So, I have a baby almost here, and lots of time overseas to plan a kid-friendly layout.
I think high-rail is the best description - I want to run toy trains kind of prototypically, with switching and bridge traffic, waybill system, etc.
Small kid friendly
This could mean adjustable legs to grow with age.
This does mean O gauge.
This does mean a continuous run is req.
Modular / reconfigurable
It should go from a family-gathering, kid friendly loop, to adult operations.
Homemade/Created Road name and logo
Viewing area to sit and watch trains at one location
Seats are not required to be part of benchwork, but a tabletop is.
Short trains, 3-5 cars.
At least two operators in L shape.
Main run in loop config is not deadrail; the rest is.
Supports small crew
Covers a long distance / trains feel like they’re going somewhere
Connections with other, real RR / branch / interchange
High volume of traffic, lots of trains
Engine Servicing (Small, Diesel shops / fuel etc.)
Complex storage system (cassette, train lift, etc.)
Helper service (pretty much out)
Attached are some sketches I'm working on - Red is backdrops.
When in the L, or operating shape, both ends serve as staging.
All need revision, the straight staging most of all.
The long modules are planned at 3x8', the short ones are 3x6'.
Any track planning software that handles modules well?