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I'd started to put bits of this on the 'What did you do on your layout today' thread but thought I'd split it off as I'm going to run a shadow thread on trainboard and modelrailforum as well as the layout develops. So the back story is that my current most popular Z layout is 'Republic Steel', Uniquely because Steelworks and blast furnaces look very similar the world over can be run either as USA 1950's, USA late 90's, Railblue era British or Showa steam era Japanese! Now I have had to ration the show appearances of this layout otherwise I would be out every weekend. Although it look very good running in Japanese format with D51s pulling long trains of coal and limestone hoppers and C62s and C11s on passenger services I have always wanted to model a layout more typical of rural japan, set in the mountain regions. it is going to be small, just 1220 mm x 760 mm and the plan will be for it to be split into four scenes. First will be the small wayside station of 'Hakuho' itself. The two lines running through it are two different railways. The outer track will have OHL to allow me to run Electric locos and the inner one will be steam and diesel only. Both lines will be Bi-Directional. There are crossovers at either end of the platform to allow trains to cross over. This will be the nominal front of the layout at shows. The rear of the layout will be the hidden sidings except that, as I did with Shasta, they will be fully scenically finished as a large marshalling yard. At one end the scene will be a more urban setting with a row of shops flanking the railway and it is here that the main lines will start to diverge into the roads of the sidings. I'm still pondering about the other end but there is no rush yet. to the horror of some of my fellow Southern Pacific Z modellers I took the decision to scrap the extension board on Shasta. The board featured the Dunsmuir depot at the front and a full extra four foot of sidings at the back so I could run four metre long freight trains in Z but to be honest it wasn't really working out. Transportation with the extra board meant borrowing one of the call-out vans from work and there are no show bookings for Shasta in its long form. All of the scenery was removed (you will see these trees again!) and the track recovered using copious amount of warm soapy water to loosen the ballast. The board has the advantage that it already has a wheeled flight case and I have taken off the hinged legs used when it was inserted into Shasta. So for now it is sat on my usual steel trestles ready for its transformation. Early days So here is the initial layout for 'Hakuho' with just one siding and a small shed. Buildings are by Sankei except the overbridge that came with a resin cast C57 as some sort of collectable. Marklin points and a mix of Peco and Marklin track. At either end of this section will be overbridges to act as a scenic break. rising up from the back of the station will be dense woodland with just a few other buildings. The former turntable pit will morph into some sort of lake with a waterfall going into it and a stream coming out. So the plan will be to fully finish the station scene first. One of the U.K model magazines are already asking for an article so I'll press on this summer more in a mo' Kev