What exactly is a modular layout? It almost sounds like you cut the layout into squares or something that you can just rearrange any way that they will fit
'zactly. As long as you make sure that standards are met and kept. That is why I use NMRA as a guideline.
My yard, if completely assembled, is almost 16' long and 10 feet wide with "pop-ups" for access. I usually split it into 2-3 yards. One large and two smaller ones and do away with the "pop-ups".
I have taken the whole yard to train shows for a couple of clubs. Once in Indianapolis and once in Fort Wayne. The whole yard was set up in about an hour and a half. It actually takes longer to tear it down than to set it up. the yard consists of 8 modules if one use the transfer table and the round table.
Model Railroader Magazine did an article on a friend's yard that is a bit smaller than mine(his is 14'x 10') about 10 years ago. Mine was under construction at the time, still is actually. Some of the switches are still manually thrown. Those guys, the photographer and the editor, gave me quite a few tips that made building it and running it much simpler. My yard is larger because of the "run- around" tracks for the switchers. It has two yards, one for each direction and two "layout" tracks each.
The smaller modules can be interchanged to represent the 1920,-50's steam and transition period or modern motive era. Its all "plug and play".
The transition(connection) from module to module is accomplished by using a 3" piece of "transition track". I hold back each rail on each module 1 1/2" to protect the ends of each line.
My entire layout is about 80% done. I keep changing things, adding things and fixing things. It is DCC, but it is walk around. I would like to go wireless. By the time I finish, they may have "lev train" models out. So far the layout has been almost 11 years in construction.
Anyone wishing to build a modular layout should join the NMRA and use their guidelines as to clearances and such. The handbook is really a neat piece of information and reference.
I am hoping to set the layout up this year. We have moved and the layout is low on the Conductor's(my better half) list of things to do. I want to build an out building just for the trains. I want it to look like a depot. I have drawn up a floor plan that will have a work repair area, an office, and a few other creature comforts, like a kitchenette and bathroom. I have to have a place to put a coffee pot and a refrigerator and of course we all know what too much coffee leads to, don't we?