Mike explicitly talked about cost, size, quality and time as the main elements that need to be optimised if a layout is going to get built and not be a millstone around the owners neck.
From where I'm sitting on the learning curve I would have to suggest there are two other factors, and to complicate things they aren't static.
One is skill. I'm very aware that my skills have improved since returning to the small scale side of the hobby, but at the same time I'm learning new skills I'm also coming across new barriers of incompetence. I don't want to limit my modelling to what I know I can achieve today, but at the same time I don't want to be so ambitious that I reduce the chance of success.
The second is prototype knowledge.
When I set off on this journey I thought I was reasonably knowledgeable about railways. In fact if the conversation is about narrow gauge railways of the British Isles I can probably hold my own in a pub conversation.
What I didn't realise is the extent of my ignorance about certain aspects of standard gauge railways that I now think are essential for building a realistic model. Point rodding is an obvious example, but only one of many. Frankly I had no idea how the brakes really worked on wagons - and didn't need to until I started to think about how to model them.
There is, I suspect, a third factor, which is the point at which additional effort becomes of limited value in adding to the overall effect. I suspect it will be sometime before I have to worry about reaching that point.
All of which brings me back to TaOC again.
Whilst travelling and the weather have both been interfering with my modelling they haven't completely stopped me thinking about it, and the actual degree of compromise I'm prepared to accept. If I was building it in OO I think even at my usual glacial place I would have it up and running by now, but then what would be the fun in that?
Should I have gone with copperclad trackwork though? That would have speeded things up even in EM.
So would going with the track plan as it came out of Trax, but I made the call that I wanted to put the final plan together in Templot so I have more guidance when converting the template to track and so I can sort out things like conflicts between timbering and sleepers.
So that is what most of my bank holiday Monday has involved, and here is the Templot design as it currently stands. A little more tweaking is needed but it just about works.
I've tried to get it as close to Roy's original design as possible whilst still using A6 points. Ideally I would have liked to use B6. For comparison this is how my Trax version looked. At the end of the day there isn't much in it. I used A5 points in the Trax version but I don't think the space saving was worthwhile.