First off, hello, this is my first post to the forum. I've recently decided to take the plunge into model RR. Call me naive, but for my first project, I'm deciding to go free-form right off the bat. I'm at the point where I want to start matching what's in my head to the realistic world and have some questions. I'm working in HO and the system will be DCC. Incline What's the steepest grade one can get away with for straight aways and for curved track? Also, is there a certain type of track or method for bending track to start an incline? I noticed that track is not easily flexible for bending up and down. I was wondering how do you bend the track to start that incline, or is it that you don't bend the track and rather the incline is at the joiners and you increase it at each joiner? Base & Modularity Maybe I'm mistaken, but I believe some people go with foam while others go with plywood for a base. what are the pros and cons of each? for myself, I'm looking at doing an 8x6 (feet) layout. However for ease of transporting, whatever base I get will probably be two 4x6 sections. Seems to me plywood would be easier. I would think that foam would be suspect to buckling and snapping with a populated scene on top adding too much weight, thoughts, myth busting? As far as modularity, I'd like to construct the layout such that it can "easily" be separated back out into the two 4x6 sections. By easily I mean minimal involved work and nothing involving the word saw and worrying about breaking it down a handful of times in its lifetime. Seeing as how the track is to across the two sections, are there ways wiring and rail wise to design for this? I.E. not solder the rails together at that point and have plug(s) for wiring to allow the two sections to be detached and moved separately?