I've been rolling this bench around and around in my head since I bought this house several years ago and I am finally getting started. A couple of weeks ago I decided to get started on the benchwork - with my wife's blessing . My grandfather's trains have been stored for 30+ years and they will ride again! The shape of the table was partially dictated by needing to leave access to a utility closet and house electric panel. I have only ever operated conventional and am reading up to learn about the newer remote/digi operation systems. Maybe a new control system is in my future, we'll see. I've purchased a used ZW-C to go with a couple of post-war ZW's that are in good shape - one is rebuilt, the other might get rebuilt soon. I am lucky enough to have more Lionel trains and accessories than I could ever fit on a table four times this size. I have loads of old/used Gargraves phantom flex and 20+ Gargraves 100 switches that are very serviceable. After I get the light rustiness off of the Gragraves phantom it might look more like tinplate . The old NJ dual solenoids I have are all bent and cruddy (and were problematic when they were last used) - the box got damp and they were just tossed in on top of each other in a box. I'll be buying new switch motors - what is your favorite switch motor these days?
One of my challenges in designing a track plan is that the 100 switches use up so much space. Is anybody unloading switches with gargraves-ish looking ties and lower radius turns? The attached pic of a layout idea below is probably the 100th idea that I've had so far - and it's unfinished. I haven't decided on what I will actually do with track yet, but the outer loop will look just about like that, and this seemed like about the most table I could fit in the space. The inner area/yards/industry tracks are all 'up in the air' for now. I'm probably going to try to get the outer loop on the table in the coming month and see how everything looks and feels and modify the "plan" as I go.
I have enjoyed the support and ideas I have already gotten from this forum and I'm looking forward to getting some choo-choo's running again! I am going to try a post progress pics as I go along.