Simple Computer Aided Railway Modeller

Ver. 0.9.x beta

Quick Guide

SCARM means Simple Computer Aided Railway Modeller – a free software for simplified design of scaled railway layouts and creation of railroad model track plans. With SCARM you can easily create your desired layout – just download the installation package and start editing your first track plan. A short description concerning use of the program in its current stage of development is following below. Post your questions, remarks, reviews or critics about SCARM in official Facebook page or by e-mail at . Check also the recently released SCARM Blog where you will find additional information, news & updates, tips & tricks, tutorials & examples, advanced stuff and more about using of the program.

And don’t forget – the most important thing is to have fun

Follow SCARM on Twitter 


Changes in the documentation, new track libraries and latest version of SCARM are located at
Latest information about the development and knowledge aboud using of the program are available in the SCARM Blog.


SCARM 0.9.25 Multilingual - 1.78 MB, from 10 Sep 2014

System requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8
OpenGL compatible graphics
Installation type: Standalone installer
License: Freeware


After installing, start the program and select your preferred language from "View" > "Language" menu.


1. Example Layout in 1/120 scale - TT (1:120), 1530mm x 730mm (60.2" x 28.7"). Click on images and see more...


2. Example Track Plan #1 - HO (1:87), 3760mm x 1500mm (148" x 59"). Click on images and see more...


3. US Urban Layout - N (1:160), 2550m x 585mm (100.4" x 23"). Click on images and see more...


See more model train layout examples and track plans, created in SCARM at Railroad layouts and design ideas section in the blog.

Check also the recently released online database for Free Railway Layouts & Railroad Track Plans, created in SCARM.

Languages and translations

If your language is missing, but you know some of the other build-in languages, you may translate SCARM user interface using "Tools" > "Translation Wizard" menu and send translation file to the author at for integrating into installation package.

If you wish to translate also documentation for SCARM in your language, contact the author at to receive text file and instructions for translation.

The author of SCARM will be very thankful to everybody, who is helping with new translation or with corrections and updates to the existing translations.

