This is the OLD Templot Companion web site. Some of it is now out of date.

A new site for Templot2 is under construction. Click New Templot Companion.

Until it is finished, please be sure to refer to both sites.

Making  a  Start

A page about running Templot for the first time.

IMPORTANT  NOTE  for users of Windows 95, 98, ME.

(This note does not apply to Windows XP or Windows Vista or Windows 7)

 In Windows 95, 98, ME: before running Templot for the first time,
please close all other major applications.

Templot is a multi-windowed program which needs a substantial proportion of the available resources in Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME. Templot is intended for recreational use - it is not recommended to have Templot running concurrently with software for everyday work in these versions of Windows. Close one or the other first.

This note does not apply to Windows NT4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. There is no restriction on the use of Templot concurrently with other software in these versions of Windows.

1.  Running TEMPLOT :

To run Templot, double-click the Templot2 shortcut icon on your desktop.

Alternatively, from the Windows taskbar

click the  Start > All Programs > Templot2 > run Templot2 menu item.

3.  Start-up:

A window called the program panel will appear. Click the GO button and then the trackpad button when it appears.

That window will then disappear and be replaced with this:


start-up B-6 turnout in T-55 gauge

You should now be seeing a drawing of a curved B-6 left-hand turnout on the trackpad window. This is the window in which all your track design work is done. This start-up turnout is curved to a scale radius of 10 chains (660 ft) along the main road, and is drawn in an odd fictional gauge called T-55 (shown arrowed above). This has a one-inch track gauge at a scale of 5.5 mm/ft. This is fine for now if you have just started Templot for the first time, there is no need to change it while experimenting.

(It is easy to change to your chosen gauge and scale later. Select the gauge menu items.)

A turnout is comprised of two basic elements, shown boxed in blue above. The area containing the movable point blades is called the switch. Switches are available in several ranges of different sizes, the one shown here is size B in the REA semi-curved series.

Sizes A, B and C in this series are the most commonly used switches in models based on UK-pattern bullhead track. Size A is the shortest, for use in goods yards and other cramped low-speed areas. The next sizes get progressively longer and therefore easier in radius, up to size F for use in high-speed junctions.

The area in which the outer rail of the turnout road crosses the inner rail of the main road is called the V-crossing (or sometimes the "frog"). V-crossings are available in a range of different angles, the one shown here has a unit angle of 1:6. This means that the rails separate by 1 extra foot for every extra 6 feet measured along them.

This is the usual way that angles are designated in railway track, common sizes being 1:6, 1:7, 1:8, 1:10, 1:12, 1:14 etc. In-between sizes such as 1:7.5 or 1:13 are used where limited space makes them necessary.

Turnouts can be created in a huge range of sizes by combining different switch sizes with different V-crossing angles. For example a C switch leading to a 1:10 V-crossing makes a C-10 turnout. Much of your design work in Templot will consist of selecting these different size combinations, and then perhaps setting a curving radius along the main road such that the resulting turnout fits the desired location on your track plan.

The first thing to do is to switch on your printer and select the help > print F key chart menu item. This will print a chart of the function key shortcuts which can be placed behind your keyboard for reference. (If you find the chart baffling, fear not, all will become clear as you work through these pages.)

function key chart

If you don't like the screen colours, click the small multi-coloured button near the top left-hand corner and select a different colour scheme.

The B-6 turnout template which you are seeing is the starting condition for the control template. It is waiting there for you to adjust it to the size, length and curving line which you require. There are several ways to do this, but the most frequently used are:

  • The mouse actions, when you want to make trial-and-error adjustments. To experiment with the many mouse actions available, click mouse actions for a step-by-step guide to using them.

  • Changing the settings on the quick set window, when the template is a common size, and you know exactly the size and radius wanted. Click the NEW button at the top of the trackpad.

  • Using the
       template > switch settings...
       template > V-crossing settings...
       geometry > radius and curving...
    and other menu items, when you have more specific requirements.

Click to watch this video

Watch this screen video to see how easy it is to make these adjustments and print a turnout construction template. Click startup video page to see the printed template and watch how it was created.

Click mouse actions for a step-by-step guide to using them for the first time.

Click finding help to read about the help information available within Templot.

Click what is a template ? for an explanation of what is meant by the current control template.

Click trackpad to read about zooming and panning across your view of the trackpad area.

Click storage box for information about storing and saving templates.

Click utterly baffled if you are still scratching your head. 

Old Templot Companion contents

Templot front page

page partially revised for Templot2  © April 2012