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Hi Anna and welcome to the Forum.

When my brothers and I got our first train set, my Dad bought an 8' x 4' sheet of chipboard which was put propped up somehow in the spare room. I think a couple of large wooden boxes formed the supports. It was make shift but it never collapsed or fell over. The point is that it gave us a dust free flat surface with no uneven joins.

On this surface we would build layouts with the track from the train set and expansion packs and drive trains to our hearts' content. We added a few buildings to create towns, painted roads, fields and so on. Nothing was nailed or glued down because if Grandma came to stay overnight babysitting, the whole thing had to be packed away.

After a few years of this, I negotiated a change in bedroom allocations to free up a bedroom in exchange for a permanent layout. By that time I knew what kind of railway operation interested me and had a better idea of what I wanted to do.

What I'm saying is, take your time don't rush. Try a bit of this or that and find out what you really like about the hobby. There are so many different "occupations" from layout design, scenery, wiring, electronics, house building, wagon building, coach building, loco building, historical research, etc. that there is bound to be something that captivates you and gives you enormous pleasure as a result.

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