Welcome to The Blog

Hello dear friends and welcome to the SCARM Blog :)

Milen Peev Milen Peev

My name is Milen Peev and I am the author and developer of SCARM, which is abbreviation of Simple Computer Aided Railway Modeller. May be you already know what is SCARM and for what it is intended, but for those, who are hearing about it for the first time now – this a simple, easy and comprehensive software for design of scaled railway model layouts and show the result in 3D. It is helpful in planning, visualizing and building your real-life model train layout with all possible features, like landscape, buildings, signals and so on.

In the last 2 years, I have been continuously working on the program in my spare time, adding more and more features and functions and updating it almost each month. For that period, SCARM has become a powerful and rich in functions planning tool with a growing list of supported track systems and producers. And last, but not least – it is completely free for use and without any limitations. Just download SCARM, install it and start creating your dream railroad layout.

Because SCARM is constantly under active development, I have decided to create this blog in order to share with you all my knowledge about the program and workflow with it. Here I am going to publish all materials and information that are not listed in the Quick Guide, such as tips and tricks, tutorials and examples, advanced techniques, video demos, design ideas, layout plans proposals and more.

Here you will be able to comment on the content of the articles and to discuss all aspects, concerning SCARM, together with me. I receive dozens of e-mails each month, with comments, suggestions, ideas and requests for additional features and also many thanks from satisfied SCARM uses. These e-mails and your feedback here are very important and valuable for me, because knowing of the user’s experience is the only way to make SCARM better. I hope that you will like the materials in the blog and that information here will be useful for your SCARM projects. Because, the most important is the easiness of creating virtual SCARM railway plans and then have fun while building a real layout and running model trains on it  ;)

In the end of July 2017, SCARM passed a major milestone with the release of v. 1.0.0. Since then, the program can be used for free only for small and some medium-sized track plans and layouts. See more details about that change here: Everything About The Transition to SCARM 1.0 Milestone.

See also
SCARM Blog – Reader’s Manual
How to get started with SCARM

263 thoughts on “Welcome to The Blog

  1. Nice to see you are still developing SCARM

    I have been following the development since you first started, and never cease to be amazed at what you are achieving. SCARM really should be the first port of call for budding new layout designers, and I am sure the established Railway Modelling Magazines would love to know about your program. Maybe someone knows somebody at Hornby Magazine or any other Model Railway publications, and if they could just spread the word…

  2. SCARM is the best layout planning software ever. I tested some others and this one comes clearly on top.

    It is so intuitive and fun I was able to plan our layout with my 3-year old son and we both had fun. Then he could watch how a plan is being transformed into reality and help me paint the board and some pieces.

    Now we can easily experiment with ideas how to expand our layout.

  3. SCARM is one of the best freeware programs I have tried. Thank-you very much!

    I used Hornby HVR2 to plan my layout. An advantage of this program is that you can run trains on the 3D view, which gives you a clear idea of what the completed layout will look like. However a drawback of HVR2 is that there is no collision detection – you can place, say, a signalbox across the track and the train will happily drive through it!

    A useful feature in SCARM would be the ability to show the “swept envelope” – that is to say the area either side of the track which must be kept clear of fixed obstructions.

    Some track planning programs do have this feature, but you have to define a “swept envelope” for yourself. On prototype railways, the available width is called the “restriction”. On British Rail, these are known as “restriction C0″, restriction C1″, “restriction C2″

    I suggest what you do is add an option to the VIEW menu which says “Restriction 1″, “Restriction 2″, “Restriction 3″, and show these in different colours, say red, yellow, and green on the 2D view. These restrictions can be set in the toolbox as, say “Sidings”, “Standard Permanent Way”, “High Speed Line”.

    In this way, an obstruction, such as a signal box, cannot accidentally be placed too close to the line to allow a train to pass. You could also set up a collision detection. The most commonly used algorithm is given here:


    The following document gives the mathematical formula for calculating the overthrow of rolling stock on curves:

    The following web site shows carriages which run on “restriction 1″ lines:

    There is a detailed discussion of this topic at:

    Hope all this is useful. I do not claim to be an expert!

  4. Thank you, guys :)

    @Martin Radford: Yes, it will be nice if some railroad modelling related magazine writes a couple of words about SCARM, so more potential users to know about it and to use it freely in their projects.

    @Micha? Prys?opski: I also hope my sons (bigger is only 2-years old now) to enjoy SCARM after some time and also the real model trains, when they grows enough :)

    @Allen Knight: This is a good idea and I will see how to realize it in some of the next versions of SCARM.

  5. I stumbled across SCARM whilst trawling the net for free track layout programs/ideas. What a find!! I am the coordinator for a new HO layout being constructed in my local railway modelers club in Australia. This program is great Why??
    1. One problem that we have is members being able to translate flat CAD drawings to 3D diagrams in their heads to visualize what it actually looks like. SCARM fixes this problem.
    2. Small sections of track can be changed fairly easily & the effect seen immediately in 3D
    Keep up the good work on this one.

    One little point that I have found is (not a serious issue).
    In Australia we mostly model HO (87:1) & use PECO track/points OO (76:1).
    Using the Peco products in HO scale makes the real length wrong. Would it be possible to make the Peco products scale selectable between HO & OO scales. i.e. either 87:1 or 76:1.

  6. Thank you Kevin :)

    I will consider adding a feature in the next versions of SCARM for user-selectable track library scale to solve the problem when 1/76 is used as 1/87 and other like this ;)

  7. Pingback: SCARM – The Railway Modeller's Blog | Model Railroading Scenery

  8. I just downloaded SCARM last night to design a smaller Thomas layout for my grandsons. Very easy learning curve and I am putting the finishing touches on that one. My next project is to plan my long neglected traction/”traditional” layout.

    Would it be possible to add traction line polls for overhead single wire operation (much like was found on US interurban rail roads)?

    Thank you for your hard work in developing this much needed too.

  9. This is a great piece of software – thanks.
    A question though…there are many example layouts already created using AnyRail which can be downloaded from the web. Any chance these can be converted to SCARM layouts so they can be modified using your tool?

  10. Hi Milen,

    OK – understood! I have another question – is it / could it be possible to show the electrical current flow on teh layout, i.e. when using a track piece, colour one rail red and the other black? That way it could be easier to spot potential short circuits snf understand where to place isolating rails etc…
    I’m paranoid about the electrics so would appreciate this feature if it’s possible…!

  11. Thank you, Fabio :) I will probably register in the next days.

    If you consider some of the articles here interesting and useful, you can translate them and I will add an Italian version to the blog ;)

  12. Thanks Milen,
    in the forum which I have indicated, we are preparing a guide section has been translated into Italian, on SCARM.
    I would like to use the guidance already translated and some article of the blog, if you don’t mind.

  13. Milen, a blog by SCARM in Italian is a good idea … … …
    You’ll get your translations very soon.

  14. Hi Milen,
    I use a mixture of Hornby Series 4 and System 6 track. There is a converter piece needed though to join the two R476. I don’t see this piece in either of the libraries. is it possible to add this?
    Thanks again!

  15. OK, Andy, I will add the missing piece in the next update of SCARM :)

    EDIT: It seems that this track is from Tri-ang range which is not listed in SCARM at all. If you have some materials or catalogs with track dimensions and geometry of Tri-ang series, please send me scans or snapshots of these pages and I will create appropriate libraries for them.

  16. Congratulation for this fantastic tool.
    I am starting in this hobby. In order to plan my layout I starte using the software TrainPlayer when we can run trains and plan the circuits.
    Is it possible to do the same with SCARM?


  17. Hi, Milen. First of all I would like to tahnk you for your work.
    I’m coming back to Model Railways hobby, and find one useful tool as you created is a new vision for me. Congratulations.
    I’m trying to create my next layout, and creating also figures in order to share them, but my problem is how I can give an exact measure to objects. It seems that only with the mouse movement I take some decimals and I cannot create exactly I wont.
    May be possible to include into toolbox an item more to give to figures exact measures?
    Thank a Lot for your work and your answer.

  18. Hi Milen,
    I have some Lima track but couldn’t see the Lima track library in the tool. Is this available?

  19. Hi Andy,

    Lima is not available at this moment in SCARM, but I will search for online data about these tracks and their geometry. If you know some Lima related resources, let me know :)

  20. Hi Milen. I love this software! So much easier to use and understand than other types I’ve tried. One issue: I’m working with Kato unitrack n-scale, and for some reason, while I can easily select a left or right turn with single track, the double track will only lay right-handed turns! Is there a trick I’m missing? Thanks!

  21. Hi John,

    The doubled track sections are handled different in SCARM and for the moment it is not possible to select direction for them. After placement, you will need to detach the doubled curved track and to connect it again in the right direction. Or just try to drag-and-drop the curved sections and attach them to the existing route in the desired direction. Also it is not possible for now to direct set the slope for more than one doubled section at a time. These issues will be corrected in some of the next versions of the program.

  22. Thanks so much for this helpful tool! As a developer I realize how much work this takes. One thing I wish to ask about is is there a way to have an inventory of track pieces where I can follow how much is used as I build the layout. You may have seen this feature in Raily (which also has a cost/unit feature if you wish to budget the extra parts needed).

