I’ve seen a number of videos lately made by people putting dashboard cameras on their trains, which gives a view of a layout that we don’t usually get to see–the view from the trains themselves. I’ve found a cheaper option. Hit up Ebay for an SJ4000 camera, which, if you sort the buy-it-now listings, you should be able to get for less than $20.
If that’s too rich for your blood, look for the Mini DVR 808, which is keychain sized and costs more like $5.
Don’t expect the world for that kind of money, but you can get a surprisingly good view of your layout from a perspective you’ll never see in person with one.
It’s not quite like getting to ride in your trains, but it’s not bad, either.