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This line is being made as a small branch line terminal, for restricted space, with no particular place in mind. It's intended to form a setting for running short pregroup passenger and goods trains. Having worked in most scales, N, TT-3, HO, OO, I have now settled in O gauge for about the last twenty years. This is solely because the bulk of an O gauge model appeals to me. To make this comparison I only had matching continental wagons, so you're looking at continental O, 1/45, and HO, 1/87; rather than British O, 1/43, and OO, 1/76; but you get the idea. Modelling in O is more expensive, and having trawled through RMweb I greatly admire the OO layouts, which sometimes are done by adapting from a pool of used and RTR models. The chances of doing this in O are very limited. To keep costs down I do a lot of scratch building, the problem here being the time it takes. Another thing I like is pre-group modelling, generally the 1880 - 1900 period. Trains were compact, well balanced designs and attractive colour schemes. Going back to a time when kids read books, I'm showing my two favourite authors from those days, as they started my interest. E.L.Ahrons ran a series of articles in the Locomotive Magazine way back in the 20's about the late Victorian scene, which were later printed in book form. (As an aside if you can find bound copies of the magazine in a reference library it's a wonderful source of information, a lot of the outline drawings appear in it, for a start) Then there's C. Hamilton Ellis, who did several histories of specific lines, plus various evocative books and a lot of paintings. The main characteristic of the line I am making is that it is very small. I never have enjoyed layouts which sprawl, and I wanted to set a very tight limit on the train sizes running on the line. After experimenting with some train make ups, I decided on a train length of 24". Sorry, I'm old enough to be all feet and inches rather than metric! You'll see for this length it has to be small tank engines only, no tender engines, and either three goods vehicles, or two 4/ 6 wheel coaches. Next post I'll try to explain the design, or perhaps the lack of it.