I decided that I would have enough space for the grain elevator and the building beside it if I took out some of the tracks at the back of this 18" shelf.  A few years ago I expanded the shelf and added three new tracks to the front so I removed the back three tracks. That gave me 10 inches of space for the town.

I built the grain elevator and building to near prototypical specs and placed them in the scene as you can see in the picture. The newer grain elevator on the right is a Rix Products and is not prototypical. The backdrop buildings are from Bill Brown's LARC Products CD.

Next I moved to the left to design the start of the town. This space is very limited behind the station.  To add interest, I created a one half inch elevation rise towards the back using two layers of one quarter inch foam core board.  I smoothed the transition edges of the foam board with Spackle.  Alternatively in the past I have used Styrofoam, Gypsolite, and Sculptamold.  Next I have placed some heavy paper building mock-ups along the street behind the station to work our what fits.  These structures will be scratch built once I work out the placement of the buildings.  This part could take some time. I am thinking I want to take some pictures of some town buildings to use as a transition into the backdrop.

I will continue to work my way down the shelf as each area gets "somewhat" done.  I don't glue the buildings down so I can move things around as needed.  I will add some elevation as space permits, and create some interesting small town buildings and businesses.  Check back to see how the town of Ashland takes shape, and thanks for reading.  Tom Oxnard