Good evening, I've followed this and other model train boards for the last couple of years. I've been wanting to get back into the hobby ever since I got out after highschool in the mid 90s. I always had an excuse why I couldn't unbox my trains and start building a layout. Finally, after 25 years I have a location to build my layout. Its a storage room in my basement. While not huge, it is clean, dry, and large enough to fit more than a 4x8 sheet of plywood. The room is L shaped. The main part of the room is 16x10. The extension of the L is 8x12. The inside walls of the L has drywall that hasn't been finished. Same with the ceiling. The rest of the walls have the foundation insulation common on newer homes. My original plan was to finish the room before starting a layout. Roughly a year ago, I started this process by laying vinyl flooring down. My progress on the room has stalled since as other projects around the house took priority. A couple of weeks ago I bought a couple of boxes of train stuff off of craigslist. It's from the son of a former modeler. Most of the equipment is from the early 2000s or older. I paid $150 and got 5 DC engines, an assortment of freight cars, an entire small town worth of buildings, bunch of trees, and some really old track. It all needs some work but he had a large amount of Kadee couplers and wheels and trucks. I should be able to assemble 20-25 good freight cars from the 1920s -1950s. I also got 2 good passenger trains from that era. My favorite engine is a IHC 2-6-0 Mogal that runs really smooth. All in all, a pretty good haul for $150. From my high school days, I had almost 100' of flex track and about 10 Atlas Customline switches. I also had 10 snap switches (almost 20 if you include the snap switches in the craigslist find). At that time, I was really into 80's diesel equipment so I have a couple of Anthern locos, and about 15 decent freight cars. Now I am stuck with two different era's to choose from. I really like watching the Mogal run and I think I will be switching to a transition era railroad. Of coarse, when I bought the equipment off of craigslist, I had to see what I got. I set up a 4x8 sheet of pink insulation on saw horses. My original plan was to just unpack everything and see what I got. Two weeks later, I am complete hooked. I've laid out the good Nickel Silver track (no snap switches or section track) on the the foam board and I realized I have come to a cross roads. Do I stop and try to finish the room (the best option for keeping everything clean)? Do I keep the 4x8 layout I have quickly thrown together as motivator? Do I build something a little more permanent yet fairly easy to move? I am leaning towards the last option. I want something I can run trains on while I finish other projects around the house. I really feel the room won't be 100% complete for another 2 years minimum. The temporary set up doesn't lend itself to easy block wiring. It needs proper benchwork. I also want to start converting everything to Kadee couplers and eventually DCC. I also want to keep collecting items off of craigslist as I see a good deal. Finally, I think this would allow me to practice my modeling before I build the more permanent shelf layout. I'm thinking of expanding the 4x8 to 5x10. This will give me enough room to run 24" radius curves. It will also allow for longer yard tracks. I should be able to run most steam era equipment on that. I can move the layout around when I finally get to finishing the room. Well, its getting late. I'll get some pictures of my very simple layout upload in the morning. I'm hoping this blog will help me stay motivated to practice my modeling and maybe motivate someone like me to reboot their childhood dreams.