Hi there.. been reading the forum for a while so i have an idea of what i want to do with my corner of rails, but here we go since i am not too sure. a little background.. well i have been out of the train loop ever since the 80s when i was kid but as i have been heavily into rc it was inevitable i would return back to rail. i've chosen N gauge due to space and am not interested in steam (well for now) or long freight lines so that will not be a consideration. commuter and high speed passenger rail is what i am after. so i picked up a train and some rail to get me going. i finally laid out the base (which will be semi modular, non standard 2.5x4 pieces of plywood) and here is where i am at today (photo is at the bottom): i've drawn the plans on the board but it didn't show well in the photo so i did it in paint shop quickly again. don't freak at the bad markings i want to have 3 main lines, marked by l1, l2 and l3. l1 at the time is a stand alone, as i am a little stumbled at how to join it to the other 2. l3 is basically a big high speed rail and it merges at the north with l2, which also passes through the main station and train depot (3 depot lines, d1-3). then up by the 2nd station, line 1 might branch into a straight so that you can pull up the train into the station or go around the turn. whichever you want. the circles indicate approximate locations of the switches to join the lines together. it doesn't matter how they regulate power as long as i am able to control input into the depot. that's all that matters. D1-D3 must be power controlled so i can pull the trains in and out. i don't anticipate to have more than 3 but i have extra space so i could expand. i suppose my biggest concern is how to get the switches proper. as said above, my only need is to control d1, d2 and d3 depending on which train i want to run on l2/l3. l1 might be independant unless you think it should be joined into the others. I will not be running DCC. not for years to come anyway so it all has to be done analog. l3 does not stop at the station. none of the track is actually mounted and l1 is made up of old track so you can see it is not even straight. l2+ which i started on today is all brand new high quality track that is smooth as silk. so no worries there. i've already accounted for the module joints on the new lines, i will fix l1 when it comes to that. i just need something to run my train till the thing is complete. no the boards aren't mounted yet. as far as landscape.. the whole thing must stow away in my truck (or against the wall) for transport so no bridges or hills of any sort (i so wanted a bridge but space is against me) and grass shows dust too much so i am thinking of a desert layout. paint the board yellow and then put some sort of sand on it. suggestions of the best stuff for this application?