Firstly planning. The idea for Brafferton originally germinated several years ago and I've kicked ideas around for quite a while. Whilst the actual station was dead straight, I've always thought it would be fun to build a circular layout. Here is an early attempt to present Brafferton in that format (undated, but probably c.2000):
Much of my information came from the Allanwood Press publication "The Pilmoor, Boroughbridge and Knaresborough Railway" by Patrick Howat. Here is the 1902 Signal Plan fron that book:
If it wasn't for the Layout Challenge, I suspect that nothing further would have happened. With the advent of the Challenge, I set to revising my plans to a. fit in with the Challenge rules and b. to meet my own operational requirements as a portable, exhibitable layout:
I commissioned Alan Smith to laser cut some baseboard pieces for me. At this point he suggested a five piece circle, rather than the six I had envisaged, to add structural stability to the erected layout. Fair comment, but now I would have to rethink my design, and it would take the layout outside the Challenge rules in terms of the total area of layout. I gave the go-ahead to the boards and returned to the drawing-board...