Building complex LEGO train layouts is a challenging task.
Fortunately, there is a number of free track planning tools, that facilitates this job significantly.
Track Planning software
For LEGO track layout planning, Bluebrick by Alban Nanty is the most powerful tool that I am aware of. Bluebrick does not just comprise the very limited number of original LEGO tracks, but is able to import libraries with custom tracks from other vendors, especially TrixBrix. TrixBrix offers a large variety of track components, all compatible with the LEGO train system.
Bluebrick can be downloaded here:
TrixBrix Track Library for Bluebrick
I am have compiled a complete track library for TrixBrix tracks. The track library contains about 100 tracks, switches, crossings, special elements and sets. All dimensions and connectors have been exactly calculated mathematically with trigonometric functions.
Click here for download:
The library is provided “as is” without charge and without any warranties. You install and use the software on your own risk.
At this time, the installation of the TrixBrix Track Library for Bluebrick requires a couple of manual steps. From Bluebrick 1.9 (scheduled for end of April 2020), things will become significantly easier, because from this version, you can trigger the download the TrixBrix Track Library for Bluebrick from within the Bluebrick software, and the software will care about the rest of the installation.
At present, please follow the following steps to install the TrixBrix Track Library for Bluebrick, or simply click the video tutorial below.
- Install Bluebrick on your PC, or, if already installed: update your Bluebrick version to the latest version (Bluebrick 1.8.2).
- Download the TrixBrix Track Library for Bluebrick.
- Unzip the content of the TrixBrix Track Library for Bluebrick .zip file in the installation folder of Bluebrick, e.g. c:\Bluebrick. The zip file will create a directory like c:\Bluebrick\parts\TrixBrix, and will overwrite the file “ConnectionTypeList.xml” in the c:\Bluebrick\config folder, so consider doing a backup of that file before if you did any changes in the file that you want to preserve. So, if you did everything right, there will be a folder named c:\Bluebrick\parts\TrixBrix after this operation. If not, something went wrong and the library will not work.
- Start / restart Bluebrick or reload the part library (File / Reload Part Library).
- The TrixBrix Track Library for Bluebrick works best on white background. Navigate to menu “Edit / Preferences”. Select tab “Appearance”. Choose Color Scheme “Classic (printer friendly)”.
- Stay in the preferences dialog, as we need to do some additional settings there. Select the tab “Part Library”. Select “TrixBrix” and move it up to the top of the list by clicking the “Move Up” button.
- Still in the preferences dialog, find the section “Bubble Information”. Check “Display Bubble Info with:” and “Part Description”.
- Close the preferences dialog by pressing the “OK” button.
- Try creating a simple layout.
- In the library, there are some “sets” of predefined combinations of tracks, e.g. railyards, cross-overs, and pass-throughs. Add one of them to your layout, e.g. the “Monster Crossover R104”. You can disassemble a set by clicking the right mouse button on it and select the context menu “ungroup”. After ungrouping, you can move the single components of sets individually. Cool, isn’t it?
- Inspire yourself by checking out the Sample Layouts on Mattzobricks.com.