Initially, I was very much into Great Western 1920s and 30s, influenced by my father and a layout we built in my childhood, but the more time I have spent on forums and reading books, the more I have grown to appreciate Southern and post nationalisation steam. A great influence on me was Southernboy’s Frankland. Its suburban feel, Southern stock and superb modelling, plus his excellent posting style really picqued my interest. Then I got a copy of Waterloo Sunset with its footage of 60s steam on the Southwest and West of England mainlines – another big influence.
Running wise, I like to see trains passing and am more interested in passengers operations than freight, although some mail, parcel, milk and general goods stock is always welcome. Plus I wanted a decent shed area for displaying some locos awaiting their turn.
So I started listing what elements I wanted and so came up with this:
Mainline station with at least 4 platforms
Minimum of dual line running
Some storage sidings for trains and/or carriage sidings
Opportunity to scratch build a suburban area
Late crest Southern Region with some Western interlopers
Ability to swap eras to run some Maunsell era stock (with the odd GWR interloper)
To have fun
To revert to rule one whenever the fancy took me
A house move earlier this year meant I now had use of a third bedroom as an office/modelling/layout room but knowing that we are likely to move again in the next 5 years or so meant I wanted the boards to be semi portable modules. The space available would be very roughly 7ft by 7ft around the walls, initially on units/desks but with the ability to be raised on legs to free up workspce under the layout as things developed.
I don’t have a trackplan I’m afraid, rather am working from a plan in my head, various sections of which have been mocked up in trial runs. Simply put, the east side will have a 4 platform station and town, the north will have the 4 lines go down to 2 with a spur off to the loco shed, the west side will see the 2 lines continue with some train storage sidings (maybe hidden) and the south a spur to carriage sidings before the 2 lines split back into 4 before heading back round into the station.
Thanks for reading and any feedback welcomed.
Next the boards and name ideas.