Planning and build thread for my "intermediate term" N layout. This is the dining room of a 95-year-old "fixer upper" house I am slowly renovating. Given enough time and money I will eventually get rid of the 70's/80's wall textures, repaint and add some built-ins... at which time the layout dies. But that's a ways out, so until then, trains in the dining room. The layout is a freelanced double track line line with DC electrification through a forest preserve with a small, outer suburban village and a branch line to parts unknown. Most of my inspiration comes from Japan, but it could also represent American railroads in any of several parallel universes. For example, what if... -The MILW declines to commit corporate seppuku, instead extending the electrification east from Othello to Avery to create a continuous electric district for fast freight intermodal that competes favorably with the BN. By 2020 the 3kV has been extended as far east as Aberdeen and there is a separate 1.5kV system in the Chicago-MKE corridor. Hiawathas operate under wire at 125mph, and there have been studies of running a crosstown service by tying Union Station into the old IC Electric with a new connection near the St. Charles Air Line. Or perhaps... -North shore politicians cancel the Edens Expressway and I-94 is routed over what's now the Tri-State. The CNSM limps into the 70's and is absorbed into RTA as a separate division. In 1984-87 the original Insull overhead is upgraded to 1500VDC to allow for eight-car trains. Two Silverliners are modified to operate off the new wire and are sometimes seen on fan trips. IRM still owns 801-802, but 803-804 currently serves as a Near Northside pizza joint which is periodically threatened by proposals for a supertall on the site. Its long-term fate is unknown, but Rockhill Trolley has expressed an interest. That's enough BS, on to the benchwork: The layout is 3'4" x 13'6". There are two modules of 1/4" plywood over 1x3s, 40"x88" and 40"x74". These sit on two 2x4x14s spaced 39" O.C. and screwed into the home's original shiplap walls. 1x3 "paddles" prevent the modules from sliding off. Four cheap curtain rods are mounted on the back of the front 2x4, allowing the underside to be used as storage. The front 2x4 had a noticeable sag after construction, so I added a 2x6 leg. The rat's nest of Kato track is just there to run trains for the time being. I have most of a box of Peco Code 80 flex I bought 10 years ago which I intend to use. When I run out of turnouts I may continue buying Peco 80 or it might be a mix of 80 and 55. I packed up my trains towards the end of 2016 and most of them have been boxed since then. So far I have an F40PH that's missing a snowplow, an E531 with a destination sign that doesn't light, and who knows what else lurking in the cases. I reckon I should process the RIP track before I get into foam inclines and flex, so that's where this setup will remain for a bit.