  23. Having problems getting tracks to hook up to say switches and completing a loop. What would I be doing wrong?

  24. how do i get all the track to the same height (not zero)?

  25. Hello Levi,

    Select all tracks, then select some height and adjust it to the desired value and finally press Enter – all heights in the selection will be set equal to selected height.

  26. What a great program you have here! Your software and your website are great! Thank you!

    I wanted to make a quick suggestion for future versions of SCARM: I would like to see an option to hide/show (toggle) the red/grey start point arrows. Sometimes they just get in the way and it would be great to turn them on and off as needed.

    Thanks and keep up the great work.


  27. Thank you, Evan :)

    Start/end point arrows are essential and must be always visible. However, I will consider your idea and will probably add some setting or shortcut for temporarily hiding them in some of the next versions of SCARM :)

  28. If I may suggest, perhaps you can make it so that when you press and hold the “A” key on the keyboard, the arrows will hide. But when you release the “A” key, the arrows come back. That way, they will always show unless you hold down the “A” key.

    Anyway, thanks again for this great program.

  29. Do you have any idea when the next release of SCARM will be out? Just curious.



  30. Hi Milen,
    I really love your software and I think it would be just fair to send you a small amount of money for all the work you have been doing.
    But how?
    Al the best

  31. Hi Milen,
    Paypal is no problem for me. I’ll try to send you the money immediately.
    Best wishes

  32. I have a question?When I Access my objects menu I cannot access any of the subtopics in the menu to create railsignals.I downloaded the free version but I was wondering if the free version of SCARM is not a full version or is their another way to complete this task?

  33. Hi David,
    There is only one full free version of SCARM :)
    If you want to place railway signals, search and select the corresponding signal library, located in Library selection menu > Objects submenu (last but one item in libraries list). Objects menu in the main menu bar is intended to manipulate selected figures and objects, already placed on the drawing plot.

  34. Milen,
    Thanks for the great program. I have spent some time with the sample files taking many of the figures apart to see how they are put together, and have learned so much. One question though, in the US_urban_N layout how do you get the three segments of the road to go up, over, and down at the crossings? That one figure appears with red lines around the 3 segments, two of which are tapered, but no small boxes at the corners to resize it. And Properties shows one Height for the entire segment. I am puzzled.


  35. Hello Dave,
    This is actually Half-mansard roof with changed color :) I am using it as a level crossing in the layout :) When the “True roads” feature is ready, there will be dedicated part for this, but until that, Half-mansard is a good replacement.

  36. Thanks, Milen. That explains it. I appreciate all your work on this project.


  37. Hi Milen
    This is great piece of software…well done.
    I have been looking to use it for LEGO train layouts and was wondering if you provide details of creating .lib files or the format of the entries. I’ve had a look and worked a lot of it out but some is still a mystery. LEGO does not have a lot of track so makes it fairly easy. I’ve started on the 3 standard pieces.


  38. Thank you! Thank you! You are awesome! I am thanking you for adding in the “C” key function for making the arrows transparent. This was a great help to me. Thanks again.


  39. Hi Milen,
    best regards from Germany here!
    SCARM enjoying increased popularity. Especially in Stummi forum: http://www.stummiforum.de/viewforum.php?f=24
    Your beginner-friendly program and concept works and helps many to try to plan the software.
    A few questions:
    is it time to give a function to track moved to block temporarily against unwanted changes?
    It will soon use textures (objects, backgrounds 2D/3D)
    there is a configuration file for adjustments (color of the terrain, etc)
    Here in Germany the Märklin C-track is very popular. In 2D view, but not the full width of the track bed (40mm) will be displayed.
    What can you do?

    And: Thank you very much for SCARM!

    Greetings and congratulations from Stuttgart

  40. Hello Rainer :)
    I am glad to see that SCARM is getting more and more popular in Germany :)
    About your suggestions:
    - Tracks and objects locking feature will appear in some of the next versions – this is in my list
    - Same for the texturing in 3D
    - I am working over some new items and options in the Settings window – Terrain coloring will appear in the near future. But first I will introduce user-defined terrain shaping feature, hope soon
    - I will put in my list the option for displaying of the roadbed in 2D mode ;)

  41. Is there any way to print the layout “1:1″, or export as DXF, or one of the CAD formats ?

  42. Thanks Milen,
    I’ll try it. We’re trying to move the layout into Sketchup, use that to develop terrain, and then slice it for our laser cutter, to make the model,

  43. Dear Milen: I do not find MTH (Mike’s Train House) track systems in the SCARM track library. There are two of them. I am surprised at the absence of MTH’s RealTrax and ScaleTrax because MTH is a major model railroad train manufacturer in the U.S. and has recently entered the European market with European trains. RealTrax and ScaleTrax are popular track systems in competition with Lionel and Atlas and I do find the latter two manufacturers in the track library. Do you anticipate adding the two MTH O-gauge track systems in the near future? Thanks. Ken

  44. Hello Ken,

    Unfortunately, I don’t know the dimensions and geometry of MTH tracks. I was writing to them, asking for track dimension data, but there is still no answer. If you have some MTH catalog or know another resource, where these tracks are described in details, let me know and I will check it for required data (turnouts are most important) in order to build MTH libraries for SCARM.

  45. Great program. Ver 19 has some great improvements.
    We are using it to design our new club HO layout with great success.
    One good extra would be the ability to rotate points (switches/turnouts) through some angles. When placing track, moving the points through a few degrees can make the difference between the tracks aligning and not.

  46. Dear Milan

    Great program must have been a lot of work. Thnx.

    Helps me to start-up my model railroad again after 40 years or so.

    Works fine under Windows 8. I have one minor problem/ question. I created a big Roco H0 RocoLine track-layout and now try to find out how to get the partslist to help me buying the needed parts involved. When opening the command “partslist” under the tool menu, notebook opens with some kind of syntax error “Name of file, map or volume is incorrect”. I tried to find an answer on the (very fine) site.

    Any idea what I am doing wrong? Or is it an incompatibility with Windows 8 though strangely all other functions, I tried, work fine

    Cheers, Peter (NL)

  47. Hello Peter,

    Glad to see that SCARM is working in Win8 and helps you with your layout. However, I have no idea why this error appears. May be it is some kind of Volume Shadow Copy service mismatch – see more about this here: http://thenubbyadmin.com/2011/01/03/solving-the-issue-the-filename-directory-name-or-volume-label-syntax-is-incorrect-0x8007007b/. But can be something else that prevents SCARM to show the parts list. If you are unable to cope with the problem, try to install SCARM on some other computer, open the layout there and open the parts list there.

  48. Hi Milen,

    Let me start by saying your program is excellent and very easy to use. I’m a programmer myself so I can really appreciate the amount of time you have put in. I have run into one issue though. It’s not with the program but rather the specifications of some atlas HO parts. the 850/851/860/861 (remote and manual turnouts) seem to have a turnout angle of 15 degrees and not 20 degrees as list in app. I’ve been trying to find something from Atlas to confirm this but the way their pdf read it should be 20 degrees. So your app is accurate to everything I’ve seen published by Atlas but unfortunately it doesn’t match the physical track. My issue is when I go to make the design into actual track it’s not going to work out for me. My question to you is if I can get you the proof that the turnout angle should be 15 degree how difficult is it to update the part in the library and will that cause the layout to automatically render differently to the new part or will the incorrect parts need to be removed and replaced?


    Mark Grecco

  49. Hello Mark,

    These Atlas turnouts are with 20 degree branches for sure (99,9%). They have additional small 10 degree curve to make the branch 30 degree. If you want to change the library file, open it with Notepad and look for rows, starting with TStraightArrowRail. The parameters follows the statement name. First is the part name, second is part number, and one of them should be 20 for the degree of the branch. Change it and restart SCARM to see what will happen. This will affect only the newly inserted tracks. Existing, saved in project files will not be changed. However, you can change them by simple search and replace in project file in Notepad. Let me know if you find a proof or suspect other dimensions problem.

  50. Hi Milen,

    Thank you for the fast response. Once I figured out what each parameter did from the lib file and how it worked I made all the measurements on the actual track and it turns out that the 850 is almost the same as the #4 left turnout except the degree of turn is 15 instead of 12.5 and the turn radius is 18 inch instead of 24 inch. The straight section preceeding the curve is the same on both (25.4mm) and the straight section after the curve is the same on both (47mm). Here are the specs I am now using in my lib file – TStraightArrowRail|RS L|850|2|203.2|457.2|15|25.4|47|1
    After setting these specs I used the measuring tape in the app and every distance I checked matched exactly to the real track. I’m going to change the specs for the 850/851/860/861 on my end to these new values. Do I have to worry about any future updates reversing my changes or are the lib files left alone during updates? I wonder if atlas changed this turnout at some point but didn’t update their documentation. Seems strange though to continue to package the 1/3 18″r piece with it. It needs a 1/2 18″r instead. At least I know now that my layout in the app will translate properly with real track. Thanks again for you help.

