Users who need rail layout tools, and/or design, but have not delved into what Civil 3D has to offer, may want to look at the Rail module and the changes that have been going on. A change with respect to Turnout catalogs happened in version 2022 of Civil 3D, but this one seems to have gotten by without a prior mention. My oversight aside, this has brought about a helpful development, with respect to loading turnout catalogs.
In previous versions of Civil 3D (2021 and prior), one turnout catalog was available, and you had to select the turnout geometry choice from the pull-down or create your own entry. This might be fine if you know all the various parameters involved in a specification. Since I have found that not to be the case most times, it left many users without a direct solution for incorporating rail layouts in their design documents.
Beginning with version 2022, the Turnout Catalog content selection process is shown to have undergone a notable overhaul. Now, users can load a chosen catalog and see the various bits of useful information available. The catalog version and units are readily shown with the date and timestamp of the last modification to it. The catalog status shows the user whether it is loaded or has an issue. There is a column, “In-use/Total” that shows the number of references to content by objects in the current drawing. You are also able to replace the currently loaded catalog with another. To do this, click the green circular arrow icon in the Replace column and choose the catalog that is to take its place.
However, if the drawing currently has content that is referencing an entry from the loaded Turnout Catalog, it will be locked and cannot be unloaded.
Attempting to unload an in-use catalog yields the following error message:
Also, if you try to load, or replace a valid but unused catalog with one of a different unit of measurement, or one that has identical content, you will not be allowed to load it. Instead, you are presented with an error message similar to this one:
To conclude, it is good to see that more development continues to happen within the Rail module in Civil 3D. Speaking of which, here is a bonus to further that point. The dialog box and included selections have a more consistent appearance and feel that is like other parts of the application like alignments and profile creation.
There will be more on this in a later blog, but you needed this tidbit (in my opinion) to take you into the weekend, since we are on the subject.
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