Okay, here we go again. I posted some track plans waaayy back when (about a year ago), and have since been doing a lot more thinking than doing. Well, as the summer started waning in the Chicago area, my thoughts again returned to getting that model railroad empire going. I have attached my latest, hopefully greatest trackplan for your review. Benchwork - will be 3 benches, two 5' by 4' benches with a 4' by 2' in the middle. Tech specs - DCC, probably 2 to 3 engines on the layout at any given time. Era - Planning to model the early 70's to early 80's. Railroad - Mostly Rock Island and C&NW. Location - Mythical. I plan to have a mountainous/hill area feel on the layout. Use - Want some general switching to keep things interesting for the kids and I, but my switching will mostly be something along the lines of "pick up gravel at siding A, and deliver to concrete plant at siding B, etc.". I also want to have the ability to just let the kids "run the trains" around the track, hence a point-to-point is out of the question. Secondary use - you will notice a lot of roads along the front of the layout. That is also for my 3 kids to be able to run cars along that frontage road. Ok, with that out of the way, let me discuss the layout attached a bit. The black color represents roads (lots and lots of roads!). The brown color represents industrial buildings (gravel plant, concrete plant, etc) The orange represents more retail type structures (think Walthers cornerstone Merchants Row 1 & 2). The green represents possible mountains with tunnels (the kids really want tunnels for the trains to go through). The red represents bridges. The blue represents...you guessed it! water! Basically the plan (traveling clockwise) is to have the tracks elevate starting at the left front area, hitting a 4 1/2 inch height before the switch along the back, then start dropping back down once you get past the bridge along the back. I realize I will need a 3 or 4 degree incline to accomplish this, but I do not plan to pull more than 5 or 6 cars with each train, so I presume the engines can handle this. Thoughts? Questions?