    Best Regards

    Mark Grecco

  51. Hi Mark,

    Just reposting from FB, so others also to be able to follow the discussion:

    You should keep a copy of the library file on other location, because it is possible your changes to be rewritten with a newer installation of SCARM. Or make the file read-only.
    I checked these turnouts in other modelling software and they are also with 20 degree turnouts. Will try to check them also in Atlas own discontinued software.
    If you have one of these turnouts, please attach to it 3 straight pieces, make a photo from top and send me the picture to SCARM email to see it. 5 degree is a really huge error…

  52. Thanks for making a great product. Like everyone else I have some ideas, or maybe they exist already.

    Toggle elements. I read a blog about making the table. So I designed the table before I built it. It would be nice if I could toggle that so I don’t have that extra data. Basically, below 0 toggle.

    Elements parameters. I see we can choose height, and elevation, but could you add length and width? Building items is hard with dragging the mouse, when you know the exact value you want.

    Is it possible to design the hills? I am working on my layout which has a tunnel. The area that is rendered in 3D is different than what I was hoping for.

    Still an awesome product, just working on my learning curve.

  53. Hello Kent,

    Please, explain more detailed what you mean by “toggle”?

    Definition of figures by parameters is a planned feature and will appear in some of the next versions of SCARM. The same is valid for terrain and hills feature – I am working over it :)

  54. What I would envision in the future is several new buttons.

    Frame – Toggle the view on or off. On you see the frame structure (if used), and off you don’t. It doesn’t leave the black lines, when turned off.

    Hills – Toggle the view of the hills in layout mode.

    Buildings – Toggle the view of buildings. Sometimes it might be nice to make them disappear so you can tweak a section on the track.

    Hand Tool. When active, you can drag the active section on the screen. You would not have to use the arrow keys if you wanted to move the active area.

    Just some thoughts. Great product, and would like to see it continue to improve. I know ideas are easy, but making them happen is much harder.


  55. I guess I opened a can of worms, I was talking to a friend about the program, and the ides I had submitted. More ideas came up. Sorry, but it was his idea. ;)

    On the Figures – being able to make cylinders. Grain Silo’s, water towers, etc.

    Thanks for allowing us a way to discuss ideas.

  56. OK, Kent :)

    Switching between different views (‘on’ and ‘off’) is a good idea. Circles/cylinders will appear in some of the next versions of SCARM. You can drag the drawing plod (Hand tool) by press of the middle mouse button (scrolling wheel).

  57. I’m returning to Model Railways after a long break , and have been using SCARM for a few weeks now, and it is awesome. Once I got my head round it, it became so easy. Much better than the way I used to plan with masses of paper, and all kinds of cardboard templates. You are to be congratulated on such a wonderful piece of software.


  58. Great program! One little wish: it would be great if it was possible to save the amount of owned parts. Now we have to have an Excel sheet as well.

  59. One question-the program has a user defined minimum radius for flextrack but
    it will not let you bend smaller than the “default minimum”. I do micro layouts and HOe and Oe will bend a lot tighter than the default. (I have a 4-1/4″ radius circle of hand laid Oe and a Bachmann Porter will run around it all day pulling little 4 wheel cars.)
    See Carl Arendt’s Micro Layouts site for my work-carendtarendt.com. Also Voie-Libre is a good source for micro ideas. Pretty good program but currently useless for us little layout people. – Russ

  60. Hello Russ,

    I will consider user minimal radius per scale track in each lib for the next versions of SCARM. What min radii do you need in Oe scale? Do you need smaller than 4-1/4″?

  61. HI! I think 4″ for N or HOe (Tomix Finetrack is 103mm or 4″) and 6″ for HO / Oe would work. When Carl Arendt started his website 4 square feet became the benchmark for a microlayout; here in the US, Jim Foster in Dayton and me
    here in the Cleveland area started doing little layouts around 1992-3; Jim Eakin who does Short and Narrow Rails magazine (now and then!) defined a minilayout based on our work as a standard, as 8 square feet or less, continuous running and track powered and gives out an award at the National Narrow Gauge Convention each year (Foster and I both have one). Thanks! – Russ

  62. I bring my trains 0-27 and fast track out at Christmas and wing it. I have been looking for layout books or programs for a couple of years and came across yours just yesterday. Wow I am impressed. This year my lay out is about 212 inches long by 72 deep. I am running 3 locomotives and a trolley line. Using your program I was able to document what I put down and am now using the program to create modifications to the layout.

  63. I started to create a library of H0 2.5 mm Roco. Straight Rails and Curved Rails is no problem. How to measure and define Arrow Rails?
    The program is very cool please help me.

  64. @Les: That sounds nice, Les :) If you wish, you can send me your track plan project in SCARM and I will publish it into Layouts and Track Plans section of the SCARM website. I have been designed a coupule of O-gauge Xmas layouts too – take a look on them here: http://www.scarm.info/layouts/track_plans.php?theme=C&scale=O

    @Qarp: I am also in process of building Roco 2,5mm library for the next update of SCARM, which is planned to be released in January. If you don’t want to wait, take a look on the sample SCARM library with statements descriptions here: http://www.scarm.info/temp/BTTB-TT.lib

  65. Just started using SCARM for the first time, being a CAD/GIS user myself I was hoping to find the import picture feature, does it exist?
    What I am trying to do is take a Google Earth pic *OR* a blueprint scan and import it to SCARM setting the scale to NZ120 (TT) and zooming the Picture(background) in and out till it matches the N-trak scale so I can reproduce an actual yard.

    Otherwise, loving the software and been sharing it with other members on NZ120.org
    Keep up the outstanding work.

  66. LOL, seems I jumped the gun and also downloaded the wrong version, upto date now AND able to setup a background template, ty ty ty

  67. Hello Milen –
    This is such a great program and so easy to use; I can sit for hours just playing about and adding to my layout. If I wanted to put my layout example on your site with the others, how do I go about uploading it?
    Thanks, Tom.

  68. Hi Milen,
    Thank you very much for your SCARM program. Although I’m fairly new at the process, I’ve been able to work through some of my initial design problems by referring to your documentation and through trail-and-error. One question that I haven’t figured out yet … is there an easy way to draw in my road system so that it is integrated with the track layout and my various buildings? Thank you. Ray

  69. Hello Ray,

    You can use the Figures to draw roads of any kind, but only flat, without slopes and ramps. I am working to solve this limitation from several months and to handle roads in easy way in SCARM. However, roads are much more complex than rail tracks, with many possibilities and exceptions, so the task is difficult, but I am almost ready and true roads should appear in SCARM soon.

  70. HOw can I chenge the grid from 5 square inches to 12 inches?

  71. Hi,

    Thank you for your great program! I have some questions / requests though:
    - Sometimes it is very hard to get to the right position / angle in the 3D view if I wanna take a snapshot of a specific part of the track. Perhaps you could let users add ‘viewpoints’ in the 2D view (with angle, height) that can be used in the 3D view to get the exact right view you want?
    - I would like to be able to add posts for overhead wires. I know that modelling trains do not use overhead wires for power but I like to put them in for a realistic view. Is there any way I can do this without using the ‘lamp’ object?

    Best regards,


  72. I model in NZ120 scale, which is we use 9mm (N track) but have TT120 scaled shell’s on N160 scale chassis to simulate the narrow gauge of New Zealand Railways.

    The measurements for parallel lines differs according to main or branch line.
    So the 3 points/questions I have are:

    1. When posting our layouts I guess the N scale is referred to with a comment on track used and Train-length / radius adjustments for curves (narrow gauge rail TT)
    1a. Related to the above, could you include a radius / protractor tool in the next release of SCARM.
    2. Any chance we can have an auto ghost (duel placement) tool to lay parallel tracks at the same time which keep a set distance between the tracks with an added window/box where we can set the distance between inner track and outer track on a turn.
    3. To speed things up when using flex track (as we’ll be cutting the lengths anyhow)
    Is there a way to just *place* a switch/turnout over the top and have it automatically replace a section of flex track?
    3a. Allow a (start point / switch point) where we want to install a turn out between tracks and have it offer short / medium / long turnout (I use Micro Engineering track at times which allows you to build your own style of turnout), according to scale (Have SCARM look in Lib. for a close fit option)

    Any further info / questions on dimensions etc can be found at http://www.NZ120.org
    Thanks again for such an awesome tool!

  73. Hello guys,

    @Airdack: Adding ‘viewpoints’ in 2D will not help much as it will need a dedicated interface for them. Probably, I will add some feature for fine movement of the camera in 3D in order to obtain the correct viewing position. About overhead/catenary – this is a planned feature for SCARM, but I am unable to tell you when it will be ready.

    @Valnor: I will check the site and then will consider which of your suggestions will be possible to be implemented.

    1a) Please, explain in details what should the protractor feature like, as you see it.
    2) This will come with some of the next updates.
    3) I am not sure for this as automatic feature, but will try to make some guide how to be done manually in a easy way.

  74. I am amazed at just how fast you respond to all our emails, thank you!
    OK Now for the protractor.
    1st use would be on a background picture / template to figure out radius’s and angles for straight sections before and after a bend, to see whats the best fit and also to see if it’s to tight a radius to model.

    2nd Use is not possible right now (MicroEngineering track, allowing for a turnout over a custom bend). <<This will help with those wanting to prototype their home grown tracks of whatever country they are from.

    3rd use is for those using the *Free Mo'* standards of module building need a straight edge for connecting modules to one another and need to work out the angles for documentation of baseboards compared to tracks.

