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Also, I really can't wrap my head around N-type, P-type, NPN, and PNP. What are the these?
I always try to do things as inexpensive as possible,
First question - will an H bridge work for this application? Many HO trains run on AC power and just switching the two leads via an H bridge will do nothing. Have you tried switching the wires manually to see if it will, in fact, run backwards?
in most cases nothing besides these two components is required. one p and one n for each of the 2 legs. one pulls up, the other pulls down.
Shouldn't the gate to source current be small enough that the voltage drop across this resistor is less than threshold?
Finally, the switching speed when the pull-up turns the gate off is also decided by the pull-up resistor.