My four layouts will be English, Japanese, Swiss and American. The Japanese and Swiss linked on the same level, where Catenary and snow will bring a common feel to the scenery. I have always imagined my layout to be a round the room affair, so why not go all the way around the room three times.
Picking a UK location has bothered for many years as there is so much to choose from and location will always dictate what you can run. I have chosen to cheat a little and model a Heritage railway. Here in the UK we have an ever growing number of Heritage lines all of which have their own feel and flavour. Check out heritage-railways.com to get a feel for the amount there are and the areas they're located.
The premise in my head is that there is a very lucky chap (Me) who got lucky on the Euro Millions Lotto and has built his own Railway with his winnings. It's located close to an existing Main Line so anything current can be seen rolling by and Gives a physical link to make it easy for visiting Locos and Rolling stock to arrive.
I'm not alone in this sort of idea. There is a chap in America by the name of Jerry Jacobson. Although he didn't win the lottery he did build his own railway for real,which can be found at ageofsteamroundhouse.com
So with Diesel and Steam Galas happening every weekend I can cover pretty much any UK prototype.
I have always loved Swiss Trains, starting with the Re4/4. But after visiting Switzerland back in 2008 and traveling everywhere by train, the experience pushed me over the top. It was my wife's idea I should model the Glacier Express and to push that home she bought me the Kato set for my Birthday this year.
My thing for Japanese trains happens when I just look at them. They just seem as if they are from a different world and couple that to my thing for Passenger trains then I'm off. So they have to be included.
Finally American Trains. There is something about the size and power of these great beasts that captivates me. Modern diesels mainly, but also there are the old Named Passenger Trains that get me too. Trying to squeeze the two together might be a stretch even for my imagination but it'll be my layout and what I say might just have to go :0) Having never been to the United States I have no great affinity to any one Line. Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and BNSF I tend to see most of so somewhere they all run would be good. Although they were one offs, the Norfolk Heritage liveries really made my eyes pop.
So these are my plans for prototypes and locations. Just saying four layouts on three levels seems over the top but having written this down as a means to explain this to anyone who is interested has confirmed to me that this is the very least I want to achieve. There are many more things to think about as we all know but the foundations in my mind at least, are firm.