The Roads in SCARM – Part 1 – Basic Usage

This is the first tutorial in the blog about how to use the new feature for laying roads, intro­duced in SCARM v. 0.9.24. This article will explain the roads library in SCARM and will describe the working with the basic flex road section.

The roads in SCARM are intended for easy drawing of different road types and sections with options for setting grades and various surface markings. The road parts are located in a dedicated library, which can be selected form the “Objects” sub-menu of the tracks libraries list. The handling of the road parts is the same like the track sections. The roads have start/end arrows, allowing the easy attachment and setting of the heights at both ends and may also have various (optional) surface markings. There are currently 12 parts in the library – 10 road sections (including crossings and adapters), one transition piece and road end part.

The basic road section is a two-way flexible path, which can be placed as straight or can be shaped in any curved form as other flex-tracks in SCARM.

If you are not familiar with flex-tracks in SCARM, take a look on How to work with flex-tracks FAQ topic in the documentation.

It is called just “Road” and can be up to 1m (39.4″) in length, but the width is scaled according to the currently used track system. By default, when the basic road is placed, the program will display the “Road surface marking” dialog, where you can select what markings do you want for the current road section.

It can be clear (without any marking, useful for streets), with single dashed center line, with solid center line or with double solid center line. These marking styles are shown below.

The surface marking can be changed at any time, by selecting the desired part and using “Edit” > “Road Surface Marking” menu. Note that you can change the marking only for single selected road piece.

If you need a shorter road, you can cut it while shaping, by pressing of the right mouse button. If you need a longer route, just attach the next road to the already finished one. If you want, you can split the flex road piece into two parts – just select the road, right click over the place where you want to split and select “Split” from the context menu. If you want to re-shape the flex road piece, select it, right click over one of its ends and select “Reshape” from the context menu.

You can set the heights of the flex road just like the heights of any other simple or flex track in SCARM.

If you are not familiar with setting of the track heights in SCARM, take a look on How to set heights and slopes FAQ topic in the documentation.

The roads like all other tracks in SCARM are also modelling the terrain surface of the layout – the landscape is following the slope and shape of the placed parts. You can set the mode of the road to be as a bridge or in tunnel like the other tracks. To do that, select the road and set the mode by using of “Bridge” and “Tunnel” buttons in the toolbar.

The default road color can also be changed. To do that, select the road piece (or several sections) and use the Track Color button in the toolbar.

The 2D road color affects also the 3D image of the roads.
The color of the markings cannot be changed in this version.

If you want to make a custom flat road extensions, intersections, sidings, parking places or similar, you can do all these with the figures in SCARM.
To match the height of the figures to the height of the roads in SCARM, set the “Vertical position” to the height of the road (ore leave it 0 for flat layouts) and make 2-3 attempts for the “Height” property as the road height is varying depending of the used scale.
To match the color of the figures to the default color of the roads in SCARM, use the following values in the Color dialog box:

• Red: 80
• Green: 80
• Blue: 96

This is all that you need to start laying of the roads in your track plan. If you have questions or suggestions, post a comment below. The next tutorial will show you how to deal with the crossings and different intersection adapters in the library.

See also
How to work with flex-tracks
How to set heights and slopes

The Roads in SCARM – Part 2 – Simple Crossings & Junctions

11 thoughts on “The Roads in SCARM – Part 1 – Basic Usage

  1. I think SCARM is a fantastic tool. I have one suggestion: If there was a version of the roads that was blue with no markings, it could be used to create a river.

  2. The new Roads are not the same size when trying to add to an existing layout file.. They are sometimes larger, and smaller at other times. Zooming the layout up or down does not seem to help.

  3. Hello Larry,

    The size of the roads is depending on the scale of the last used track system. If you open some ready layout, make sure that you choose the same track library like the tracks on the plan and then switch to the roads library. This will ensure the correct scaling of the road sections when placed on the drawing plot according to the layout scale.

  4. Thanks. I figured it out later by reading more about it. Just goes to prove the old “read the instructions!”

  5. Is there anyway to shrink the width of a road to a single lane one?

  6. Yes. You can switch to some smaller scale track library, i.e. if you are in HO, select some library in N (no matter which, only the smaller scale is important). Then, you can select the Roads and they will be much narrower. Remove the center line from the road surface marking and you will get something like single lane road.

  7. Why can I not place a car {vehicle} on a road, and move or fix it? Should I add some to vehicle properties height, or change other settings? Thanks.

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