Version history

show all / hide intermediate

20.05.2010 –  First release of SCARM
04.09.2011 –  0.9.0
Added functionality:
- 2D/3D figures and shapes for creating buildings, platforms, roads, etc.
- 2D/3D predefined objects for placing signals and other railroad/scenery related items
- Toolbox window with several functional tools
- Export to EMF files (experimental)
- Fullscreen mode in 3D Viewer
- Context menu in 3D Viewer
- Several keyboard shortcuts for fast switching of the visual settings and measurement units (see Using of Keyboard Shortcuts)
Improved turntables management
New & updated libraries
Italian documentation (thanks to Fabio Cuccia)
- Fixed bug on start when there is no printer installed
09.09.2011 –  0.9.1
Added functionality:
- Improved Rotation dialog box
Updated translations (French, Italian, Russian)
- Fixed bug when showing Parts list
14.09.2011 –  0.9.2
Added language:
- Spanish (thanks to Ramon Paradell & Matias Ibarra)
Updated translation (German)
22.09.2011 –  0.9.3
Added functionality:
- New tool for simplified creation of rectangular baseboard in the Toolbox
Corrections and updates in many track libraries
Corrections in the language translations
02.10.2011 –  0.9.4
Improved Status bar
Corrections and updates in many track libraries
30.10.2011 –  0.9.5
Added functionality:
- 1:1 zoom factor for exact full-scale printouts (see Print Whole Layout in 1:1 Scale)
- User-defined track colors
Updated translation (Dutch)
03.11.2011 –  0.9.6
Added language:
- Danish (thanks to Carsten Jensen)
Corrections and updates in many track libraries
13.11.2011 –  0.9.7
Added language:
- Czech (thanks to Jakub Svozil)
Corrections and updates in many track libraries
19.11.2011 –  0.9.8
Added language:
- Romanian (thanks to Vasile Surducan)
22.01.2012 –  0.9.9
Added functionality:
- Drag&Drop feature for tracks and objects (from selection panel to drawing plot; experimental)
- Parallel Start point function (in Edit menu; see Placing Parallel Tracks)
- Selection by List function (in Tools menu)
Added language:
- Hungarian (thanks to Gabor Bejczi)
Russian documentation (thanks to Igor Zagrubskii)
Corrections and updates in many track libraries
23.01.2012 –  0.9.10
- Fixed English language file, due to some mismatched text translations
31.01.2012 –  0.9.11
Updated translations (Italian, Danish, Romanian)
03.02.2012 –  0.9.12
- Fixed EConvertError on startup that may appear on some machines
09.02.2012 –  0.9.13
Updated translations (German, Spanish, Hungarian)
25.02.2012 –  0.9.14
Added language:
- Greek (thanks to Ioannis Mpekes)
Corrections and updates in many track libraries
16.03.2012 –  0.9.15
Added language:
- Portuguese (thanks to Carlo Bacchiocchi)
German documentation (thanks to Ingo Imcke)
Corrections and updates in many track libraries
30.06.2012 –  0.9.16
Added functionality:
- Text entering feature (experimental; see Adding Text To Track Plan)
Added language:
- Brazilian Portuguese (thanks to Juan Jurado)
Updated translations (Dutch, Czech)
Added some US position & color light signals
Corrections and updates in many track libraries
22.08.2012 –  0.9.17
Added functionality:
- Zoom factor field in the Status bar
Added language:
- Swedish (thanks to Magnus Dahlgren)
Updated translations (Hungarian, Italian, Romanian)
30.01.2013 –  0.9.18
Added/improved functionality:
- Optimized 2D drawing routines for better performance with large and/or detailed layouts
- Copy/Paste is now carried through the global clipboard
- The program now synchronizes and remembers custom-defined colors for tracks and figures
- Zoom when using tool buttons or +/- keys is now referred to the center of the screen
- 'C' key toggles between solid and contour connection arrows (free start/end points)
Added language:
- Croatian (thanks to Antonio Radic)
Spanish documentation (thanks to Miguel Angel Banolas)
Updated translations (Danish, German, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese)
New and updated track libraries
16.05.2013 –  0.9.19
Added/improved functionality:
- Extendable track pieces (added in the corresponding libraries)
- Flex-tracks dimensions of each section are now displayed on the track in 2D mode
- Flex-tracks can now be edited after laying (select already placed flex-track, right-click over it close to one of the ends and choose "Reshape")
- Flex-tracks can now be split in two parts (select already placed flex-track, right-click over it at the desired position and choose "Split")
- Zooming (with '+' and '-' keys) and moving (with arrow keys) with keyboard is now working while modelling flex-tracks
- 45° & 90° lines snap function when creating Baseboard or Polygon figure (to activate it, hold Ctrl key while shaping)
- Zoom factor lock (in View > Scale menu) - useful when performing 1:1 full-size manual printouts
New "Edit" tab in the Settings window for:
- Global override of flex-tracks Minimum radius library presets (allowing increase of the minimum bending radius for better realism)
- Adjusting flex-tracks Limit angle (for transition from Straight to Curved section when shaping with the mouse; hold Shift to bypass this setting)
- Setting of tracks joining tolerances (distance and angle)
Updated translations (Italian, Russian)
New and updated track libraries
23.05.2013 –  0.9.20
Added/improved functionality:
- New setting for control of the flex-tracks dimensions labels in Dimensions tab of the Settings window
Updated translations (Italian)
New and updated track libraries
- Fixed issue with files, containing flex-tracks and user-defined minimum radius, which may cause flex shape and disconnect problems
- Fixed procedure for removing doubled points in the baseboard and the figures
- Fixed caching problems when checking for new versions with Check for Updates command
04.08.2013 –  0.9.21
Added/improved functionality:
- New flex-track automatic point-to-snap-and-join function with auto shaping feature
- New option for reduced tolerances when performing manual join of flex-track (in Tools > Settings > Edit tab)
- Ability to work with mixed gauges 3-rail track systems
Added language:
- Slovak (thanks to Branislav Kysel)
Updated translations (Italian, Hungarian)
New and updated track libraries
- Fixed flex-tracks connection issues when showing possible join, but not making proper join after left mouse click
10.08.2013 –  0.9.22
Updated translations (Italian, French, Slovak)
- Fixed bug in Windows 8 that prevents displaying of the Documentation and Parts List
- Fixed bug with Copy/Paste function that was not working correctly in the previous release
23.11.2013 –  0.9.23
Added/improved functionality:
- Import of background image for use as track plan template
- Drawing of the ballast roadbed in 2D (experimental, toggle with 'B' key)
- Ability to enter the Track Height values with the keyboard (enable it with the new 'Numeric Heights Input' button in the Toolbar)
- Detailed information for almost each selected item is now shown in the Status bar
- Optimized 3D rendering for large sized layouts
Updated translations (German, French, Czech, Italian)
Many updated track libraries
15.03.2014 –  0.9.24
Added/improved functionality:
- True roads with grades and surface marking (available in Objects sub-menu of Libraries list)
- Favorite libraries (as buttons under selected library caption)
- User-selectable sections count on turntables with variable service track positions (for some track systems)
Updated translations (Italian, Hungarian, French, German, Russian, Dutch)
Many new and updated track libraries
10.09.2014 –  0.9.25
Added/improved functionality:
- Two new figures (vertical and horizontal cylinders)
- Improved roads laying and shaping interface
- Ability to work with slotcar road systems
Updated translations (Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Czech, Slovak, German)
Many new and updated track libraries

