Frank - I believe this is the first time I've seen the entirety of your layout. Very impressive! I really like that you created an entire town and got the trains to blend in so nicely, as opposed to trying pack in too much trackage. Thank you for the tour!
Thank you, Zeke, Good to hear from you.
I must confess that I started out like quite a number of us do, with what's been referred to as a "Spaghetti Bowl" of tracks and switches. I've heard a lot of us do that, in our enthusiasm . I used to have DOZENS of switches on my layout, both 027 and 072, with side tracks galore, even a turntable planned.
However, one day, while my wife and I were sharing our layout with guests, for the umpteenth time, we realized most guests were done with seeing the layout after about 20 min. max. I had never really been throwing switches, much, while having company, and didn't even do so much when running the layout alone. I guess that turned not to not be the way I played.
My wife gestured, during one of our debriefing sessions, in the layout room, while standing next to where the turntable was to be inserted amidst its roundhouse and yard, "Get rid of this." I had an epiphany, at those words. She was right. Guests were not interested in what I had in place, because neither were we.
In the next few days, I stripped the entire layout down to the plywood and began again, one inch at a time, and in no hurry whatsoever.
It gives us more to see and remember and gives our guests a bit more adventure. Nowadays, they stay for approx. an hour-plus, even when urged to return to the first floor for refreshments !
I have a theory. Our affection for trains becomes a creative adventure, an intellectual joyride to create a miniature world that gives the trains purpose, a place to be and a place to go, and places from which to return, beyond our nostalgic love for trains and for times gone by.
That's my personal theory.
FrankM, Moon Township, USA