Introducing “Craster” After withdrawing “Low Quay” from the cameo competition I reflected on what I had achieved, what I had failed to achieve and why, and what I had learned in the process. Participating had re-affirmed my interest in fine-scale railway modelling but also demonstrated the value of describing progress in a friendly and supportive forum. I have now started work on a layout that embodies some long-standing but never attained aims, and I plan to describe it in this blog. The layout must hold enough potential to amuse me (and offer some challenges) in the research, construction and operation, and I want it to be “authentic” in two senses. Firstly, it will be rooted only in my own interests and hopes; I am building it primarily for myself, and accepting that it will therefore necessarily and honestly reflect my limits as well as my abilities. Secondly, I want the subject of the layout to portray a reasonably convincing small station incorporating historically-informed prototypical features and stock. I have been able to contrive a dedicated layout site for the layout 12’ 6” (3.81m) long with a maximum width of 24” (60.9cm); this fundamental step removes the necessity to move the layout to allow other activities, and thereby makes it easier to sustain the project. Construction requirements include light but rigid baseboards that can be moved easily without help, and a baseboard support system that is simple, adjustable and stable. The scale of the modelling is 4mm:1ft using EM gauge track, and I propose to use DCC for operation. The subject of the layout is entirely fictional but I have set it in Craster, a real Northumberland coastal village which never actually had a railway connection to anywhere, in the period loosely c.1910. My interpretation of a station that Craster never had will be modelled as if it had been part of the North Eastern Railway.