SCARM Blog – Reader’s Manual

A few words about using of the blog if you want to master SCARM in all possible details :)

The SCARM Blog is divided in several categories in order to help you what to read. They are as follows:

General – general information, news and events, related to SCARM
Basic Stuff – SCARM basics and main features in details
Advanced Techniques – for those who wants to become SCARM experts
Tips & Tricks – getting most productivity in your work with SCARM
Tutorials & Examples – how-to’s and demos of how to use various SCARM functions
Railroad Layouts & Design Ideas – railway track plans, whole SCARM layouts and more for your inspiration
Problems & Solutions – troubleshooting in SCARM and workarounds of potential issues
Outdated Topics – archive with obsolete articles which are not relevant to the current versions of SCARM

The articles in the blog are always written for the latest version of SCARM. If something in the future versions is changed and affects the explanations in older article, it will be updated and re-posted with the corresponding changes or will be moved to the outdated topics if the post is no longer actual.

You can see the most important changes, additions and updates in the program by reading the Version history on SCARM website

The following can be also helpful in your work with the program:

Read the documentation and the FAQ section – SCARM is designed to be easy and intuitive, but some features may require additional learning because they have no analog or are realized in different way compared to other similar programs. Take a look at the documentation’s FAQ section, especially if you want to perform some of the Advanced Techniques or Tips & Tricks.

Pay attention to the Status bar – some features are described with a short text in the Status bar of SCARM. Always look for these hints when you are using new or unknown function in the program.

Ask for help – if you do not understand something in the program, in the documentation or here in the blog, post a comment with your question and I will answer as quick as possible.

Make proposals – if you wish a new feature or if you think that something in SCARM can be realized and/or explained better than existing, post a comment with your opinion and I will consider it for the future versions.

Comments which are not related to SCARM, to content of the given article, to content of a previous comments or to model trains and layouts in general will be treated as spam and will be deleted without appearing in the blog.

And remember, that if you want to get the maximum of SCARM, the most important is the practice with it. Try to create every plan or idea that you have in mind with SCARM and if you meet some difficulties, come back to the blog or documentation again ;)

See also
How to get started with SCARM
Frequently Asked Questions

30 thoughts on “SCARM Blog – Reader’s Manual

  1. Is it possible to build in an option for minimum height and wide of your track? With it Scarm could warn you if a helix or a tunnel does not have enough room for passing through. Special then when tracks are crossing in a helix at the bottom or the top.

  2. Hello Joop,

    Yes, this is a planned feature and it will appear in some of the next versions of the program. It needs a lot of coding in order to work properly without giving many positive false alarms.

  3. Is it possible to provide concentric circles based on a centre point?

  4. Can you move a section of track once you have laid it on the baseboard

  5. Hello David,

    Yes, you can move a section of one or more tracks. Just select it/them (you can select more than one track by holding the Shift key), right click over the selection and choose Move command from context menu.

  6. I cant seem to find out how to create a road or water on the layout I am designing. Can you help me Thanks

  7. I’m thinking of getting back into the hobby, and I’m toying with the idea of creating a loop inside a tunnel – similar to the spiral tunnels in the Canadian Rockies. Would this be easy to create on 1200mm x 900mm base? I would like 2 separate sets of tracks, each set controlled by their own controller.


  8. I forgot to mention that the spiral tunnels are figure 8 and not helix.

  9. Hello !
    I am a norwegian that would like to ask You if it is possible to have the whole program in norwegian, swedish or danish language ?
    It is a problem to me to understand the english language when I am trying to learn to use the SCARM in planning tracks.

    All the best thanks and regards from

  10. Hello again !

    Now I am really waiting for Your help to install the norwegian, swedish or danish version of the program !

    All the best from

    Terje Juelsrud in Norway

  11. Hello Terje,

    After installing of the program, use “View” > “Language” menu to switch to Norwegian or other language in the interface. About the documentation – it needs to be translated from somebody who is native speaking Norwegian and I will be able to update it in the website.

  12. Is it possible, using SCARM, to draw the dimensions of my layout (HO), and then to create the trackage inside the confines of my dimensions? I see how to draw the trackwork, but I have not seen how to place the trackwork into the actual dimensions that I will be using for my layout. Sorry if this is a silly question. I didn’t pay attention in school either. Thank you, in advance, for your help.

  13. How do I add a train to my layout and watch it run around the tracks

  14. This is upcoming feature which is still under development. Check regularly here in the blog, and you will see when Model Trains Simulator in SCARM is ready and published (hope soon).

  15. how do I know if my track is high enough above the baseboard track for a bridge?

    Can anybody look at my scarm layout to help a wrinkly?

  16. That depends on the scale. For HO, the minimum required clearance is about 3.5″. For N scale, 2″ should be enough. Note that SCARM displays heights as base of the track, so if you have roadbed or overhead (catenary), you need to take these into account too.

  17. I have just updated to v0.9.34. I then downloaded and ‘installed’ the 2 Model Trains Simulator modules. When I restart SCARM the Extensions menu item shows ‘Model Trains Simulator (outdated)’. How do I get round this?

  18. If we want to submit a drawing how do we do that?

  19. I have just started working with a Helix in my layout; Making a standard helix is right on the dot however, editing the middle layer of a helix is near impossible to match road beds; I can adjust the road to match the track but would be easier to adjust the middle of the track up or down.
    Finding the 3rd layer in a 5 layer helix is next to impossible.

    An edit in the 3d mode would be very helpful.

    I would appreciate any help in this subject.

    I have read the help file, watched videos and nothing shows how to edit the middle layer unless I have missed something.

  20. Hello John,

    Yes, editing of a helix in the middle of a loop/turn is not possible in 2D mode and there are no editing capabilities in the 3D viewer of SCARM. What I can recommend is using of the Layers for each loop/turn when creating of the helix, so each next loop to be placed on its own layer. By toggling on/off the layer visibility you will be able to visualize the required loop in the helix and then to edit it.

  21. I seem to be missing the non track portions of the library. In additon, all the options in the objects menu tab are greyed out. I’ve uninstalled and reinstalled scarm as well as rebooted the computer. What should i do next?

  22. Hello John,
    The Figures are available at the bottom of the libraries selection list (libraries menu). The Objects, as you call non-track items, are placed just above the Figures in the libraries selection list.
    The items in the “Objects” menu in the main menu bar will become active only after selection of one or more figures/objects, already placed on the drawing plot.

  23. Are there SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS how to USE this? I ain’t gonna BUY it unless I know how to USE it
    Rick Bevan

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