The first stretch 1.8m (or 3km in real-life) (each track) is ready although not ballasted. While waiting for the World Cup games to start, I spent some time cleaning the excess glues of the tracks and tested the pickup connection. At full throttle, it registered 17V (I am using Fleischmann analog DC transformer for tests)
This time, Kato E8/9A volunteered to make the maiden trip, to and fro.
I am happy with the result. It is a baby step but an important step for me. It is a sign that I am progressing rather than procrastinating.