There's still one pretty fundamental aspect of the layout that remains undecided and which needs to be resolved rather quickly. In fact, until it's been decided I can't even start on the trackwork....
It's just the small matter of location!
I can't seem to come to a final decision about where exactly I want to model. There are several prototype scenarios that appeal, most of which I've already written about at one time or another.
Although the exact location of the model is going to be fictional, I still need to have a fairly good idea of location - and region. My first allegiance has always been to the WR. However, the SR also appeals, and to a lesser extent the LMR. The obvious conclusion of this would be the S&D with it's joint railway status seeing locomotives and rolling stock from all three of these regions. However, the thing that slightly puts me off is the difficulty in coming up with a convincing enough scenario for a branch terminus without blatantly copying Chris Nevard's 'Combwich'! Maybe I'm not being imaginative enough but I'm just not sure.
I've already toyed with the idea of basing a layout on Llanfyllin in mid-Wales, but this layout is just too small to get away with a convincing interpretation, even acounting for modellers license.
Then there's the Bude line, and the Southern branches around Hampshire and Dorset...
Even if I don't quite pin it down exactly yet, I really do need to decide whether or not the line is in ex-GWR territory as this will determine the type of chairs used on the track. But I'm not even really sure about this!