One of the things I'm keen to do from the outset is ensure that everything fits reasonably well with prototypical railway practise for the period and location I'm modelling (actually, my current idea is to keep these reasonably broad - rural location jointly operated by the Western and Midland regions, around the 1950s/early 60s... I may get more specific as things develop!), at least to the extent that it satisfies my own desire for realism if not always being strictly accurate down to the last detail. The extent to which you take this is obviously a matter of personal choice.
In coming up with a track plan one of my concerns has been operational realism as well as interest. For example,I knew it was essential from the outset to include a run-around loop on the main platform road so that passenger trains could be pulled into and out of the station. However, I wasn't so sure about the procedure for goods trains. And what about passenger trains using the second platform which doesn't have a run-around loop (a problem of my own making - I wanted a second platform to allow for a little more interest both visually and operationally and already knew from looking at a number of prototype station plans that run-around loops where not provided for all platforms)?
Chris Nevard, creator of Combwich, helpfully provided the information I needed: "All trains coming in would have come into the main platform line, the engine would then run around its train, pull it out again then push into the sidings - this would be the same for the platform without a loop. Lines like this in real life would have only had a few trains a day."