What SCARM is able to do?
  • To draw scaled railroad track route with following railway track systems (libraries):*
    - American Flyer S
    - Aristo-Craft G EU Brass
    - Aristo-Craft G US Stainless Steel
    - Aristo-Craft G US Brass
    - Arnold N
    - Atlas HO Snap-Track C100
    - Atlas HO Snap-Track C83
    - Atlas HO True-Track C83
    - Atlas N C80
    - Atlas N True-Track C65
    - Atlas N C55
    - Atlas O 2-rail C148
    - Atlas O 3-rail
    - Atlas O Industrial
    - Bachmann G Large Scale
    - Bachmann HO EZ Nickel-Silver
    - Bachmann HO EZ Steel
    - Bachmann N EZ Nickel-Silver
    - Bachmann OO Branchline
    - Bemo HOe
    - Bemo HOm Standard
    - Bemo HOm Model C70
    - Busch HOf Feldbahn
    - Eishindo T
    - ETS O
    - Faller HO AMS
    - Fleischmann HO Model
    - Fleischmann HO Profi
    - Fleischmann N Piccolo
    - Flesichmann N
    - Fleischmann ÒÒ (turntable only)
    - Frateschi HO
    - GarGraves O 3-rail Phantom plastic and wooden ties, tin plated
    - GarGraves O 3-rail Phantom plastic and wooden ties, stainless steel
    - Hornby OO
    - Hornby OO Dublo 2-rail
    - Hornby OO Dublo 3-rail
    - Jouef HO New rails 1998-2000/01
    - Kato HO Unitrack
    - Kato N Unitrack (without bridges and viaducts)
    - Kleinbahn HO
    - Kuehn TT
    - Lenz O
    - LGB G
    - Life-Like HO Power-Loc Nickel-Silver
    - Life-Like HO Power-Loc Steel
    - Life-Like N Power-Loc
    - Lima HO
    - Lionel G Add-on pack
    - Lionel O
    - Lionel O FasTrack
    - Lionel O27
    - Lionel S American Flyer
    - Märklin HO C
    - Märklin HO K
    - Märklin HO M
    - Märklin I
    - Märklin Z
    - Mehano HO
    - Micro Engineering HO C83
    - Micro Engineering HO C70
    - Micro Engineering N C70
    - Micro Engineering N C55
    - Microtrains Z Micro-Track
    - Millhouse River Studio O Turntables
    - MTH O RealTrax
    - MTH S S-Trax
    - MTH Standard Gauge Lionel Corp
    - Peco G C250
    - Peco HO/OO Streamline & Set-track C100
    - Peco HO Streamline C83
    - Peco HO/OO Streamline C75
    - Peco HOm C75 - Peco HOe/OO9 C80
    - Peco I C200
    - Peco N Streamline & Set-track C80
    - Peco N Finescale C55
    - Peco O Flat-Bottom C143
    - Peco O Bullhead C124
    - Peco Oe/O16.5/On30 C100
    - Peco Z C60 (flex-track only)
    - PIKO G
    - PIKO HO A
    - PIKO HO Standard
    - PIKO N
    - Playmobil G RC
    - ProLine G Train Line 45
    - Roco HO GeoLine
    - Roco HO Line
    - Roco HO 2.5mm Nickel Silver
    - Roco HO 2.5mm Brass
    - Roco HOe
    - Roco N
    - Roco ÒÒ (turntable only)
    - Rokuhan Z
    - Ross Custom Switches O 3-rail
    - Tillig HO Elite
    - Tillig HO Standard
    - Tillig HO/HOe 3-rail mixed tracks
    - Tillig HO/HOm 3-rail mixed tracks
    - Tillig TT Bedding
    - Tillig TT Model
    - Tillig TT Standard (BTTB)
    - Tomix N Fine Track (without bridges and viaducts)
    - Tri-ang TT A
    - Tri-ang TT B
    - Trix HO C
    - Trix HO Express
    - Trix N Minitrix
    - USA LLC Standard Gauge
    - Walthers HO Cornerstone (turntable only)
    - Walthers HO Shinohara C100
    - Walthers HO Shinohara C83
    - Walthers N Cornerstone (turntable only)
    * Some of the libraries are not fully completed. Data accuracy is not guaranteed. More libraries will come soon.
  • To work in virtually endless space with unlimited count of tracks and objects
  • To show designed railway track in 3D view

Why in general to use SCARM?
  • Because it is easy and diverting and can be very useful
  • Because SCARM has intuitive and lightweight user interface, which is described in the FAQ below
  • Because it is FREE and has everything needed to start planning your dream railroad layout :)

How to get started?