    Again thanks for everything, hopefully this explains better how I'd use it.
    In short click on 3 points to create a start, fulcrum and end point thereby creating 2 lines with an angle, or click on 2 pieces of track and figure out the angle between the 2 (straight sections).

  75. Well, you can obtain most of this information even now in the current release of SCARM.

    You can use the Measuring Tape to search for dimensions and radii onto Background image.

    You can also use any flex track as a dummy measuring tool – just place one straight section at a desired angle and then bend the remaining section. Look at the Status bar for angle and radius of the bend and also for the angle of the remaining straight part.

    You can add a new start point at desired angle or align it according to some straight on the Background image – just hold down left mouse button while placing the start point and move the mouse.

    When you click over any start point, you can see the coordinates and direction angle in the Status bar.

  76. Hi Milen,
    Have just come across your software, it is looking really good to me here in Canada. I have a six stall round house and the Walthers Cornerstone 130′ N scale turntable, my round house tracks are spaced at 7.5 deg. Is there anyway to change the library file from 10 to 7.5 deg. spacing.

  77. Hi,

    Thank you for your quick reply :) I have some additional questions: Is it possible to make tracks in a different scale then the ones provided by the standard libraries? For example, if I want to make a 1:100 railway track?

    In addition, is it possible to create my own 3D shape and add it to the program? For example, a building from a specific station? My friend is quite handy with 3D programs so he could make some models for me.

    Thanks again for your time!

  78. @Alan: I will try to provide a way for customizing such turntables like Walthers for the next version of SCARM.

    @Airdack: The scale cannot be changed yet without editing of the library file. This is used only for calculating the lengths as they are in the real world (1:1) and for rescaling of the object libraries. The track dimensions in the plan are always the same. About the 3D objects – you can make some basic and rough objects using the figures. At the moment, SCARM is not able to import 3D files and objects designed in other software packages such as Sketch-Up or 3D Studio.

  79. Milen
    Thanks for the rapid response, I will practice using your program on my new layout, knowing that you are aware of my request.

  80. Hello people,
    Anybody here knows how to make mountains and change their highs?

  81. Hi. Thanks for the great job with Scarm I think is one of the best.
    I do have subjection if it is possible. What about an option to show a center line when viewing in 2D

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  82. Lib’s. question:
    You have listed….
    - Peco N Streamline & Set-track C80 With 3D accessories
    - Peco N Finescale C55
    I chk’d and I have the latest install version of SCARM but only 1 Nscale Peco lib.
    The Peco website shows a variety of pieces for Peco N 55 which aren’t showing in the library, I see suggestions of switching to other N scale lib’s *however* this raises the question don’t they have different heights of roadbed/ties and spacing or does SCARM not recognize that yet?
    I might have missed the blog entry relating to the above questions.

  83. Hello EMU2GANZ,

    Check the library list in SCARM again – there are two Peco libraries in N scale listed as “Peco-N-80″ and “Peco-N-55″, where the first library holds two systems in it – Set track and Stream line.

    Let me know which parts are missing from Peco-N-55 library and I will check them.

    SCARM does not take into account the height of the tracks or different types of ties and/or joiners and you can design your layout with any systems mixed together. If you make such mix, you will need to use the appropriate transition tracks or joiners or underlaying cork/foam to fit all these on the real layout.

  84. I don’t do well with video at all. Is there ANYWHERE that there are downloadable documents that can be read/printed on the basics of the program?

    THe “help” command only loads my HTML editor and will not give me any useful information.



  85. When are you planing to releace the next update?
    Thanks for all your work

  86. Wow Milen,
    Less than six weeks ago I asked about the spacing of service tracks on cornerstone turntable to witch you replied you would try for the next release.
    I did not expect to see it for at least six months, thank you for the service. Other software developers could learn a lot from you. Also Kudos for the roads library, I am looking forward to the tutorials.

  87. Hello Milen,

    can you update the length of the G6 track in the Tillig-TT-Adv -> Advanced track system [TT] library?
    L: 21,3 mm is the real length of the G6 track!

    Best regards,

  88. Love SCARM- it’s easily one of the best bits of free software out there! Keep up the good work, Milen :)

    Also well done on implementing background image, that’s really useful. One thing I would love to see for future versions is to be able to import vector graphics (say, created on Inkscape) to represent the plan view of structures, surroundings etc. Thanks again Milen!

  89. Thank you all :)

    @Makrolon: G6 track will be corrected in the next update of SCARM, thank you for the note.

    @Nigel: The import of other picture formats is possible in the future, but cannot promise anything – there are a lot of other things to be implemented, so we will see.

  90. I have downloaded version 0.9.24 (and I am using a different computer now that has more memory, last year I was using an older computer that told me it had 223 MB of RAM).

    I was going through your track libraries looking for some N gauge 90 degree crossings, and I found some.

    I also looked on ebay and stumbled onto


    That prompted me to look in your libraries for Model Power, but I did not find it.

    I then looked for Model Power Austria using Google, again no luck, except that there was some discussion in the US which seemed to suggest Model Power was related to Roco (sounds plausible if both are Austrian), but that was sometime in the past, but perhaps no more.

    Sorry, this is just a mystery, but maybe one day you (or I) will come across some specifications or dimensions for other Model Power N gauge tracks. I do not think any current Roco track corresponds to the Model Power 90 degree crossing.

  91. Hello Milen,

    first of all, your Program SCARM is magnificent. Great job!

    However, I use only the Tillig TT advanced track system for my model railway. At home I’ve the latest Tillig TT catalogue from 2013/2014. This is why I’ve checked and updated your Tillig-TT libraries (bedding- & advanced track system). You can download the updated libraries here: http://www.workupload.com/file/dz69FYRo

    At last, I’ve a improvement suggestion. I think a track-length-calculator would be a great work tool in your program. With this tool you could calculate the number and types of straight tracks for the optimum track configuration to close an straight track gap. For your understanding, have a look at the freeware “Gleisrechner®” (is in german language)! This is such a tool what i mean.

    Best regards,

  92. @Donald: Yes, there are 90deg crossings in SCARM in Atlas, Kato and Tomix libs. I don’t know about Model Power tracks, but if you found some more info about them, post i here.

    @Makrolon: Thank you for the updated libs. I will look on the length calculator tool and will consider adding such in SCARM.

  93. Milen,

    I found the Model Power catalogue, it looks as if they are still in business.


    Their N gauge track system is on Page 129, not a wide range, and they do not provide full specifications in the catalogue descriptions for everything. There might be more information on their website parts ordering pages.

    I think they might sell other gauges of track as well, not sure.


  94. Thank you, Donald.

    Unfortunately, there are no full dimensions and geometry data and I am unable to build a library, but the tracks are looking exactly as Atlas N code 80 tracks, so may be they are the same. If your 90 degree crossing is 4,4″ long, you can use the one from Atlas-N-80 library in SCARM.

  95. Hi Milen
    Firstly, I must thank you for the great software.
    I’ve only been using it a month or two and it’s so easy giving some really nice results.
    I’ve just downloaded the latest version and begun to add roads.
    Do you plan on expanding this section? Maybe to include pavement areas and car parking?
    Is it also possible to rotate IS Adapters so you can work from an intersection out?

    Thanks again for the hard work.


  96. Hello Paul,

    Yes, roads can be expanded in the future. For now, you can use the figures if you want to make some different flat structures like parking areas.

    IS adapter cannot be rotated from the button, but you can place it and then move it to attach where you want. Or you can just drag-and-drop it from the button to the proper place on the plan.

  97. Hi Milen,

    I have tried a lot of programmes and this is the one I ended up with (and not just because it’s free). Thanks a lot for making this available.

    There are though two features, that I miss (or did not find):
    1) printing in an exact scale (not just 1:1 but e.g. 1:10 in order to build a model of the model)
    2) layers. When the track plan becomes a bit complicated, it would be a great help to be able to hide/unhide sections.

    best regards

  98. Hello Wolfgang,

    I am glad that you like SCARM :)

    The layers are planned and will appear in some of the next versions of SCARM.

    About printing in other than 1:1 exact scales – I was not thought about that. When and where do you need such printouts?

  99. Hi Milen,

    There are two occasions where I had found the necessity to print in 1:10.
    I did the track layout with a layout program and then the landscape with pencil and eraser – on that printout

    The other – much more important – occasion is, that I first build a carton model of the whole layout to check the 3D aspects and the basic engineering. I have worked in the automotive industry previously and have had first hand experience of what can happen, when you go from CAD to wood and steel and concrete (not that I use concrete on my model train). So I always make a kind of architectural model first before I start with 1:1.

    best regards

  100. Hello Milen!

    First of all – thank you for this phantastic program!!

    I am digging a bit into the depths of the program and I would like to ask you if my solution for the problem is correct!?

    Question from Russ Haigh (Milen, can you get me in touch with him?) from the 23 Nov 2013 at 18:49 in this blog -about changing the radius of Flexrails, I had the same problem……

    My suggested solution:

    #1 Read through the sample lib Milen provides here:
    > http://www.scarm.info/temp/BTTB-TT.lib

    #2 Take a Rail-Library (one with Flexrails!) out of the SCARM folder ‘Lib’ and copy it somewhere else.

