As there are so many fancy things which are able to do with LaTeX, is there a possibility to create layouts for model railroads? I know only special (mostly Windows) programs, to do that, e.g. http://www.sandiasoftware.com/ (the following picture is from that site)

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I think, with tikz this should be possible (for 2D).

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    Can you give a few examples of model railway layouts? – percusse May 1 '13 at 22:35
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    As always, anything is possible. To be honest, I would do this in a vector drawing software like Inkscape and create 'brushes' for buildings and trees and other standard items. Then you can draw the tracks as pathes and 'stamp in' the rest. I think it takes a very long time to create a, say, tikz object database to be productive. But it is possible if you re willing to write 5000 lines code :) – Martin H May 1 '13 at 23:04
  • Go 3D, and use some of the tools discussed in Draw an aircraft with Tikz. – Werner Aug 16 '13 at 23:31
  • Is there anyone still interested in this question? I started to write some tikz code to plan the layout of my old Märklin tracks. It can be easily changed to tracks of other manufacturers. Finally, there will be a configuration section to change this. I am quite satisfied so far with the tikz solution. For a planar layout I am 30% done with the implementation. When it is finished, I will make it available to anyone. Until then, I will be happy to share it with people who are interested and who want to discuss the syntax with me. – pddp Apr 1 '19 at 10:46

There are several programs to plan and construct a model railway. And it seems you know at last one of them. One advantage of them is that they can print a list of used parts to build the model railway.

To create the layouted plan with TikZ you have to write a new code to layout the plan with TikZ. That is not easy and a lot of work (as also @MartinH said in his comment).

I personaly think it makes no sense to recreate that. Better is to use the existing program and include the result with \includegraphics. If you have problems with the quality of the picture change the format in the planing software for saving the plan (to .jpg, .pdf, .epc). If that is not possible consider to change the planing program for the model railway.

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    Even if the specialized software is expensive, I have to agree that a system this complex and specialized (and inherently layout-oriented) is best done with graphical editors. Everything else is just impractical and, honestly, a waste of time. (Unless it's a hobby, of course!) – Sean Allred Aug 14 '13 at 4:15

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