I started to post this as a response to a thread in the dcc forum, but decided it is more appropriate to post it here. I also think this might prompt some fun discussion. I belong to a moduilar club and also hope to build a home layout. My planned home layout was postponed when my youngest daughter oved back here from chicago, and moved back into the spare bedroom. she was married a couple of weeks ago, coincidently the day after my wife and my wedding anniversary; so I now have a spare room again. I look at some of the "basement empires" featured in the modeling mags or here on the gauge and realise that I will never have that much space to model in since we generally don't have basements in California. One reason we don't have basements, besides cost savings, is that typically in Ca. the city utilities are run 4 feet below grade. If you dig a basement, your basement will be 4-6 feet below the sewer. When the spare bedroom was vacated, my wife allowed me to have the top of a 7' x 9' L shaped bookcase along two walls of the spare room. She wants it to continue to be available as a guest bedroom. I'm really not comfortable trying to model in a scale as small as n, so in ho I will have an industrial switching layout. I think that in that space I can have a layout that will be challenging and provide a lot of enjoyment, but I can't run long trains or have a continuous run. That is where the modular club comes in. When we set up the modules, we always have a large oval with a continuous run on the two mainlines and switching on sidings on various members modules. Our layout this weekend at the Fullerton Railroad Days will be 16' x 44'. That is probably on the small side for one of our set ups. A lot of the club members have home layouts, but participate in the club set ups because they can run long trains on the club layout that they can't do at home. A couple of asides- I wonder if Southern California has more garden railroads than much of the rest of the country per capita. I suspect we might due to the year round mild climate and the lack of basements. Second aside- At the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pamona, there is an outdoor layout on a part of the grounds about the size of a football field. It was originally built in the early 1930's by two brothers who were both machinists to standard gauge. All of the locomotives and rolling stock were scratch built to what we would call fine scale standards today. The brothers wound their own electric motors and all parts of the locomotives were machined from scratch except fasteners. Some of their original models are still on display and they are fantastic, but the problem was that when they broke down, there were no parts to repair them. The original builders passed away 40 or 50 years ago. A few years ago, the organization that overseas the fair and fairgrounds asked one of the garden railroad clubs to come in and redo the layout to make it operational. It has been redone with LGB track and is operated by a garden railroad club. I mentioned a couple of parragraphs up that guys joined out modular club to run long trains. Another local club that goes to many of the shows we display at is the Del Oro Pacific large scale club. I was at the fair one year and saw one of the guys I knew from the Del Oro Pacific. We got to talking and he said he joined the garden railroad club at the fairgrounds because he wanted to run long trains and the modular layout was too small! I guess I've rambled on long enough for now.