Is there a way to identify where a sectional track piece is used in a layout?

Andy - Arlington TX

I design my layouts in XtrackCad using N scale Unitrack sectional track, which offers a very wide variety of track pieces. I often want to review a layout to figure out where short radius curves are used, to potentially replace them with larger radius curves, or to ensure they are eased by larger curves, etc.

Sometimes I look at the BOM, and ask; "Where is THAT used?"

Is there a way to find/group/highlight sectional track pieces in a layout by their description, part number, etc.?

Perhaps an interactive BOM exploration tool, that would allow the user to select a BOM line item, and highlight every occurrence of that item in the layout, would be a worthy enhancement?

Adam Richards

We don't have this today. 

However, just for small radius curves, by temporarily setting the value for Layout minimum radius to be a larger value than the curves you have in mind, you will show all the smaller ones using the exception color. 


Dave Bullis

Unfortunately exception highlighting doesn't work for sectional track

You could open the .xtc file in a texteditor, find the track piece by searching for its description or part number.
That will get you something like
TURNOUT  89 0 2 0 0 N 2 70.964948 173.968777 0 134.021993 "Peco-55 Curved Left SL-E387F"
The location is in bold

On Linux you could say
$ grep layout.xtc "SL-E387F"
and get all the uses of that track piece.
I don't know how you'd say that in Windows

All sectional track will be a TURNOUT line

We have a Parts List which gives you aggregate counts.  Not really a BOM.


Joost van der Waa

see for a Windows equivalent of grep.

A nice extension of the BOM would be to be able to highlight specific track pieces. Not only useful in the question of Andy, but also very handy to check whether you have been desinging things correctly. For instance I am driving digitally and for each track piece between 2 turnouts there must be 2 contact rails, just right after the turnout. In my layout I already forgot to draw these specific tracks and just used the ordinary tracks, resulting in a BOM which in itself is correct, but not giving me the proper amounts of these contact rails.
Now it is check, check, double check and double check that again.... :-)

Andy - Arlington TX

Thanks Dave & Adam.

Simply finding the instances of a part number/description, and adding them to a group (as if I had ctrl-clicked each one) would be nice, so they would be pre-selected for group action (even if just seeing the selected pieces). For selecting the piece to be found/grouped, it would be nice if the user could click on the symbol in the same bar that is used to add it, but typing in something would be a good start.

It would be helpful with an additional ability to replace ground level track pieces with equivalent viaducts/bridges, etc., or vice versa. XTC need not be able to identify the "equivalent" piece(s); the user can do that.

I VERY often temporarily replace a turnout with the equivalent curve or straight piece, since turnouts anchor the track location, when trying to connect nearby pieces. Deleting and adding the track pieces, both before and after, makes this task more arduous than necessary, and could be made much easier with this 'replace' capability.

How does one go about requesting these new features/capabilities be added?


I'd like to turn this into a future feature request, at least for "special" track sections i.e. turnouts, crossovers etc., and maybe even structures. I could have used this feature the other day while reviewing my new layout design. I ran the parts list and realized I had mixed a few code 55 into the code 80 peco turnouts in the design. I wanted to fix that (the geometry is sightly different I found) so I had to go in and select each turnout in the layout to show it's part #, 67 in total, to find the 4 code 55's that were hiding in plain sight, and replace them.

Dave Bullis

You see Feature Requests here
Not sure if non-admins can add them


Adam Richards

Not sure if non-admins can add them
Yes they can -> please remember to sign-in so that the request does not need moderation - as there is no prompting about that and it will appear as though it "vanished" to the submitter.  A signed-in user will post immediately. 


I think there may be three related items - 

A way to "find" particular items on the layout, a way to see those based on title, and a way to search for titles. 

A suggestion is that by having a "jump to item number" function and then hooking it to some version of the inventory list one might have a way to use the inventory. On top of that would be a way to search for names to produce a sub-inventory.  



Andy - Arlington TX

Thanks, Dave.

I have registered and entered feature requests for selection of sectional track pieces and replacement of selected track pieces.

Andy D Jones

Chris Kenyon

In the meantime, one simple way is to stick sectional tracks on a different layer so they show up in a different colour ..... which is obviously easier if you do it from the start!

Adam Richards

Three functions added - 

  • Zoom Selected 's' - sets zoom and centers to show all selected
  • Parts List - indexes list option (for each part, list all indexes in comma delimited fashion)
  • Select By Index - input comma delimited indexes, Select them, then run Zoom Selected. 
In the next release.

Andy - Arlington TX


Since I exclusively use sectional track (Unitrack) on my layouts, putting all sectional pieces on unique layers would be rather cumbersome. It would work well for the flex (or hand-laid) track user that has only occasional sectional pieces.

I primarily need it to identify the smallest radius part in the parts list, and then see where it is used, to:
  1. see if it can be replaced with a larger radius piece
  2. see if it is eased by adjacent curved pieces of greater radius, and not adjacent to any straight pieces.
The features being added will address my needs.

Andy - Arlington TX

Thank you, Adam!!!

-- Andy - Arlington TX