Last night my wife insisted I show her the local train store I've started visiting. Then she wouldn't let us leave until she'd bought me the specific things I wanted. I don't know that I'd completely made up my mind at that point, but I figured what the hell it's not like we live forever. And who in their right mind would pass up an opportunity for their wife to force trains on them? What a great life! I am the proud new owner of a Bachmann Shay and a set of spine cars. They look pretty good. The detail and weight of O scale equipment is so much nicer than HO - it makes it feel like you're actually getting something for your money, albeit more money is required So this week(end) I hope to get to the hardware store and build some tables to get started on a layout. The trains look good on the dining room table, but I'm sure they'd look better in a scale environment. For info about my progress in figuring out what I want to do: http://www.the-gauge.com/showthread.php?t=22290 For info about at least a small section of my concepts: http://www.the-gauge.com/showthread.php?t=22503 You might be familiar with the member Shamus and his amazing On30 logging lines. I plan to borrow from his designs and hope to get two loops, a few sidings, and a switchback hill climb worked in. I don't know that this plan ever got a name - it only stuck around a few months before he got bored with it. But this is what I'm thinking I'll modify to suit my wants. Hope he doesn't jump my case for stealing his idea There's little chance I'd ever complete a layout, especially at his level, but I've got to start somewhere and he's got about a 40 year headstart on me. After looking over the Bachmann spine cars and lots of pictures of other logging related rail equipment I'm excited about scratch building some disconnects. I can't imagine it being too terribly difficult, just maybe time consuming. Probably my most favorite part about doing this is being able to build heavy lifting and hard working equipment in a spare bedroom. One of my best friends growing up and I used to build crazy stuff out of Lego and always dreamed about making the real things. He's turned out to be a mechanical engineer and I'm a computer guy. So he really does get to build the real thing, while I'll be using scale lumber and trial-and-error technique Fun stuff. Thanks to the guys who suggested On30. I really think it's going to be very enjoyable for me. I've certainly been enjoying the exploration and dreaming about all the different layouts and aspects of the hobby.