I don’t think there are many people, young or old, that haven’t at some point of their lives thought about building a train set model with tunnels and mountains etc. Depending on the final outcome that you have in mind model railroad track plans will vary from one person to the next. Some people prefer simpler type plans while others go for more complicated type layouts. Generally railroader modelers will start out with an oval shape track plan and progressively morph into more elaborate type plans as their level of skill and dedication increases. The most important thing when starting out is to ensure that you plan it correctly from the offset. Don’t rush into it and be disappointed afterwards because of lack of planning. It doesn’t have to be expensive nor does it have to take up an enormous amount of space to design and create an effective track layout that you will be proud of and enjoy.
There are a few ways to go about it, but the first thing you will need to decide on is whether you want to design a landscape or a town or cityscape layout. Model railroad track plans are going to be heavily dependent on the environment you have chosen for them to run though. Sometimes it is hard to decide on which way to go, but a good idea is just look at photos of other train stations and tracks etc and get a better idea of whats out there. You can also join a club and see what thousands of other people have built and get ideas this way too. The bottom line is that you need to have a good idea in your head of what the finished product ought to look like before starting out. This way too you will have a better idea of what products you will need to buy and be able to budget better for them as well. The next thing is checking out how much space you have available, which will determine the train size you will need, the length of tracks and type of scene you desire. You can always alter your plan too and leave out parts of your scene if necessary to fit it all in. But at least having a good idea from the offset will save you a great deal of time, money and headaches.
Once you have calculated the required space involved, a good idea is to lay the tracks and make a mock up layout of your entire scene to ensure that all will fit in and work out according to your goal. This way you can cut out unnecessary expenses on items that maybe would not really appeal to the scene you have in mind and also give you a last chance to make alterations to your plan before affixing the tracks and making anything permanent. You can even use cardboard and just cut out shapes of where buildings, mountains or tunnels etc may be. This will also give you a better idea of scale and how big or small features should be for the final product to look as realistic as possible. Next on the list is to build a base for your model layout. You can read more on this website about baseboards and which ones to choose from. After that it comes down to laying the tracks and building up your scenery either from scratch or from model kits. Make sure you choose a good track plan that really fits what you have in mind and again, don’t rush this part. Study as many model railroad track plans as possible to ensure you are super happy with the final product! Good luck with your new model and happy railroading!