Custom BlueBrick Libraries for Train Track

BlueBrick is a terrific open source software tool for designing Lego® based layouts. This tool allows you to arrange baseplates, track, and other items into desired layout configuration. You can assign different drawing layers for each item, generate parts lists, add text annotations, and much more. BlueBrick comes pre-installed with many different parts libraries, including Lego® track from the 4.5V era up to current 9V/RC track. Since the introduction of new alternative track items from ME Models, we can now build layouts with new curve radii options of 56, 72, 88, and 104 studs.

I have created two BlueBrick compatible libraries to assist with train layout planning by expanding the range of elements available for design.

  • ME Models Track Components - This can be used as an expansion pack for the existing BlueBrick Track parts library. Simply extract the downloaded archive into the pre-existing \parts\Track folder.
  • Complete LEGO® Train System Schematic Elements - This is completely new library developed specifically for symbolic or schematic track planning. It is a complete library including track elements from LEGO®, ME-Models, as well as custom track elements such as stub-switches and crossovers.

ME-Models Library

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This library contains ME-Models track components for straights (half, full, double) and curves (R56, R72, R88, R104). This library can be installed into the existing BlueBrick ..\parts\Track folder or you can create a new folder under ..\parts\ and extract the zip there to create a separate parts category.

Updated to v.1.2

The latest version of the library is v.1.2. (The previous library version 1.1 is still available with this link: It is updated to include all of the available sleeper/tie colours made by ME Models. For your convenience, you can either download each colour version individually or the complete library in one single download. Choose one of the download links below:
To install and use this library:
  1. Download one or more library zip files using the links above.
  2. Copy and unzip the file to the BlueBrick library folder for track components, e.g. ..\BlueBrick 1.8.0\parts\Track depending on your installation.
  3. Launch BlueBrick and verify that the new track components are in the "Track" section of the library selection window.

Schematic Track Planning Library

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This library contains a complete selection of track planning resources illustrated as symbols so that you can create track schematic drawings. This library has the following features:
  • Universal: includes 9V and RC track from LEGO®, ME-Models track in both plastic and metal, and a range of custom track components
  • Colour Coded: elements are colour coded for easy identification. Red elements represent track products from LEGO®, orange elements are custom parts, and ME-Models components have different colours for each unique curve radius.
  • Plastic and Metal rails: RC/plastic and 9V/metal track elements are differentiated by colour saturation so that metal and plastic track can easily be combined in a plan, yet easily identified. Furthermore, metal track also include a small energy bolt icon to indicate that it is powered.
  • Custom Elements: a range of customized track elements are included such as single element stub switches (in both RC and 9V) and compound track arrangements such as pre-made/aligned crossovers (LH/RH in both RC/9V)
  • Complete: all track elements are properly identified by colour and part number (where applicable). This will be especially helpful when generating a parts list since it will itemize all unique parts.

It is recommended to install this library into a new sub-folder of the BlueBrick ..\parts\ folder. To install and use this library:

  1. Click this link to download the library:
  2. Make a new subfolder under the BlueBrick library folder, e.g. ..\BlueBrick 1.8.0\parts\Track Schematic
  3. Copy and unzip the file into the new sub-folder
  4. Launch BlueBrick and verify that the new track components are contained in a new category with the same name as the sub-folder you created, e.g. "Track Schematic"

Experimental Track Concepts

In addition to capturing current track products for layout planning, I have designed conceptual custom track elements. These elements are almost a "wish list" for alternative track products. I believe these elements would greatly expand the range of potential LEGO® track layouts and offer more prototypical looking track configurations.

Medium Switch + 2/5 Straight

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Switches/Turnouts/Points are one of the weakest areas in building realistic and reliable layouts. The TLG R40 switch is quite limited in potential configurations and has severe geometry due to its R40 radius. It does not combine to make a crossover at a nominal 16-stud centreline and the diverging route does not integrate into a nominal curve radius. To overcome these limitations, I have designed a switch concept called a "Medium" switch. I chose the name "Medium" because it fits in between the TLG R40 "Short" switch and a (yet undesigned) "Long" switch. The design requirements were as follows:
  • Nominal 8s interval boundaries
  • Integrates into a 16s centreline crossover without modification
  • Integrates into a 16s interval radius
  • 22.5º crossing vee / diverging route angle to support return curves
When designing this switch, it became apparent that the 16-stud convention and 22.5º sector angles do not overlap well from a geometry point of view. Designing a switch to make a clean crossover was easy, designing it to support a return curve was not. It turns out that in addition to the switch itself, a new straight track element is required to realign the geometry of return curves back to nominal 8-stud interval grid. After some analysis of various track configurations, a "2/5 Straight" or "6.5-stud Straight" element was required. In actual fact it is 6.48x studs long for minimal alignment error; however, even at 6.5x it is within the mechanical tolerances of the track construction. This element is very nearly a familiar ratio of 2/5 which we use for SNOT building techniques. It is in fact a partial ratio of the standard 16-stud straight, i.e. 2/5 x 16 studs = 6.5 studs. This new straight element makes possible a variety of return curve configurations with several standard (R56, R72, R88) radii as well as providing alignment for stacked yard ladders.

In future, I intend to design a so-called "Long" switch which has a diverging route at 11.25º. I haven't worked out all of the geometry; however, I am hoping it will fit within the "system" similar to the "Medium" switch.

You can download (at your own risk!) the "Medium" switch and the "2/5 Straight" from this link:

This library is intended to be an extension to the existing Schematic track planning elements shown above. To install it, unzip the library into the existing Schematic track planning elements folder.