I felt that all of this was just a distraction from what makes a layout truly enjoyable. Despite keeping gradients as shallow as possible, I eventually had to take into account the length of the trains, after adding lighting to the wagons with pickups. Locomotives that were not in top condition sometimes caused issues. The fact that there were now 7 locomotives running, but I only saw two or three of them often because the rest were waiting in a hidden station, ultimately made the design less enjoyable for me.
Starting from scratch and the challenge of beginning again from the ground up ultimately won out. You have this hobby because you enjoy coming up with ideas and giving them shape. When a layout is almost complete, you lose that excitement. Fortunately, I had used bookbinding glue for the track bed. I sprayed it liberally with a plant mister (a drop of dish soap in the water breaks the surface tension and allows the water to penetrate the bed more easily), and then used a putty knife to lift the rails, making them easy to remove.