Rod, Nice description and looks like DCS is more robust than I thought. I pretty much did what you describe on my previous layout and I had no issues either (bus wires with multiple drops, etc. etc.). I also added DCS after the layout was built. As I studied more in preparation for this layout, lo and behold, I found I had made a ton of "mistakes." Do I understand that you would eliminate the RCS tracks all together? How do you separate cars in the middle of a group? I had planned to use them but simplify the wiring so I ignore the actuating tracks and use a momentary PB for the coil only. I plan to use an independent 14v zw (non DCS bus) for accessories and RCS connections too.
Mike, the idea from you and Rod on the bumpers at the end of the yard spurs sounds good too. Your low tech approach on the project box is basically what I have been planning too- good to hear you had no DCS issues with that also.....and Miggy votes positive too!