For example, you can begin with a simple oval: Start the program (scarm.exe) and select "Edit" > "New start point" from main menu. Click with left mouse button to place the start point on the plot. "Tillig-TT-Std" library is selected by default. Select straight #6110 track from the left vertical panel (using left mouse button). Then select a curved #6210 track in the same way - additional buttons for direction will appear - choose desired turn direction with clicking one of them. To repeat the curved track, press Spacebar 3 times until semicircle is formed on the plot. If some tracks go outside of the visible plot area, use the mouse wheel to rescale the drawing or press it to move the drawing area in desired direction. Then place track #6110 again followed by 4 curved #6210 tracks and your first oval is ready. The track ends will be connected to each other automatically, because their ends will overlap at the same point.

Getting started with simple oval demo video (YouTube clip)

Or you can just drag and drop the tracks from the selection panel to the drawing plot by click and hold left mouse button – it can’t be easier than this :)

Simple oval by drag&drop demo video (YouTube clip)

Watch also the SCARM Video Tutorials series if you are a beginner in SCARM and want to start faster and easier.

What else can I do with SCARM?
  • You can create complex layouts with many train stations on bigger area.
  • You can modelling flex-track routes easily, intuitive and most important – in very realistic way.
  • You can deploy your layout on more than one level, with different heights and slopes of choosen sections from the track route.
  • You can use tunnels and bridges.
  • You can draw figures in order to create buildings of train stations, houses, industries, etc. together with all needed roads and infrastructure.
  • You can use semaphores and color light signals to create the signalling in the layout track route.
  • You can see a 3D view of your layout - just select "3D" button from the toolbar.
  • You can measure distances and track sections length, using the functions in "Tools" menu.
  • You can export and/or print your layout and show it to the other model trains fans and enthusiasts.
  • You can view and print a list with the needed track pieces and even use it as a shopping list.
  • You can share your ideas with the author and ask him for new features and also for correcting bugs and errors, if you find some.

Questions and answers (FAQ)

  Where are the scrollbars?!
  How does Copy-Paste works?
  How to move the tracks?
  How to disconnect and connect the tracks?
  How to rotate tracks?
  How to select a section?
  How to move or turn a section?
  How to zoom?
  How to work with flex-tracks?
  How to place tunnels and bridges?
  How to set heights and slopes?
  How to set track supports?
  How to create helix?
  How to use the Measuring tape?
  How to set direction angle of the start point?
  How to create baseboard?
  How to work with figures in SCARM?
  How to create station platforms?
  How to create houses and buildings?
  How to place railway signals?
  How to use the Toolbox?
  How to check size and area of the layout?
  How to change the track library?
  How to get details for the selected library?
  I can't find particular track system in the libraries?
  I can't find particular track in the tracks selection panel?
  There are missing accessories for selected track or turnout?
  How to see a list of used parts?
  How to print designed layout?
  Can I use SCARM from portable memory devices?
  Are there versions of SCARM for Mac or Linux?
  I can't find the answer of my question?

Known issues

Always check for recently discovered issues and solutions for them in Problems & Solutions section of SCARM Blog.

  • Empty snapshots in 3D viewing mode – Due to some incompatibility between 3D rendering engine of SCARM and some graphic cards/drivers, it is possible your 3D snapshot files to be empty.

    Possible workaround: select "View" > "Full Screen" from the menu when in 3D viewing mode and then press "Print Screen" (PrScr) button on the keyboard - the scene will be copied in the clipboard. Press Esc to return into normal screen. Open some graphic editor (like MS Paint), paste the screen and save it to file.

  • Nonworking 3D Viewer on SiS Mirage based videocards – When you try to open the 3D viewer, the program shows empty or corrupted window, displays an error message or crashes. The author is working to solve the problem.

Remember, that SCARM is still in beta stage of development and sometimes may not work as expected. Always create archives of your layouts and save changes in the files with incremental names (just in case) i.e. “layout_1.scarm”, “layout_2.scarm”, and so on. Please report any bugs and error messages with explanation how, when and where in the program they occurs to author at .

Useful links

SCARM - The Railway Modeller's Blog - Even More About SCARM - The Internet Railroad Directory - Model Railroad Resource Directory - International list of scale model related web sites
TT Scale Model Trains - The Perfect Gauge (Polish) - Site for the real and model railways (Slovak)
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Last update: 10 Seo 2014

(C) 2010-2014 by Milen Peev a.k.a. Mixy. All rights reserved. Use at your own risk!