The available space didn't allow for long trains to be run and watched - but for a lot of switching action. So I decided to model an industrial area with different industries, some of them rail served, others not. A small yard would be nice even if it's more a run around only.
The benchwork should be modules, sometimes spread over two or even more segments. I really like the many advantages modules give: Moveable, easy handling, especially when you have to work on the bottom side, not too much work at once, ...
Operation should be done by some car forwarding system and provide single-person operating sessions in the range of 10 to 50 minutes.