.
I’ve written to both Rokuhan as well as AnyRail, I’ve sent along screenshots from the software showing the inaccuracy. I don’t know if the track is inaccurate or if the software is, but I’d like to know. I realize this is just a small detail, but when small details don’t add up, it bothers me. I don’t want anyone buying the track and software, designing a layout then have a problem that isn’t of his or her own doing. Actually I’d prefer no problems at all but I try to be a realist!
The images shown here are using the 195mm curved track, I also tried some Figure-8s with the larger 270mm radius and the results were even further off the mark, I’d like to know why.
As usual, I tend to work late at night so it’s certainly possible the error is mine, if you see a mistake I’ve made please let me know. In the meantime I’ll wait to hear from Rokuhan and AnyRail and report back.