I have some ideas for planning out my layout but it’s my first time and I’m sure I can learn tons from those of you who’ve been there already. My outdoor area will be fed by a double track trestle coming out of my walkout basement, using the outside track, making a 90 degree gentle curve as it rounds the rock retaining wall to my raised area. This area Is around 45x50, give or take. The trains will return to the basement on the inside track of the trestle. There’re will be top pond fed by a waterfall, running down a stream feeding a second pond. I want to have a mountain with a logging operation serviced by a separate line that will run from the mountain down to a service siding, and both ends reverse loops. A log train and mow train carrying loggers will alternate automatically on this line, stopping on the loops and the service area. I plan on using the RR Concepts electronics for my automation. There will be two end to ends on the layout. A short ore train running up on a high elevation and a trolley line running through the entire width of the layout ending at a station and disappearing into a tunnel. The main line will automatically split off, depending on magnet placement from the passenger route and the freight route. I have mentioned my thoughts before and supplied some pictures but I want to start on the planning stages now so will include the pictures again. i am interested in any ideas for laying out my railroad like computer programs also. I’m not following any specific prototype so I’m open to anything that will work to incorporate as many of my thoughts as possible. I know many think my plans are a huge undertaking and they are but I do stuff on this level a lot so I understand the work and effort that has to go into it. Because I’m new to it, im trying to get as much information as possible beforehand so there’s less mistakes made. I know there are some rules as far as grades go but I encourage even those basic rules to be posted here so this thread could be a great reference page down the road. My initial thoughts of laying out my railroad are the following:
Measure out, stake, and square the area into a grid so the area can be transferred to graph paper.
using a laser level, shoot all elevations and try to create a 3D type topography of my area
looking for good books on the subject of planning and laying out my layout. Which books or web articles?