Step 1: find a room. Step 2: build a railroad. Step 3: enjoy.
Late Winter 2015, my wife and I started to have conversations around selling our house (which's basement housed RTRR (then the only one ever)) and finding a new place. We made a final decision after Thanksgiving and began the process to ready the house for sale. Spring of 2016 came and the house went onto the market. We had spent some time looking at where to move to during this time. We had a list of "must-haves" that made buying an existing house somewhat problematic, as the average house buyer is concerned with things like paint color and house design, whereas I care about how big the basement is, what type of electrical service I have, and how easy it will to take care of so I can do things I like to do versus spending my limited time doing things I don't like to do.
That pointed us to new construction homes and we found a builder and plan we liked. Taking a big bet, we signed paperwork for new place a few days before our then current home was listed.
Multiple designs were made to maximize the railroad operations. A feature is being worked for the LD Sig's Journal and parts will be posted here.
The Layout - Overview
The layout is a two deck, shelf style layout. Having learned from the previous railroad, the benchwork and subroadbed is kept as narrow as possible. This speed construction and eases scenary installation when the time comes. This also saves money on materials at all phases of construction.
The benchwork is again, built from plywood. I ripped the sheets of it down to 3" wide strips that I then used to provide joists and other support framework. This time, the upper level is 19/32 plywood for subroadbed. Homasote used as the roadbed foundation on both levels and I plan to buy roll cork and cut my own strips to save some coin, as well as minimize joints.
Version 2 is built from the top down to again ease access to the underside of the layout for signal and tortoise installation.