Hi and Welcome to the forum!
As I don't model in N scale, I can't tell you much. Do you have an actual track plan? If you do, do you think you could post it here.
I think it might also be a slightly better idea to start non-DCC and slowly to go DCC.
It would be good to know how much space you have available, then perhaps people will think about what might be possible.
I disagree with the previous poster, a lot of the benefit of DCC is in reducing and simplifying the wiring when building a layout, so if you build the layout for DC some of the work is wasted if you change to DCC later. Most of the modern image N gauge locos are quite easy to fit for DCC, with some exceptions as discussed in various threads on here.
Welcome to the MRF, particularly as you are an N Gauger like myself.
I'm modelling Post WWII GWR but if I can be of any help you only have to ask and I (as I'm sure will many others) will gladly try to help.
As Edwin says it would help, to start with, to know what sort of space you have available and if you have any particular prototype terminus in mind. Can't say I, know much about NW terminii . In fact off the top of my head I can't think of any. They are all either on the West Coast Main Line or the Trans Pennine routes. Try Googling for some actual track plans for whereever you have in mind and see what you get.
As regards DCC I have no hesitation in saying go straight for it. There are some very good and quite inexpensive controllers around and I have had no problem getting any locos chipped so far. Even down to a little 0-6-0 GWR Pannier.
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