First of all, welcome to 2 Rail O scale !!!!
I thought you might see what a layout 12'x 18' can produce in 2 Rail O scale.
When I designed this layout I had as Marty pointed out my" Givens and Druthers".
Givens- At 60 years of age I wanted to use as much off the shelf items as possible.
Prepping the room with proper lighting and other amenities before rather than after layout built.
No more hand laid track or measuring for grades-Atlas track and Woodland Scenics, Mianne benchwork.
Outside main westbound loop to run my trains and act as a" moving interchange track" as a portal to the outside world.
Inside eastbound main track to switch the inbound cars in the 6 industries and set off the outbound cars to the moving westbound moving interchange track.
Trains to peddler freight length- 6-9 cars. Locos 2 axle diesels or 2-8-0. Passenger- 2 cars or RDC /gas electric.
Detail, detail, detail the layout. That is what O scale is all about. O scale size trees, not the mamby- pamby commercial made ones- go outside and look what God has made!!
No turntables or yards-takes up lots of space- starts out as a nice idea until they are populated by locos that don't run and freight cars collecting dust-dust is not weathering !!!- and of course-spiders!!
Druthers- Radius constrains to Atlas 49.5", 45" radius.Turnout-hand thrown-Atlas #5's
I wanted to pop up's in the layout so I put down the good old Harbor Freight anti-fatigue mats.
Welcome to 2 Rail Oscale- You have received some excellent advise from some of the best layout builders on this Forum!! Take heed!!
Try to attend a O scale only show like Chicago at St.Patty's Day weekend since you live in Sheboygan,WI.
John P.Dunn Sr. Scale2Rail Promotions
Strasburg Show- 04/22/2017