What Will I Model Next ?


I definitely want to build another layout, but what will I model ?

After mulling that over for the last 6 months I realise there are three things that attract me.

A common carrier.

I love rural common carriers. Railways running through beautiful countryside, transporting the local agricultural produce from one small town to another. Definitely not industrial, certainly not profitable and probably rather run down. Think Welshpool and Llanfair or the Leek and Manifold… Hmmmm…

This idea really appeals. It would fit well with my aim of building a modular layout that can grow. I can imagine starting with a country terminus and adding other scenic boards over time. There could be a lot of variety: fields, rivers, bridges, cottages, farms, wayside halts, passing stations and so on. There is lots of potential to sustain my interest. I really like the prototypes. Having said that I probably wouldn’t model a particular prototype. I would rather model a fictitious, but plausible line. That would give me more freedom.

A factory layout.

The cobbled courtyard of an engineering works, with lines going in and out of the various buildings. Lots of grime and discarded detritus to add detail and atmosphere to the layout. Small industrial petrol and diesel locos taking short, heavily loaded trains of raw materials into the factory and emerging to whisk shiny, newly manufactured products off to be transferred to a standard gauge transfer yard.

This idea appeals too, but there are a couple of sticking points. I’ve tried sketching lots of track plans but I haven’t been able to create one that includes all the elements I want and would be good to operate. Also, I can’t see this being a modular layout. At most I see two boards, one for the factory, one for the transfer.

To add more confusion, it occurred to me that this would be a great 09 layout. Not in the 15 inch gauge miniature railway style but as an 18 inch gauge industrial line. (OK, I realise 09 isn’t strictly 18 inch gauge but you could model it to give that impression). Strangely, I like this idea. Yet, I’m not sure now is the time to change scale. I’d be starting all over again.

A Pre-WWI French 60cm line.

Ladies in Edwardian dresses, waiting to board long, mixed trains with elegant carriages. Beautiful Weidknecht locos running through the streets of dusty French towns, out into the country and even to the seaside. Elegant, slightly dilapidated French buildings. The smell of fresh baguette and strong coffee. OK, I’m getting carried away now… But browse through the many, early postcards available online and it’s easy to get carried away.

There’s quite a lot of ready to run 009 / H0e stock available for post-WW1 French lines. However, I find the pre-war atmosphere, locos and rolling stock much more appealing. Here lies the problem. There are only a few kits available for pre-war material. This is very much a scratch building project, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that. Yet.

The conclusion…

This is a long blog but it’s been useful for me to get my thoughts straight. What’s it told me?

  1. My next layout should be the common carrier, it appeals to me and it fits well with the type of layout I want to create.
  2. I will probably build that 09 factory layout. Not now, but sometime.
  3. I’ll keep dreaming about the French layout.. and eating baguettes…

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Scanné par Claude_villetaneuse (Collection personnelle) [Public domain], (PD-1923)


  1. Ah, the joys of dreaming and layout planning. We all have the next layout, and the one after that in our heads. I also have an idea for 09 and collected loco’s and stock, but time and these days energy seem less. As one of my old mentors said “failing to plan is planning to fail” so take your time, visit more exhibitions and do not be afraid to change or modify plans. Keep steam up at all times. Mark


  2. Hi Mark, Good to hear you are a dreamer too! I’m enjoying the planning side of things, it’s a lot of fun in itself. Also, I’m intrigued that you have secret 09 ambitions too – we should talk about that next time we meet…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.