    #3 Rename it inside the file under ‘LibName=xxxxxxxxx’, it will then show up under this name in the list of rails-systems on the left in the program

    #4 Change the last value in
    # Flex Rails
    in this case the ’185′ to the radius you need (in mm\Millimeters!) – I used ’115′

    #5 Copy the new lib in the SCARM\Lib folder and start the program (you always have to restart the program when you have made some changes)

    #6 Start testing……. – it worked for me!

    In fact, you can modify any value in a lib, but be careful with the naming and remember to re-start SCARM. It is working that nicely that I am thinking of adding a new library to the system which suits my needs!

    Please allow me to express a wish for one of the next versions:

    Base Boards
    - might it be possible to implement ’round baseboards’? Many of us, who are building very small layouts, build ‘Pizza-Layouts’, so it would be nice to have round baseboards.

    Thank you very much for this program!

    Greetings from Vienna,


  101. Milen,

    yes, I am aware of the link to the ‘Rounded Corners’ – but that is all what it is -’Rounded’.

    I am asking for a true Circle!

    I am just a ‘user’, but a solution might be an Excel sheet (maybe someone who is reading this could help?!):

    The base board code is clear, points on the drawing surface are defined by coordinates, such as:


    What would be needed, is a data sheet, which provides the coordinates of a circle with a changeable radius. The points of this sheet then need to be exported as coordinates for the base board BB|[xxx;xxxx][xxxx;xxxx]……

    An Excel sheet for a ‘Standard Circle’ R=1 can be found here (> http://www.mikrocontroller.net/attachment/96490/Kreis.xls <), but my knowledge is not good enough to transfer that to a changeable radius and an use-able export into the needed form [xxx;xxx]…..

    If someone could write such an Excel sheet with export function, we could then have more or less any base board we like, combining parts of circles with lines!

    And one more question, do you – or anyone else – have the rail geometries of the old, discontinued Egger-Bahn rails? (First generation rails with straight sleepers)

    Best, Eduard

  102. Hi Milen

    Some more advice, please.

    Could you tell me if, when drawing a line or shape for a figure, there is a way to snap the end or corner point to a particular co-ordinate or grid point so that an exact specific size can be achieved? Unfortunately my eyes and hands aren’t up to the task using only the mouse.

    Also I am intrigued by Jonathan’s comment in the blog Baseboard with a hole which says “you can draw the baseboards for a 2 level layout by outlining the first baseboard then having the line continue down and outline the second level below that”.

    Do you know how he does this because I can’t get it to work?


  103. Milen,

    I wanted to suggest adding new libraries for slot car tracks into scarm. Specifically, I was hoping you could add Carrera 1/43 and 1/24 track libraries into scarm. Then I can put my train and slot tracks into the same layouts.

    Thanks again for this amazing program.


  104. Hi. I am new to the blog. Have started using SCARM some time ago to design a new layout which I intend to work on next year after retirement. I find it very useful and was amazed at the functionality, the 3D imaging, etc. Your tutorials were also very useful. Would it be possible to upload what I have done so far for comment by the experts, as I have almost completed what I have in mind and would appreciate advices.
    Many thanks.

  105. Hello Chris,

    If you want to upload your track plan for comments, you can do it in some of the model railroad forums in the web – search in Google for “model railroad forum”, choose one of the results, register there and make a thread for your layout.

  106. This is the best free program I ever used. I would pay for it it’s so good. I have problems with CAD programs but this one is easy. All you need to do is read then use your brain. The more I read the more I learn plus some try it and undo helps the learning.

    There is one thing I can not figure out. I opened a few libraries and I can not remove them from the side. I would like to go back to G scale and figures. Do you have any suggestions?

    Than you for the program
    Rick Martin

  107. Hello Rick,

    If you mean the Favorite library buttons, you can turn off them from “Tools” > “Settings” > “Tracks Panel” > “Favorite libraries” – set Slots to 0 (zero). If you want the buttons to stay permanent, select the needed libraries and when the buttons are these that you want, switch “Order” to Fixed in the same settings tab.

  108. Thanks that worked. That one I coul not find. Sorry about the double posting it said the first one did not take.

    Thanks again

  109. Can I obtain source code for Scarm in order to build it on another platform?

  110. Is there a way to change the size of the grid-work? i Have the grid-lines up and I can not find how to change them from the default 5 inch spacing.

  111. Your system is just great. I have gone through about 10 designs for my future model railway. It is so easy to change and try new ideas. Well done and a big thank you.
    PS. do you have a video of your own layout?

  112. I tried various other product demos over the last several days and SCARM is by far the best in terms of usability and 3D graphics. Love it. My wife wants me to model our house in it so she can pick furniture. ;)

    I see that you posted a sample .lib file that gives some idea of format. Can you please also post a sample .scarm file that describes that format?

    In order to get more objects/structures like buildings in the scale I’m looking for, I’m thinking about writing a quick converter. Do you think its best to convert a scarm file from one scale to another or convert a scarm file of a particular scale to a .lib file that is scale independent? Or is their a reason to do both or neither?

    Here are some other ideas:
    - In addition to the basic colors, allow selection of textures, gradiants/shading, maybe even custom images. Ex. “Paint” the walls of a building with an image of bricks. Also the ability to select the degree of transparency of the color as opposed to just 100% transparent.
    - Allow the user to draw a line freehand. Like from the end of one piece of track to the end of a different one. Then have SCARM select the track pieces that would “best fit” that line. (This is a tough one but I think would save a lot of design time.)

  113. Thank you, guys :)

    @Barry: No, I still haven’t real layout and video from it, but like you, I am playing in SCARM with some rough ideas for my future layout.

    @Tim: Your ideas are good and I will probably apply them in some of the next versions of SCARM. There are no published format descriptions for the .scarm files, because I am changing the file format between the versions and there are still some bugs that needs to be fixed, but if you are interested in the details of the objects, I can help you. Write to me about that to .

  114. I’m trying to copy and paste in vert 0.9.27 and it is not working for me.
    I’m using windows 7
    Can you help.


  115. To begin I would like to thank you for providing this fantastic program for free to us model railroaders. You are truely adding solid value to keeping this hobby alive.
    Thank you so very much. Should you ever find yourself in Thailand, dinner and beer are on me.
    Thank you again.

  116. Milen, is there any way to analyze the positions of flex track and things like radius, center and length after they have been drawn in Scarm? The reason I ask is that I would like to use the design to transfer it to benchwork.

  117. Hello Alan,

    You can read the parameters, like radius and angle (or length) on the track itself in 2D mode. The track labels and dimensions on flex tracks should be turned on from the settings. There is no way for displaying centers of each curve, but if you want to obtain correct placement, consider printing of the whole plan in 1:1 – see more about that here: http://www.scarm.info/blog/advanced-techniques/print-whole-layout-in-1to1-scale/

  118. Milen muchas gracias por su dedicacion y tiempo para que muchos podamos disfrutar de eset maravilloso programa.
    Ideas de mejoras tengo , pero lleyendo su blog me doy cuenta que usted esta trabajando mucho en ello,
    Desde Buenos Aires , Argentina

  119. Great program and it has a reasonably short learning time. I would like to see an option to inch a selected section of track to the N/S/E/W by holding down a key or key combination and using the arrow keys. Presently the arrow keys only move the entire design screen in the four directions. This would a big help in aligning new track section to an existing section.


  120. First, what a fantastic piece of software. I discovered it a few weeks ago, and I’ve been having great fun with it ever since. I have a few little suggestions:

    On the “Layers” tab; it would be great if one could associate a default color to each layer. I often find that as I am moving from layer to layer, I forget to switch colors.

    For Figures, it would be nice if on the “properties” box, if there was some way the coordinates of the vertices could be edited directly…

    Thanks again for a terrific program.

  121. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions – I am making a note for each in my To-do list and most of the wishes may be added in some of the next versions of SCARM :)

    @Fred: you can use the Parallel Start Point feature in Edit menu for precise aligning of the tracks parallel to each one.

  122. Milen has a great piece of software here and readers have produced some great designs for buildings to put into SCARM also. However, if you are a modeller who also wants to design and build models outside SCARM, you may be interested in a comment that I have just put on http://www.scarm.info/blog/tutorials-and-examples/living-and-engine-houses-in-ho/

    It introduces a piece of software where you can take the vague idea of a model in your head and easily make a detailed design on screen. The model buildings produced can be created offline and are designed to be used alongside SCARM, they cannot (yet) be loaded into SCARM.

    The software is not limited to any particular scale. The idea is that modellers create their design on screen using this software, so creating a detailed plan to use when building the physical model. Of course, it is possible just to keep the design on screen; modellers could plan to build the physical version at a later date – or not at all, just enjoying the design process on screen.

    The above blog comment gives you links to the free design pieces that are available to get you started and you can get lots of ideas for structures on http://www.londonwebsoftware.com/3dddmorepix.html.
    All comments welcome to sales@londonwebsoftware.com.


  123. Thanks for the great software. I have a question I haven’t been able to find the answer to. I am trying to combine 2 layout files into 1 larger layout and I cant seem to rotate the layout 90 degrees so that I can create a new board for the adjoining features. Is there a way to rotate entire sections of track?

  124. Hello Don,

    You need to rotate the tracks and objects separately. For the rotation of the track route, see the following tutorial: Rotate a Track or a Whole Layout. The figures and objects can be selected as a whole and rotated using “Objects” > “Rotate…” menu command. Then you will be able to make the new baseboard for the combined layout.

