Just a short note that I am putting this project on hold. After a number of years hoping to get the room to put my version of the HOG layout, the opportunity at this time is no longer there.
I had seen this coming, in the past year or so, and as much I had hoped that the tide would reverse, I finally realized that I will not be able to claim ownership of the train room space. Alas, it has become completely and permanently a storage room.
But, I keep hoping, and I know eventually I will have my first real home layout. I see this as a chance to perfect the plan, do more research, work on my cars and engines, perfect building trees (especially those not so easy eucalyptus).
Believe me, I have not given up, and I will have a layout eventually; its not going to be in the near future.
I am lucky enough that I know a number of people with large layouts and have been invited a number of times to "play"/operate on their layouts. But, it is not the same :)
And I am part of a club, so I can still run my trains there.
As for the suggestion to start small, it had occurred to me, but, space unfortunately is not there. Believe me, I would have thought of that if I had it.
I have thought of TTrak ( http://www.t-trak.org/ ) which allows for very small modules (and believe or not, I had thought a long time ago to build the HOG using this system), revisiting my earlier thinking, but I am not in N scale, and starting into a whole new scale is not a possibility at this time.
Thank you again.