One of my favorite parts of the hobby is track-planning. I have probably drawn hundreds of different track plans, some ridiculous and a few that I wanted to build right away. Either way, track-planning is a good exercise for your brain and can help your interest in modeling up without taking much time or resources.
Track-planning is simply problem-solving. You have parameters, you have an idea, and you have to make the two work together in harmony. By thinking of what you want to do first, you can have a guide to your plan. Having a vision and concept for what the plan will be and then making that a reality on paper is a fun and interesting challenge, especially when you are planning for your own future layout (check out this article for a great website full of plans). Having a good plan is very important before you begin to build because it will save time, resources, and frustration over beginning without a plan and having to go back and re-do things when they don’t work out the first time. But even if you aren’t planning for something specific, it is a fun and worthwhile exercise to track-plan. Even looking at the ideas of other can give you inspiration, and Kalmbach Publishing has plenty to choose from.