  125. Congratulations on the blog and software.
    I have an area of 1.70 x 2.45 x 1mt in L format. (5,5,”x8′x4′)
    A friend did a project considering passing in front of a door and “earning” more 1×1,40mt (3,3″x4,5″). But it’s an expensive project.
    I would like to create a project in SCARM but now I am able. Unemployed for three years, I would like to start a model to fill the time.
    I’m looking blog several projects and I love it. It is a reference, encouragement and inspiration.

  126. Hi Milen,
    Just wish to thank you for giving me the use of your fabulous program, the learning curve was short and I am amazed what your program can do, without much effort I was able to create a complex layout complete with shopping list, what a time saver.
    I have made a donation to your program as it is well worth it, thanks again.
    Regards, Greg (Gforce)

  127. Good morning and thank you very much for your work. I am developing a program in Visual Basic to control my model and I would like to read the file .scarm to display the track layout. It is possible to obtain a description of all parameters used in this file?

  128. I am new to your program. I have been thru the Tutorials (they are a great help). I have a question: I have an almost completed a plan that has two ends of curved Marklin C track that overlap by 0.16″, do you think I could make it work? Suggestion (this may be way off base): Could it be possible to create a list of track numbers with lengths (lengths could be hidden) in a “lookup” file to be used as called upon? When the semi-completed track plan has an open space to be filled in and the builder cannot figure which piece or pieces to use: the builder would “box-in” the open space and the program would select the correct piece or pieces from the “lookup” file. I think this may be an unreasonable, time consuming request? Regards

  129. Hello Stan,
    I will consider your suggestion and such feature ,ay appear in some of the next versions of SCARM..
    About the overlap of 0.16″ – it is difficult to say without seeing the actual plan, but in most cases it should work.

  130. Has there been any progress on being able to simulate running trains? I’ve completed my first large scale design in SCARM and I’m not sure if my trains will run through some of the curves properly (or under my bridge)

  131. Hello Marc,
    Yes, there is a big progress with the simulation feature, however not yet enough for official publishing. But I hope that the Model Trains Simulator for SCARM will be ready soon and I will release it as public beta.

  132. The track supports for Marklin Ctrack in SCARM are shown too small and create a space problem with the layout. My Ctrack supports are 40.00mm wide, Your SCARM shows them to be only 1.10″ wide = 27.94mm.This is a difference of 13.06mm, which creates a space problem. The distances from the outside to outside of the rail heads are 0.7325″ = 18.6mm. SCARM shows them to be 0.69″ = 17.53mm, this does not create a problem. I really like your program and without it I would not be planning Ctrack, Thank you very much for your talents. Regards, Stan

  133. Hello Stan,
    Marklin HO C-track system has build-in roadbed, which is not shown by default in 2D mode in SCARM. To toggle it, use “B” key. The roadbed is always shown in 3D and is 44mm wide in order to avoid spacing problems. Track supports (i.e. under the bridges in 3D viewer) are also 44 mm wide.

  134. Thank you for the 3D information. My problem is with track bed spacing. In 3D you can not measure the distance between track beds. So, I plan a layout and try to leave enough spacing between track beds for stations, etc. Since the 2D layout shows the track beds smaller than they really are it is very possible (I DID) to design a layout and when you assemble the track, the station will not fit between the beds, even though 2D shows enough space when you use the measuring stick. Your Program is fantastic, but this does present a problem. Maybe you can show the track beds 44mm wide in 2D in a future revision. Regards, Stan PS It must be difficult for you to accept comments on your fantastic program. I cannot imagine what it must feel like.

  135. I agree with using the B. Does it show the roadbed at 40mm or 27.94mm.

  136. Well shame on me! After I used B and enlarged the view, the roadbed was as close to 44mm as possible to measure. Your efforts are fantastic.

  137. Hi Milen,
    A bunch of new things on Scarm since my last visit!
    I would love to print 3D the plan, of course with all the trains running…

    good wishes,

  138. Hello!
    I really like to congratulate your program. Very simply, it can effectively track design plan. The facility design, I would like to ask for your help.
    I see the finished objects have specific figures, but I can not draw like that. (Circle, Cone, Sphere)
    How can I draw a 45-degree barrier or arcs, semi-circle?

  139. Hello Atka72,

    You can create circles and cylinders with the Figures in the program, however more complex details, such as cones or tilted figures are made with the Objects interface which is still under development.

  140. Thanks for your response!
    I found a little problem. The tracks on the slope length does not change in plan view, but it will be less than in reality. I know it’s not a big difference a small hill, but the real pitch will not fully fit. Do you plan to correct this?
    I want their trains to design buildings which would be shared with others.
    SCARM Rail Library, Object Library description can be downloaded from somewhere? An earlier version but found that only the most basic items are included. Desirable, I mean:
    # Curved Rails
    # As TCurvedRail | Name | Number | Radius | Angle | IsLeft

    This is a project that I really like:
    Scarm Trains Running sneak Simulator

    I started to write a similar supplement that can be played on the train :)
    2D view is already operational.
    Can I ask for your help in the descriptions lib?

  141. No, I have no plans to correct that. When the slope is less than 5% steep, the difference is too small and does not affect the real tracks with more than 2-3mm even on long slopes.

    Recently, I found my library data stolen in another project without my permission, so I decided to stop sharing my library formats and their descriptions. If you wish to use my libraries, you must pay a license fee. For more details, contact me at

  142. I need to see the list of track used in my layout. How can I display the track list that I have used in the layout? Is this a file on my computer that I can open apart from Scarm?

  143. It ask me how I wanted to open this file??? I used notepad but, that really isn’t working. Now, every time I select tools, parts list, it opens it with notepad…..how can I change the way I open the html file?

  144. Seems like html files in your system were not assigned to a browser. Find a *.html file, right-click over it, select “Open with…” from the context menu and choice your preferred browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera) to open it.

  145. Got it….sorry to be so much trouble. Thanks for your help.

  146. I have a Cornerstone N Scale turntable and a N Scale Heljen 6 stall roundhouse. Can I add these to my layout? I am using Kato Unitrack. Are they available in one of the libraries?

  147. I confirm, after a month of using SCARM , this software is “MAGNIFIQUE” !
    Thanks Milen
    Gilles, PARIS

  148. Thank you, Gilles :)
    I am glad that you like SCARM and that it is useful to you.
    If you wish, share about the program in your favorite French-speaking model railroad forum in Internet. That may be of help, so more model train fans in France to know about SCARM and to use it for free.

  149. In 2012 there was another request from Australia for Peco in HO scale instead of OO. I am planning in HO scale with standard gauge Code 100 track, but I only see HO options for Code 83 in standard gauge. When do you think we might have a version with HO in COde 100?

    BTW I really love your product. After trying a shareware competitor, I found yours easier to use, and have spent many months designing a 5×5 m layout for my “man cave”.

  150. Hello Grant,

    At the moment, the scale in SCARM library is used only for measuring of the track lengths, if they were in 1:1. So you can use OO library for HO track plan and vice versa without any problem – there are no differences in the measurements or geometry.

    However, I plan to release the Model Trains Simulator feature for SCARM soon, and then the scale will become important. So there will be also automatic re-scaling feature and you should be able to re-scale a whole track plan in a single click.

  151. Gargraves makes Gauge 1 or G scale track in tinplate and stainless steel. I am using their stainless steel flex track which comes in 37 inch sections for a garden railroad. Can you add this to your library or can you create a user defined track which would allow someone to create their own lengths within a specific gauge?

  152. Hi, I’ve been using scarm for a couple of years and is the best tool to create our best track option. It’s just great. The only problem I have is when I design a track with curves and deviations but I can fill a section with lines available. For example, I have to fill a straight section but I can have it matched using different combinations o pieces 24188, 24172 or 24071 etc. Is there some tutorial about that? thanks !!

  153. Hello Fernando,

    Currently, there is no tutorial or automated function for connecting tracks and filling gaps in the plan, but such feature may come with some of the next versions of the program. The only way for now is either trial-error approach or using of flex tracks, when possible.

  154. SCARM gets better all the time! The new train simulator feature is fabulous and I’m hopeful that you will continue to add even more enhancements.

    SCARM only allows switches/turnouts and crossings to be on a level grade. I’m wondering if it will be possible for SCARM to create continuous track gradients through switches/turnouts? This is sometimes an issue for me when designing smaller layouts with steep grades. Sometimes I remove the switch and use two separate pieces of flex-track to substitute, and I can maintain a steady grade that way.

  155. I think I found a bug. Using the Lionel-O-FT track entered an RT 031 Rmt 6-81253 into my layout everything fit nice. After I bought the track sections I needed the layout did not fit together. The program shows the straight length as 10″ but the actual length is 11 3/8″ Am I doing something wrong?
    Thanks Harry

  156. Hello Harry,
    You are the second person for one week, who reports about this problem. I am now investigating this and will probably publish dedicated article about the issue. In all Lionel catalogs this turnout is described as 10″, so this is also the length in SCARM, but something in the production may be changed and I need to clarify that to see what is happening.

