A good model railway layout should contain plenty of room for trains to operate, a planned area for operating equipment, enough rail to cover the planned length of travel and scenery and backgrounds to enhance the display. Enthusiasts planning to share diagrams of the layout with others should include measurements or scale indicators to make the diagrams easier for others to use.
A basic model railway layout often includes only a sturdy table and a length of track for the train. Specialized nails hold the track in place, and users may follow diagrams provided with the train and track set or create their own circuits for the trains to follow. Basic layout diagrams often show where to place electronics and wiring for easy connections, but a good layout should provide plenty of coverage to disguise these components from view. All layouts require sturdy support and ample room for safe operation.
A good model railway layout should also provide plenty of track for trains to travel, and enthusiasts often draw their planned track placement on tables with pencils before laying the actual rails and erasing the marks. Scenery that matches the scale of the railway enhances the appearance of the layout and can disguise wires and accessories used to keep the train set operational.