I grew up around 300 ft away from one of Germany's busiest railroad lines at the famous Rhine River Region. There are double main lines on each side of the Rhine River. The first construction of a railroad line started in mid 1800 and gained more and more of importance in the following years. It is the fastest connection between the south and north in West Germany. The region between the city's Ruedesheim and Koblenz became in 2002 part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage because there are more than 30 castles very close to each other. It is worldwide the densest region of castles. Those castles were build and used by landlords to collect toll money from ships pulled by horses upstream. Today most castles are ruins and under a strict heritage protection law. Some castles that survived in good condition are used today for events or host a restaurant. Close to 600 trains, both sides combined, passing by each day and result is a train density of one train every 5 minutes. Since the Rhine River Valley between the two City's mentioned above is so narrow some of the houses are so close build to the tracks that you can almost touch the trains when you reach out your hand of the window.
The Layout I build will be a loose representation of this region with two passenger stations, a larger city and a small suburban town with half-timbered houses. In the City of Lorch is a small military station what I also freely represent. Typical for the region around the Rhine River are small harbors along the river. A railroad maintenance yard with round house and shift table, like in the cities of Wiesbaden and Mainz, will be featured as well. There is no specific era I model because my interests are from steam engines over diesel to electric trains. A few prototype landmarks I will build as close as possible.
The construction started in 2014 with some remodeling of the available space. Planned is a double main line loop with a single branch line to the commercial sections. The shadow station will hold 38 trains from 3 ft. to 8 ft. (typical German trains are by far not as long as US trains).
DCC controlled with Roco Z21 by using smart phones and tablets. Switching will be done with the help of a PC and the program Win-Digiped, as feedback to the PC is done over the S88 bus. Layout and room lights are controlled over DMX protocol and with the help of a second PC with specific software. A Faller Car-System is also in the making.