I've just joined zealot.com so that I can take advantage of all the combined experience out there to help me along my first ever model railroad. Over the past few months I have slowly been acquiring all the materials I need to get started on my layout and doing an exhaustive amount of research. I am very much a beginner (having never made a model RR ever) but I’m keen to dive in head first. For several months now, I've had my benchwork complete as shown: Since then however, I have gotten my extruded foam: twelve 10cm thick sheets which should last for multiple layouts. I have also got my track: Peco N scale Set Track, mostly R1 and R2 curves, straights and a heap of flexitrack… all code 80. I have all my Peco electrofrog turnouts ST-5 ST-6 yet to arrive, but should be in my hands within a week or two. I’m also expecting some point motors as well. I also received my first kit: the Walthers Ore Dock. It’s a HO kit, but I’m planning on bashing it down to N. It’s 1.2 m long; at HO, that is ridiculously undersized, but in N, ~200m for a ore dock is just about perfect. I’m amazed at how big it is, 26 sprue sheets. It almost covers my layout bench! There will also be a large open cut iron ore mine on my layout. The mine will be located in the hills at the back of the layout, as seen in my illustrations below. Iron ore will then be transported to the lowlands where there will be an industrial area: blast furnace, E.A.F., rolling mill, coke ovens, etc. A branch off of the main line will go to the ore dock where excess iron ore will be exported. Bridge cranes will unload coal from freighters for the steel works. The rolled steel will also be exported via this seaport. It should take me about forever and a day to do this, but that’s the whole point I guess. I will continue to post my progress here and perhaps a few youtube videos. Again, I’m totally new to this, so comments and advice are welcome.