I would connect the loops at a later date. Right now, there can be two trains and trolley running at once. The 2 trains move in opposite directions. It will look cool. A third train can parked on the passing siding, if that is set up with a power kill. There are accessories to stop and play as well as some service spurs to play with.
What are the ideas for the 5 o'clock corner? Just a woods or forest look?