There are some important considerations when planning a lyout for computer control, or a layout which will be DCC based, but which you might want to enhance by adding computer control later on. It is prudent to think about either of these options at an early stage.

Layout design and operation

Think about how you want your trains to run

How many operators will you have?

Where will trains stop (and, importantly, where will they not stop)?

How many trains will run at any one time?

Do you want automatic operation, or a combination of automatic and manual operation?

Will your layout have bi-directional running on specific track sections?

Consider train lengths; it is advisable to plan your block (or track section) lengths to be able to accommodate your longest train

Layout reliability

At the risk of stating the obvious, a layout will always work best when its component are clean and well-maintained. This includes, track, engines and unpowered roiling stock.

Ensure track is well laid and kept clean

Ensure your locomotives are running well, and have sufficient electrical pick-ups

Keep your other rolling stock in good order; make sure couplings are reliable, and consider adding electrical resistors to wheel sets (this enables the computer software to sense (via current draw detection) that stock is still in a particular section of track even when the locomotive has left it)