So here's the short version of a long story: I've wanted to build a model railroad for ages, and finally decided to do it a few months ago. The going was slow, since I was finishing up college, but now I've graduated and I have more time to devote to my railroad. When I first started, I wanted something small and simple, and was considering a continuous running setup. I didn't know much about model railroading and dove right in, building some terrain and getting the hang of how everything's done. Recently, I've become more interested in making a more complex setup. However, I want to use a portion of my original layout, a desert canyon that I like too much to discard. Ideally, I'd like my layout to be 4x8, but it can grow a little larger or a little smaller. I'd like to see what kinds of ideas people can come up with for possible layouts? I'll be using a 4-4-0 and 40' cars moving at slow speeds, so the turns can run on the tight side and the grades can run a little steep. The image below is a somewhat rough sketch of my layout, each red square is 1' wide, and the darker elevations are higher than lighter ones (there is about a 2" difference between shades.) Blue lines are places I'd particularly like to lay rails. Secondly, where should I go to learn more about operations? I don't know much, honestly, but I'd like to learn. Particularly, how do steam engines handle point to point operations? Would they run backwards over a portion of it, or would there be a turntable (even a small one, like an armstrong) at the far end?