  157. This is a great app! Thank you for making!! I build tracks myself and need my own library with different length, .. and tried your description

    >If you don’t want to wait, take a look on the sample SCARM library with statements descriptions here: http://www.scarm.info/temp/BTTB-TT.lib

    ..but it gives a file not found message! Can you tell where to find??
    Thank you so much :-)

  158. Thank you Kevin,

    After my track libraries were stolen for another app without my permission, I decided to remove the sample library and to stop sharing of the file format for SCARM. That’s why the link does not work.

  159. Ok that is understandable.. well I will try to create the tracks I need with snip-off and see how far I can get. But it would be great to have some way to create our own user library of tracks for us building individual tracks (getting more all the time!).. some time, maybe ;-)

  160. Anyone else seen this oddity when using Peco N guage track?

    Physically two ST3′s joined together are shorter than 1 ST12, yet in SCARM they are longer.

    What am I missing?

    Any advice appreciated on an otherwise super program



  161. Hello Simon,

    ST3 is just half of the ST12, so two ST3 are equal to single ST12 and that is in both reality and SCARM. Note that if you try to match two curves, you can make comparison only when put them one over another. If you put them side by side, there is no way to compare them correctly as one will always look larger than another.

  162. In 2015, I submitted an article to N-Scale Magazine about a SCARM written from the perspective of a new user of the software. At the time, I had been using the software for a few months.
    The most recent update indicates the article is scheduled for the March/April issue of N-Scale Magazine.
    In the interim, I have enjoyed using SCARM to design several n-scale railroads in preparation for our move to a new home. I am delighted with the fact the software allows for use of elements from Kato Unitrack, Atlas True-Track and Walthers turntables within the same plan.
    More recently, I have been creating virtual structures based on kits I have already assembled and on DPM and Cornerstone modular wall systems structures I scratch built.
    Using SCARM has been an entertaining way to continue with the model railroading hobby during the time I do not have a home railroad.

  163. Hi Milen. I have been trying to find a way to make a single lane HO scale road without any striping to use as a one way road leading into a parking lot, then again at the other end as an exit. The road menu only has two lane roads and I can’t find any way to remove the center line stipe. I tried using a N scale road via copy/paste and the width is perfect, but still can’t remove the stripe. Any hints on how to make a one lane road?
    I also want to compliment you on developing this excellent software. I have been sketching my layout on graph paper when I was told about SCARM. I downloaded it about a week ago and absolutely love it. Thank you so much.

  164. Hello Don,

    One approach is to use the figures. Other is to use the road sections in smaller scale as you are trying. To remove the center-line, select the road section and then use “Edit” > “Road Surface Marking” menu command. Ensure that all marking’s checkboxes are cleared and press OK.

  165. I’m designing my first layout upon re-entering the hobby after a 35 year hiatus, and so far my experience has been great. Two suggestions: 1) find and replace (e.g., if I want to replace a particular part with a different manufacturer across the whole design); 2) the ability to designate left rail-right rail for DCC planning and where breaks/reversers will be needed.

  166. Hi Milen,
    I begun model railraod only 1 year ago and after search, I used SCARM for make my N scale layout. This software is very pleasant and easy to use?. I like the 3D viewer wich shows the final rendering.
    My issue: Is there a possibility (applications) to “translate” the 3D picture into 2D cutting plane to build the decor?
    Great thanks from France for your great job!

  167. Thank you guys :)

    @Nick: You can use “Tools” > “Selection By List” menu command for searching, however, automatic replace is not possible due to various dimensions and geometry of the tracks. About detection of possible short circuits in the track plan, such feature may appear in the future in SCARM.

    @Patrick: Unfortunately, there is no option for making 2D slices from the 3D view, but will think over this and how eventually can be implemented.

  168. I am new to SCARM and have designed a layout in Lionel O scale. I would like to add accessories and I found some that have already been designed on the SCARM HiRailers site. I downloaded the files but can’t find out how to import them into my layout.
    How do I import these into my layout?
    Great program.

  169. Hello Dennis,

    Open the downloaded project file and then select and copy the item inside. Open yoyr track plan in a second SCARM instance and paste the item. Use View > Scale > Zoom to Fit menu command if you don’t see the pasted item.

  170. Thanks for the reply. Another question: I love that I can print this out in 1:1 scale and put it on the benchwork to make sure design = reality. Does anyone have a good tip for how I can actually transfer from paper to the benchwork? Do people typically lay the track right on the paper and then cut the excess (seems like that would result in loose tracks) or is there another solution I’m missing? Thanks!

  171. Hello Nick,

    What most people do when printing in 1:1 is to set the track centers in the settings to appear in the 2D viewing mode before printing, together with the outlines and separators. Then, the printed sheets are aligned and glued together over the table and all track centers are marked over the plywood with some knife. You can also mark the tracks separators, especially where there are turnouts. Having the track centers and separators on the table, you can lay the tracks over or put cork roadbed and then the tracks. You can remove the paper sheets all together or only where the track/cork is already laid. Hope that helps.

  172. Thanks, Milen. One other idea I had was inserting transfer paper (like carbon paper) under the drawing and using a tool apply pressure to get it on the benchwork that way. Transfer paper is available at a lot of office supply and craft stores. I’ll experiment with both.

  173. Would you consider adding restrained cursor movements? Horizontal, vertical, and specific angle.

  174. It would be very helpful when importing a layout picture to be able to define distance dimensions.

  175. Hello William,

    Not sure what do you mean by “cursor movements”, but if you want to move the drawing plot in 2D horizontally or vertically, you can do that with the arrow keys. For proper scaling of imported images, use the rulers at top and left on the drawing plot.

  176. What I did in the end to transfer my drawing to my benhwork was resort to old-fashioned carbon paper. Printed 1:1, taped together and aligned on benchwork, then slipped carbon paper underneath and traced the drawing (note: I was transferring onto a foam base), using a straight edge for straight sections to be a little more precise. All things considered it worked fairly well and didn’t take as much time as I’d feared.

  177. Dear Milan

    Would it be possible to add a FIND feature to find a specific feature, e.g. Peco SL-E89 and highlight where I have used these in the plan? My parts list shows several parts and I am struggling to find them all in the plan!


  178. Great software, designed new layout with background image, however… background image wont print :(

    This would be helpful as it shows buildings, slopes etc that I need to be aware off but don’t really need to have in scarm itself ..

    (layout is based on a real location using old maps!)

  179. Milen, great software. Thanks a bunch. As I plan my layout, wondering if you thought of implementing some sort of wiring plan feature. Would be especially nice if designer of layout can block segments and note where +/- electrical connections would be for track and for accessories and have it show up on the illustrations of the layout as an option. Also, a terminal control block or bus illustration that ties connections underneath (number each pair of connections (+/-) and show connection assignments on the terminal block/ bus). And, depending on size of layout, to select one, two or three, etc. terminal blocks / bus underneath the benches in the proper location for most effective electrical wiring design layout and aggregation back to power/ transformer units. Would also be nice to illustrate at the terminal block/ bus what the nominal voltage that is coming to those wires (especially relevant when considering uphill or downhill segments vs. flat track).

  180. Hello Ron,

    Marking blocks is possible even now by use of the tracks coloring feature. True wiring function may also appear, but that will be in the future, at least not in the next several months.

  181. Hi Milen,

    I am in the middle of building a real layout which was designed 100% in SCARM first.

    There was a comment by Ace earlier in which he asked for turnouts to be part of a continuous gradient, and I wanted to second that. It is really the only issue with your great program that I have encountered so far. Thanks!


  182. Automatic Track Connection

    Just found SCARM, it’s cool.
    I’ve designed my layout but I have a few “Free Points” remaining. These points are slight separations between track that I want to join. I’m thinking when I buy the ‘real’ track, it will be flexible enough for me to force the join/connection. The parts list says I’ll have around 150 Bachman Easy Track pieces. Is there a feature in SCARM that that will identify my free points, examine my current piece list, and then fix the free points or make suggestions on better piece selection/placement.

    thanks, Oklahoma City, USA

  183. Hello Doug,

    There is no automatic track connection feature for sectional tracks, so you will need to fill the gaps manually. Depending how big they are, you have the following options:

    1) Smaller gaps (with length up to a rail joiner): you may need to adjust the default joining tolerances in the settings and/or slightly move some of the tracks in order to obtain a join.

    2) Larger gaps: you may need to rearrange the tracks in order to find better fit combination or to cut some straight or curved tracks with the “Snip off” feature to obtain proper join. Note that in this case, you will then need to cut the real tracks too.

  184. Really enjoying SCRAM ! (and spending WAY too much time designing layouts that I will never build !!)
    Waiting for the Tri-ang Super 4 track library that you mentioned in this blog a few years ago. When do you think it will be ready ? Should only be a matter of designing the new Y-point and renaming the appropriate Hornby System 6 elements.
    I also tried your suggestion to Doug regarding track not joining-up (even though the Tri-ang/Hornby track plans book said that it would !) but couldn’t get it to reasonably adjust: is this because the tolerance applies only to the two track elements you are trying to join ? Realistically, the amount of ‘give’ would be spread over many track pieces (or the whole circuit), and thus minimise the discrepancy at each individual join.

    from Victoria AUSTRALIA

  185. I am now in process of clearing some bugs and finalizing the long awaited v 1.0 of SCARM and hope that some delayed vintage systems (like Tri-ang Super 4) will appear in the final release.

