This article covers a free model railroad software to build and control a model train system. The name of this software is Rocrail which is designed to control train models and all their accessories. It’s a cross-platform software available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Raspberry Pi and support models from various popular OEMs. Apart from these platforms, it also has a web interface and an Android app which can be used to control the railroad system upon setup.
To use this software, first, you have to create the layout of the railroad. Then, you can deploy one or more user interfaces on the layout. You can also create multiple layouts and save them as new railroad paths within the software. Additionally, if you have an external controller(s), you can configure that and use it to control the model. I don’t have any actual railroad model to test this software but I’ll try to cover the main highlights along with other useful features of the software. With that said, let’s dive in the article to get started.
Build & Control Model Train System with Rocrail
The main interface of this software contains four sections with a congested menubar at the top. The menubar contains files options, shortcuts, control options, and help options. The four sections are
This section is for building and controlling the model. It contains three following subsections:
- Locomotives: To build and customize the train models.
- Notes: Simple note taking an area for quick reference.
- Programming: To program the select train model.
The Station section is more like a canvas where the software displays your rail model. You can create a new train model from scratch along with all its configuration info. Then, you can add accessories to the model like signals, tracks, switches, blocks, sensors, road, and more. You can configure each accessory as per the requirements of your model.
The above screenshot shows the configuration screen for a selected item. Depending on the item, you can add an index, general model info, signals, item details, routes, interface, permissions, statistics, location, and more.
The Server and the Control sections come into action from controlling the model. The Server section shows the log of each instance as you run them whereas the Control section acts as a main controlling hub for the railroad model.
Rocrail is a comprehensive model railroad software that packs lots of functionalities and features. It’s a one-stop solution to program or manually control railroad models. It lets you control the model by external controllers. Give it a try and do share your thoughts with us in the comments.