Building a layout is a challenge for most people but to build one to an exacting scale, time schedule and size really is a challenge. This is exactly what the Scalefour Society did when it threw down the gauntlet and challenged railway modellers to build a P4 layout within a footprint of 18.83 square feet. This layout would have to fit in a car and travel to exhibitions with two operators. Large enough to be of interest but not too big for managers' expenses.
The different shapes, sizes and concepts that entrants came up with were astounding. There are many new ideas and innovations in layout construction and presentation. Some have been designed as a module as part of a larger layout giving the builders the opportunity to run trains and attend exhibitions with the layout in embryonic state. Most are of a size that can be easily erected in home or garage, and show that interesting layouts can be built in a reasonable space.
At Scaleforum 2002 the Scalefour Society launched the competition which immediately sparked an interest in many modellers. Some had thought of building a layout for some time, but not got round to it; others were looking to build their first P4 layout. This competition was the opportunity that would give the incentive to galvanise them into action.
A staggering 57 entries had been received by the closing date of August 31st 2003 and 25 were exhibited at the Scalefour Society 1883 Layout Challenge Final, Scaleforum 2005.
The layouts were photographed at Scaleforum 2005