    About the tracks that don’t want join in SCARM: the tolerance in the settings is applied to each joining place (each pair of joined tracks), so if the gap or discrepancy is bigger, it may spread over more tracks, however, you should manually adjust each track/joining place to obtain a proper join.

  186. Thank-you; looking forward to v1.0
    Keep up the good work !

  187. Hello :)

    This is the best modelling software for model railroaders :D Just perfect, there is no other words…

    Just a little thing : how can we make flex track under their minimum radius limit ? Because in reality, we can, like with the Peco HOe/OO9 flex track, we can go to 150mm radius, the material will run with no problems ^^ For complex machines (like a 262) a radius of 200mm minimum is required. (sorry for my english, i’m french ^^)

  188. Hello Thomas,

    Right now there is no direct way to override of the minimum radius limits for flexes, but I may introduce a new option in the setting for explicitly set that by the user.

    I simply downloaded it and installed it in half an hour, I drew my first stroke layout and in 30 more minutes, I completely re-made it, with precision levels from outter space!
    It’s so stupendous, that I chose this incredible creation of yours for a specific subject, where I’m editor in HO railroad modeling, the HobbyNews Magazine.
    I’ll be updating soon for you and the fan community.
    Many thanks for sharing your incredible creation!

  190. Love this program and will promote where possible
    Couple of questions, How do I do transitional curves?
    Can i select anywhere on the the track for grading height to be shown so I can put a riser?
    Answer to the turnouts/grading problem. I found to overcome that I’ll make another layer just for grades copy the plan from layer 1 and paste it in layer 11 for example and takeout the turnouts and put in just track in order to get the grades.

  191. Thank you, James :)

    1. At the moment, there is no automatic feature for creating transitional curves, but I am working over that from some time. However, I am still not satisfied of the results, so this will appear in some of the next versions of the program.

    2. You can set risers (I call them track/bridge supports) only where two tracks are joined. You can split flex tracks for that, but for the sectional tracks, you can make risers from Rectangle figures.

    Your solution to the turnouts on a grade is interesting, however it will not work good in the Model Trains Simulator.

  192. I am attempting to print from the new licensed version. I get an error message that states “There is no default printer currently selected” SCARM SU Code 11000. I do not see where I can select a default printer and searches for “default printer” & “selecting printer” & “printer selection” do not yield a result. Please advise. Thanks.

  193. Hi Michael,
    What is your version of Windows?
    Check in Devices and Printers in the Control panel for installed printers and for default printer setting. Set or change your Windows default printer there.
    Check also if Print Spooler service is started as it is required for printing from SCARM.

  194. I would like to be able to draw different colored wires with SCARM (on a different level then the track level)..

    The easiest way for me to accomplish this would be to have the ability to draw colored, connected line segments.

    There doesn’t seem any way to draw line segments. Is this something that exists and that I have overlooked?


  195. For your ToDo list … Add the ability to set colors in the tiles. I had a work-around for this in the 0.9 versions by manually editing the .scarm files. That option is not open to me since you encrypted the files in 1.0.0.

  196. Hi Milen,
    I haven’t been using your program for long but so far I absolutely love it. It’s a great piece of software and I’ve now bought a licence as well so that I can do a large layout. One thing I have found though is that if you have a slight mismatch between track ends where they don’t quite line up, there doesn’t seem to be any way of ‘nudging’ the track into position like you would in the real world. I have got round it by increasing the tolerance in the settings box but I was wondering if I’ve missed something or whether this is a feature you could add in the next release.


  197. Hello Gary,

    You can keep the default tolerances and still adjust the tracks by slightly move and/or rotate the two tracks where you want to obtain a join. Sometimes, you may need to adjust also the adjacent tracks when a gap or misalignment is bigger. You can move the tracks in steps of 1mm and can rotate in steps of 0.25deg. In majority of cases this can solve the problem without touching of the default tolerances. Hope that helps.

  198. Hi,
    I’m currently working a large layout in HO.
    Question: how can you draw in where you want scenery dividers? Thought about using figures:polygon— then painstakingly drawing them in, setting heights as needed.
    Any other suggestions than this?

    Also, in roads, is there an option to draw in a “dirt road”? Have I missed something obvious?

    Parking lots (regardless of surface type) are a little challenging as I have not been able to figure out how to “ elevate one corner, or tie to existing road if the road is on a grade”

    I’ve not been able to find “traffic signals” for roads… I did design some different types.. pole & mast, combination arm, cable suspended… willing to share those ideas and show what I’ve come up with.

    I also have not seen a road sign in US for “ snaky road ahead” or “school zones”…

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  199. Hello Jim,

    See how to make scenery dividers here: How to Create Scenic Ridge in SCARM Layout.

    A dirt road can be drawn with 2 polygons, each representing a groove (wheel-track) in the grass like the road to the farm yard below:

    Note that such dirt roads cannot be set directly on a grade.

    About parking lots – these are easy on a flat road, as shown below:

    But as you says, can be challenging on grades. A combination with rectangles can help, but cannot cover all cases.

    About traffic signals – these can be created with the figures and if you made some, you can send the file to me to .

    The traffic signs libraries in SCARM holds just a little set of all possible road signs. They will be expanded with more signs in the next versions of the program.

  200. lost this page for a bit–
    I am trying too send the files to you for the traffic signals I created, however I’m having trouble copying these over to a new folder so I don’t have to send the whole layout file to you.
    I opened a new folder, created a simple 30×30 baseboard, have tried copying the item in the existing folder, and then opening the new file and pasting, but to no avail. Any suggestions?

  201. Not sure what is the problem with the folders, but if you want to paste an object in a new project, just copy the selection (Ctrl-C), start new instance of SCARM, paste the selection (Ctrl-V) and save the project file. Then send that file to me.

  202. Hi I am just starting to use V1.4.0 and have used the Tutorials which were very helpful, but I have one problem with the program I can’t Copy and Paste! I’ve used Ctrl C and Ctrl V but no good, in the Edit drop down I can use the Copy but the Paste is greyed out. Any idea how to solve this please? Not a major problem for me at the moment but may cause me frustration in future.

  203. Hi Milen, I have tried that, I have also used copy and paste in MSWord and it works fine in them. When I use the Edit drop down the Copy and Cut are clear and Paste is Greyed, when I use either Copy or Cut they then become Greyed out as I would expect, but Paste is also greyed out. My PC is running Widows 7 with all latest updates. Maybe I could try uninstalling and reinstalling SCARM?

  204. Hi Milen after my last post I went back into SCARM and went to the RDIT Drop down and only Paste was available!!!! When I selected it a piece of track was pasted onto the layout. I think I will have to put this down to user error on my part – but I don’t know what I was doing wrong – or maybe a random bug in my PC. Thanks for getting back to me so quick, I’ll go back to building my layout again.

  205. First Thank for this grate software.
    One question about “elevation”.
    When the system calculates the elevation does point “A” start at the top of the rail and point “B” ends at the button of the tracks? and if it works like this doe it take in consideration the high of the road bed including the plywood or any other base at point “B”?

  206. What is the recommended procedure to print a full size layout remotely at a copy center where they can print a single sheet 36″ wide and 10+ feet long? Lets say my layout is 2 ft wide and 10 ft long. Also, how can I export with the grid to ensure proper scale is kept?


  207. Hello Vance,

    The best way is to export (print) the layout in PDF format with custom page size. Based on your data for the printer, you should be able to export your layout on a single page with dimensions of 24″ x 120″ (2ft x 10ft) and that should be printable on the printing shop’s device. However, you should consult the page size with the printing shop.

    How to export the layout in PDF is explained here: http://www.scarm.info/blog/tips-and-tricks/exporting-layout-plan-in-pdf-format.

    When you begin with the export, open “File” > “Print”, select the PDF printer driver, select “Full size (1:1)” in Range and press “Properties” button in order to select the custom page size in the PDF printer driver. Finally, press “Full-size preview” button to see how your layout will look on the selected PDF page size and orientation. In case that orientation is wrong, you can fix it with the orientation buttons in the toolbar of the full-size print preview window.

  208. Wow Milen, this worked really well! The copy center thought that Primo PDF converted the file into a vector PDF file…I didn’t invoke the full size option when exporting in the Scarm program, but to scale it to full size, the copy center used 1124.40% enlargement (apparently the magic number) to get the 6″ grid to actual size. No resolution loss! A beautiful full size printout using 2 sheets at 4ft x 10ft !


  209. keep getting error codes 11000 and 12000 not enough memory for 3d. not every time. works first try or two when opening the file then won’t till i shut down and restart later. why?

  210. Hello Terry,
    I can’t tell anything without knowing your PC configuration, RAM size, video card model and operating system version and also the project in SCARM that you are working with.
    In general, if SCARM shows not enough memory error message in the 3D viewing mode, you are probably using built-in 3D solution with shared video memory in the RAM.
    You can try to decrease the Undo buffer steps as explained here: http://www.scarm.info/blog/problems-and-solutions/cause-and-solution-for-out-of-memory-error-message/
    You can also try to reset all 3D and OpenGL settings to the defaults, because wrong settings can affect video memory management and lead to errors like this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>