Peco in AutoCAD

Hi. I was doing some layout planning, okay doodling, these last couple of days and I have some things I’d like to test a little further. To do that I’d really like to be able to use AutoCAD. I have a couple of full sets of the actual paper templates that Peco used to distribute through their Technical Advice Bureau which I could scan but I find working with images in AutoCAD a little clunky which is likely more my fault than a fault of AutoDesk’s. So I thought I’d draw my own based on their images. By the way, Peco now have the printed sets available for download as PDF’s from their website. Check them out here.

Peco SL-395 point

The drawing is a Peco SL-396. Nice thing about having it in CAD now is the ease of manipulating it for planning. When all is done I could also print out a full scale drawing of the ladder and use that in planning benchwork – as I have a real gift for placing turnouts directly over frame members.

Note that the file I’ve uploaded here is not to scale. Drop me a line if you’d like a copy of the file


Categories: Trackwork and Handlaid Track

15 replies

  1. Hi Chris
    If you are looking for a free decent cad program for doing a layout plan try XTrackCad. I use it and love it. Very precise too!!!!


    • Thanks for the recommendation. I haven’t tried XTrackCad but have read good things about it. I used to have a copy of Atlas’s Right Track software and thought it was neat. I have a copy of AutoCAD here and feel most comfortable drafting in it so I tend toward that for this kind of work.

      That said, nothing at all ever beats pencil on paper.

  2. I use AutoCAD on a daily basis for work and I’m in the planning stages of creating my layout. The hardest part I have found is the laying out of switches and making sure I used the right curves to match in with them.

    I’m thinking I might just trace the PDFs from PECO and make them available for all.

    • I have created a number of my own turnout and track templates using AutoCAD as well as completely tracing the original Peco paper templates. I use grips to align my turnout templates and regular geometry to link together tangents between the turnouts.

      Where I found AutoCAD to be the most helpful was in creating tie templates. On my current layout and the two prior ones I actually drew out the complete layout in CAD and arrayed out the ties which really sped things up when getting ready to start building track. I’ve also found it really handy to create some blocks for typical planning aids like typical freight or passenger rolling stock or favourite buildings. I’ve often only had very limited space to build a layout in and being able to create the area in CAD in full scale really helps me to make sure everything will fit. Being able to then plot it all out, again at full scale, is also really handy.

      Great to hear from you. Thanks for the comment.

      • The biggest reason for wanting to do it in CAD is making sure that I can fit it within the size I have available. I can vision something, but in reality it may not work, so that is where CAD comes in.

        I’ll definitely be going through some of the blogs you have in the sidebar for tips & ideas as well.

      • Seeing what fits in where is really where I found AutoCAD to shine. I’m working on a tiny HO scale micro layout and during the design of this layout I found CAD a terrific planning aid. I have a number of Peco turnouts already drawn out to and would be happy to post DWG, DXF or similar files online here if it would help in your planning work. I had been purging a few of the drawings I had been posting to try and keep the blog’s size down but am happy to replace them if they’re useful.


      • If you don’t mind posting them up temporarily, or even emailing them directly to me using the address attached to my comments, I would love to take a look at them.

      • I will caution that they are stored with a lot of other AutoCAD files on an older hard drive of mine. I will dig them out and will post them, likely here on Prince Street. With each drawing I’ll post a PNG as well as a DWG file. Thanks for the interest.

  3. I am getting started on my model railroad and as a very experienced CAD user would love to be able to download your DWG files. Could I set you up with an email or FTP site if the files are large (I can handle up to 20MB)?

    Thank you so much!

  4. Hye, is it possible if I get a copy of that track in CAD, I’m still new in this AutoCAD software and would like this for my homework if possible . Thank you

  5. Hi Chris, I’ve been searching for Rail Turnout AutoCAD File since I don’t have enough time for drafting it on CAD. Please can I have of that File? Please.


  6. Hi Chris. I am currently drawing my N Scale Track Plan in AutoCad. When I start building my layout I will be using the Peco Code 80 track. I will be using the Large and Medium Peco Turnouts. Please can I ask you to send me the CAD files for these two sizes. Just the left hand of each file will do as I can mirror the file. Thank You so much. Kevin

  7. Really looking for peco c55 N scale turnout CAD files too! This should be something all the turnout makers provide somewhere on their website, or at least if they only give PDF’s they should be vector.

    • I agree. Generating even just a simple PDF file for each of the standard track pieces such as the turnout ranges and crossing would seem so simple and yet they aren’t common–I wish I knew why. Shinohara used to offer these and Peco did as paper templates you could request simply by sending them a letter and a stamped envelope to return them in. I don’t know if Shinohara’s are still available (maybe Walthers offers them now?) but Peco do offer theirs as PDF downloads from their website:

      Since they’re PDF files lifting these from the PDF would be easy and then they could be easily mashed together into composite drawings, to scale, using most digital photo editing tools today.

      I had started tracing turnouts I owned into AutoCAD (that’s where this post started) but other work interrupted it and I never returned.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: