In November 2008 I was chatting to Glenn Daniel (Dunedin) at Mickleover Model Railway Club and we thought of making a layout for the exhibition circuit. Utilising one of the other members branch line layouts was contemplated (it was for possible sale at the time) but we decided to go for our own instead. Initial thoughts were around the area of the country to model and, due to keeping the layout small enough for two people to manage, we realised we would need short trains meaning we had two options - Scotland or Cornwall. Glenn has been modelling Scotland in the 1980s, I was modelling Cornwall in October 1976. In the end I acknowledged the fact that the general public are more interested in different colours as opposed to different rakes so Scotland won.
The next thought was of location and a station on the Highland line between Perth and Inverness was looked at. Suddenly Glenn stated that he'd always wanted to build a coaching stock depot and with my interest in rake formations I whole-heartedly agreed on the idea. I did look again at modelling Penzance carriage sidings but I was never going to win that battle! First thoughts were about Edinburgh (Glenn had worked at Craigentinny in the 1980s) but I noted that vacuum braked trains were still running from Aberdeen to Inverness so I suggested Aberdeen - HSTs, Sleepers, Push-Pulls and Cross-Country services all being available as well. Thus the area was set, now to find a plot of land we could say the depot could have been placed.