You post sounds like we have a lot in common,I wish you were near. REALLY ENJOY YOUR LAYOUT!! IT'S "TOP NOTCH."
I model CSX and the raillines that compose it-the predecessor lines such as Family Lines System,Chessie System&Seaboard System.
My locomotives are mostly 4 axle,with 2, 6 axle diesels that in my mind,will handle most trains not local switching. My layout,if it ever gets built,will be concentrated on switching.
Structures:these will have to consist of cardboard boxes that our dogfood arrives in,as funds won't allow wood or plastic,as I'd prefer.
Size:my layout size is 25ft wide and around 40-45ft in length,with a furnace and water fixtures to work around. I have shelving built on 3 sides with 4 levels. I'm using the 2nd tier from the floor upwards,for my trains and that measures roughly 36&1/2" high. I'm using Atlas #5 turnouts,mostly used,as well as mostly used track with mostly 60"radius curves as well as radius' down to 50". I hope to use groundthrow switchstands from ALL ABOARD TRAINS,that function just as the prototype functions. Couplers will be of the Protocraft variety with some Kadee. This is long range do to funding. The couplers come from Jimmy Booth of Glacier Park Models and are of the lower and double "safety shelf" variety,with some regular E type couplers from Protocraft. The more work I can do by hand like on the prototype railroads,the better I like it. I hope to put on airlines that the late Ben Brown made for O Scale some day.
The basement is full as when we sold my wife's home,everything got moved into a garage,basement and storage sheds. But I'm optimistic,I can keep a lot of this under the 36&1/2" shelf.
Industries:I live in the Midwest USA,in the State of Indiana. Grain farming is very heavy in my state as well as surrounding states,so grain cars of the 5161&4750 cubic foot variety are popular with me. The 4427 is basically out of my era but I will still fit a few of these in.
Tank cars,boxcars,and bulkhead flatcars are also to be heavy on my layout for lumber and chemical factories as well as grain handling industries such as NABISCO and or GENERAL MILLS. I'm also planning a paper factory.
Funding is from sales of my HO equipment which is going to seriously limit what goes on. I'm at a standstill in funding now. At 61,I'm wondering if starting in a new scale,(I spent at least 30 years in HO),is going to work.
There's another group I'd like to see you join with no disrespect intended to this one,this is my main group,but it's an Atlas 2and3rail Group. It's Discussions are focused on Atlas 2&3rail eqipment of all types,so it's kind of restricted,but still fun.
OSCALE YARD SALE, is a place to find some good buys once in a while.
Well that's all for now,my friend,look forward to many further conversations.