This is the BRIO wooden railway site that I always wanted to build, but never got around to creating. Until I got around to creating it. The emphasis here is on track, layout planning, and where and how to find BRIO track and accessories. My hope is that the information on this site will be useful to people wishing to build large BRIO layouts, and help inspire design ideas. While the information here is BRIO-specific, the general concepts should also apply to compatible wooden train systems.
Site updates July 18th, 2015 I've created a 2D model file for the BRIO road pieces. This first incarnation includes straights, curves, the T-switch, level crossing and end ramps. July 4th, 2015 I've created a section on restoration, with advice and guidance on restoring old and worn BRIO toys. Included is a step-by-step summary, with pictures, of what I did to restore an old #33429 Blue Steam Engine to like-new condition.
June 29th, 2015 Added a mid-1970's foldout to the catalog archive. June 16th, 2015 Added the late-1998 wooden railway wishbook to the catalog archive. Many thanks to BRIO collector Tyme for contributing this booklet. June 10th, 2015 The 1978-79 dealer catalog has been added to the catalog archive. Many thanks to BRIO collector Tyme for contributing this booklet. I've also added a long-overdue acknowledgements section to the "About" page, thanking the individuals who have made significant contributions to this site.
What you'll fInd here This site is divided into several sections: Track has information on the various BRIO track pieces, the track ID chart, and the mathematics of joining track together. Layout Planning provides helpful information for those wanting to build large BRIO layouts. You'll find advice on train tables and layouts, an idea book for railway elements, and a track problem solver. Resources is an aide to finding and identifying BRIO accessories and sets.
Look at BRIO catalogs from various time periods, browse the BRIO product database, and get advice on buying (and selling) retired components. Links will take you to various web sites on all topics related to BRIO.See Also: Aftermarket Motorcycle Fairings
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SketchUp is a 3-D modelling program, frequently used for architecture, interior design, and game design. After being acquired by Google in 2006, a free version of SketchUp was made available for home and personal use. Event though SketchUp was acquired by Trimble Navigation in 2012, they have so far contiued to support the freeware version of the software, although now marketed under the name SketchUp Make.
SketchUp is really geared for 3-D modeling. You can do 2-D drafting with it, but it's really not the right tool for the job. That being said, it does have some big advantages that make it very useful for modeling BRIO track layouts: Its components feature, which is similar to what other CAD programs might call blocks, lets you drop and manipulate groups of drawing objects as a single unit without interfering with other drawing objects.
Specifically, you can use components to represent track pieces. It automatically creates faces—or polygons—inside of closed boundaries—or edges—which can be colored in. This works exceptionally well for representing track pieces. Most 2-D drafting programs only work with lines because arbitrarily filled areas are not a part of 2-D drafting standards. It's easy to use. Traditional CAD tools have a paper-centric design, forcing the user to deal with drawing scales, extents, and so on.
SketchUp has an open-ended approach to the modeling space. It supports precision drawing. Albeit it a limited fashion, you can still draw precise lines in SketchUp by entering measurements and relative positions as you go. All of the track and road drawings on this web were created using SketchUp Make. You can download a SketchUp drawing file using the link in the sidebar. As with all CAD modeling of BRIO parts, do not expect to get perfect fits on asymmetric and non-trivial layouts.
Your goal is to just get close enough that the Vario System will let you pull the track together. What's in the model files? Components that represent most BRIO "standard" track pieces. Specifically, the track model file contains components for the following BRIO track: A, A1, A2, A3, B, B1, B2, C, C1, C2, D, E, E1, EE, EE1, F, F1, F2, G, G1, G2, H, H1, H2, H3, I, J, K, K1, L, M, N, N1, O, O1, P, P1, R, S, T, U, V, X In addition to the standard track, it includes models of these track and accessories: #33276 Round Turntable (can also be used for #33460 Grand Turntable) #33351 Viaduct Bridge #33355 Track Support #33361 Mechanical Turntable #33386 Overhead Crane As well as these non-BRIO track pieces: Jesse's Toy Box 3" Straight Maxim 3" Mini Straight The road model file contains: Straight, Curved, T-Switch, Level Crossing and end ramps To view the components, go to the Window menu and check Components.
To view the components in the model, select the home button in the Components window. Tips Here are some handy tips and tricks for laying out pieces: Don't explode components. This is just asking for trouble. When you explode components, they are turned in to individual edges and faces, and will interact with other unexploded objects. Faces and lines will merge and intersect, and so on. Use a top view with a parallel projection.
Find these options as Camera -> Standard Views -> Top, and as Camera -> Parallel Projection. This mimics a 2-D drafting environment. To produce an overpass/underpass effect, use the Move tool to move an object in the Z direction. Once you click a reference point for the move, you can use relative coordinates to move it "up" and "down". Enter relative coordinates in angle brackets. e.g., <0,0,-1>.
Use the "flip along" option in the context menu to flip switches, curves, and ascending track for proper orientation. Right click on the component and select "Flip Along", choosing the components red, green, or blue axis as needed. Snap track together by using corners as the reference points rather than centerlines. It's much, much easier. What about 3-D Modeling? See 3-D Layout Modeling. Download the SketchUp Models The SketchUp Model files have components pre-made for repesenting BRIO track and road pieces.
Track Name: 2d_model_20140901Size: 617 KBLast Update: Sep 1st, 2014 Road Name: 2d_roads_model_20150718Size: 282 KBLast Update: Jul 18th, 2015 What's new? The road model.