I ran into a friend of mine a few weeks ago at the hobby shop, & we got to talking...I had told him about the small N scale layout I had built... He told me if I wanted to, they had room at the next NMRA swap meet/trainshow (Spring 2003) for a small display layout, if I wanted to put something together. I think we were both thinking along the lines of a basic oval-type plan, with some out-of-the-box-type kits & trains. We were just tossing the idea around, & none of this is carved in stone. I hadn't really given it too much more thought, until several days ago, when I kit-bashed a little wood sided gondola, & this started the ol' wheels turning, so to speak... I thought it might be cool to have a few of these gons hauling coal out of a pre-war mining operation on its own short line to a junction with a main line RR. This, of course, got me to thinking about the aforementioned display layout, & I thought, why not make this a theme? Why not go with the simple oval-type plan...put a backdrop through the middle of it, as a scenic divider, & have one side of the layout represent a mining operation, & the other side represent a mainline junction, & a town that's grown up around it? I 've been out in the garage, looking for a piece of plywood to use as a base...I found a piece about 32"x66", that I thought might be a good size for a portable N scale tabletop layout. I've included a picture of a mock-up I did on the playwood, just to see what might fit, & what won't...I laid out some pieces of track, some structures, & pieces of kits, to kind of give me an idea how to lay out the "town" side. The board sitting at a diagonal, represents where the backdrop will be. The final scenery will be built up on foam, so I can have scenic features above, & below track level. Like I said, I'm not totally commited to this yet...(maybe I oughta be commited! )...I'll keep ya posted!