No space in the 1300sq/ft main house, and the 700sq/ft guest house is pretty tight. What to do? Go up.
The guest house was the right place to do this, but I was loathe to completely turn over an entire room to jump trains. I'm a serial hobbyist, so trains are only one of the many toys I just between. And besides, I just wanted something on which to run my three little engines. Nothing fancy. Just a loop. Right.
If I put the loop on a shelf above the windows, I could watch my trains run around. But, I needed room for the three consists. At least some of the shelf would need multiple tracks. And what if two trains were running? I'd need a passing track. The single loop got more complicated, but still not much more than what I ever had before.
But there was the question of seeing which way the switches were set. I figured that a few judiciously placed cameras could display on that big screen. Build a shelf, cut through the bookcase, a few cameras, maybe some cove lighting, and I'd be set. I had a plan.
Or so I thought.