It's also easy to overlook the work involved in building such an empire, and maintaining the behemoth once it's brought to life.
An example is the eight (only eight?) turnout controls for the Port Rowan project. Admittedly, it's a little more complicated than some methods, but it's still small potatoes, right?
Let's add up a few points:
several hundred wooden ties to layout, glue, sand and stain
8 complete turnouts worth of parts to cut, solder, test fit and hand spike (no small job!)
8 slots to cut through the roadbed to pass the throw rod
8 pieces of brass tube to cut to length, cross-drill and lap
8 pieces of larger brass tube to cut, deburr, lap, and press fit
8 lever arms to cut, file, solder and drill
16 headblock ties to cut, glue and pre-drill 2 holes in each
8 shelves to cut, shape, and drill
8 machine screws to install at an awkward angle