Many of you know that i've been trying to find a new HO scale railroad to build, as my 4x8 is just not working for me anymore. I've been constantly stuck between build a Freight themed conrail layout based on the "Chemical Coastline", or building the Northeast Corridor and its commuter operations in the same region of NJ, of which i have a childhood connection to. However, It just occurred to me, why not build both? I've recently gotten the idea of a double-deck layout to fit over the space i have. I figured i could streatch out another 2 additional feet, giving me 16' of length, but the width is still out, i'm not sure how wide i can build (the whole room is 13 feet wide, and i need to leave an wide aisle on one side because people frequently travle through the area, as well as the fact that there are pipes and electrical boxes in the way). Both decks would be in a long "island/doughnut" configuration. The layout would face outwards, being about a few feet deep at most points. the doughnut hole in the center can be used for storage or staging. Anyway, I figure I can model the freight i want to do on the lower deck, so that it is level with my current layout (which is also lower than originally planned). that way, frieght can interchange easily with the old (since i don't plan on tearing down my old layout, its not technically finished enough for me to feel good about doing that). I think i can add a small staging area inside the doughnut hole, so that some trains can be staged, or maybe even add a "third" deck below for a staging instead, by just dipping the mainline down in a gradual descent. It would add exta "miles" to the train's run, and it wouldn't show up all the time. The upper deck would house the NEC layout. I don't plan on connecting the two decks, since they have no reason to intrude on the other (i might build an elevator for an "interchange" so that maybe a small freight train can run on the NEC. its an excellent excuse for a blue caboose!). I think i want to stay simplistic with the NEC. the NEC itself is a pretty straightforward rail line: its catenary with fast trains! As a result, i'll probably be content with a 16 foot long 4/6 track oval, with maybe a little variation, and some believeable NEC scenery. The railroad wouldn't have to be to thick on the upper deck either, just wide enough so that some secenery can be put into it. THe two decks in my mind kind of have different purposes in my mind. The lower deck satisfies my hunger for operating the trains and interesting industries to switch, where the upper-deck is all about "race-tracking" the trains. I don't think i'd even put staging into the NEC, although i have thought about selectively compressing the interchange with the North Jersey coastline and having a few long tracks that dead end inside the doughnut hole, so that push-pull commuter trains can pop in and out of the layout. Does my plan sound viable? or am i thinking to loftily?