So begins my official dive back into tiny toy trains with this: a design for a compact N scale layout that incorporates both local freight switching and a rugged Appalachian logging line. I was inspired to start modeling the Greenbrier River valley by a D&D podcast of all things (don't ask), and only discovered upon diving into the history of the region that the C&O had a branchline running right down the middle of the area I was interested in. One could be forgiven for thinking the Greenbrier Subdivision was a bit of a one-trick pony built to serve the lumber industry, but there's a lot of points of interest if you look closely enough. At its peak the line was dotted with a a quarry, small factories, oil/coal bulk facilities, tanneries (the Marlinton tannery alone is a ready-made switching puzzle!) and even an interchange with WM at the far end of the line. There's operational interest to model too: at its busiest in the late 1920s, the line was served by at least 3 through freights, 2 local freights, additional extras, and 2 passenger trains almost daily. When I found out this was an excuse to display massive C&O Class H-4s as through freights, I knew this was a winner. The layout went through 15(!) iterations as I tried to figure out what to do with the limited space I have available. I originally had grand plans of continuous mainline running and multiple unfoldable modules, but I eventually figured out that by the time I was even halfway done with such an ambitious project, I would be ready to move into a bigger space! So I tempered my expectations and finally developed this unneccesarily rendered track plan: If the sizing seems oddly specific, that's because it is: it's tailored to sit on top of an Ikea Besta TV unit serving as a console and display cabinet in my living room. The layout will be built inside a shadow box that ties in with the cabinets and makes a nice display diorama when not in use. It's a few inches deeper than the cabinet for a couple of reasons: The furniture is set back from the wall to make room for plugs, giving it a little more depth room while still being flush with the front. But by pulling the entire shelf forward during operation, there's just enough room to plug a staging cassette into either end of the mainline. Theres a bookshelf on each end of the cabinet that will make for convenient support points. Buildings will most likely be scratchbuilt/3D printed to match the space and the theme. I have a resin 3D printer and work as an architectural designer, so this is well within my skillset. Operation and rolling stock will be inspired by the Greenbrier Sub timetable in 1927, with a local freight passing through once per cycle, in alternating directions. Ops will likely be a modified car card system. The industrial arrangement shown above is a freelanced amalgamation and severe compression of several types of industries spread along the line at various times during its history, to allow for both mainline shipment and some local switching opportunities on both the mainline and the logging line: -Sawmill: Obligatory: Inputs fuel and logs, outputs lumber. -Logging Railroad Engine House: Set out point for supply cars to be carried up to the logging camp. -Coal Mine: The low-quality coal here is too poor to sell abroad, but is a convenient fuel source for the logging industry and the extract plant. Also serves double-duty as a switchback. -Logging Camp: Connection point to off-layout camps further affield. Outputs both logs and tanbark. -Depot: For wildcard setouts. -Extract Plant: because I didn't have enough room to do a tannery justice. Inputs fuel and tanbark and outputs tannic acid for shipment. -Crate Factory: Takes one of the lumber cars from the sawmill and outputs crates for shipment. Work probably won't begin until after tax refund season (and until my grandparents get both of their vaccines so I can safely borrow their workshop to build the shadowbox) so in the meantime let me know what you think!