My train set started in 2010, but some of the track layout and such I worked out years before. This is, and likely always will be, a work in progress. Try to imagine a small town of shops in the center, a farm/ranch on the left, and a mountain/wilderness on the right. The far right track is meant to become a tunnel route through the mountain, while the inner circuit will have a slight cut into the mountainside. This is the plan at least.
This is my farm/ranch house. It is built mostly from two sets of the Apple Tree House (#5891). The floors come apart at those thin black lines giving access to see the inside of the house. I did not photograph the inside because it is not finished. It has rooms, doors, and stairs to the second floor, but no furniture or finishings yet. I’ll add more pictures when I have more done.
This is the start of the small town. The pizzeria, skate/bike shop and bus are from the City Corner (#7641) that my wife and kids bought me for my birthday. As with most city sets they leave the back of the buildings open so kids can actually play with the set, but I will likely fill in the backs of these buildings eventually and leave the removable floors and roofs as a way to play with them instead. I really like their city bus.
My train is built from parts of the original Small Locomotive (#3740) combined with Railway Express (#4561). It is obviously not designed based on any actual or historical train, just built for fun. I am not a big fan of the six stud width train builds because they leave no room for anything inside the train. One minifig standing there abreast, and one stud width wall on either side, and that is all you can fit. So, I am making mine to an eight wide format instead.
I like the 9 volt train tracks because I can set the speed, leave it and mess with other things. To be honest I have not had one of the RC trains yet so I can not speak to how good they are. However, I am happy with my older set. Well mostly, except for the going marketplace price of straight tracks, ouch.
This is a grain tender I built. It also is obviously not designed based on any actual or historical train car. Just my own design, and what bricks I happen to have in my collection.
Finally I have a box car. The walls of wood façade are fun, but I do not have the pieces to make proper sliding doors, so I used these large rectangle ones instead. They work too.
I hope to add a few more cars to the train before I am happy with it. A passenger car of course, maybe a cattle car or coal car, and a caboose would be nice. The town still needs buildings and of course the mountain is a major obsticle. Should be a fun project to work on, a little bit at a time.