Sorry, I just couldn't resist the title. When I started communicating with Carl Arendt about straight track operation, he responded:
"Actually there are a number of "straight line" operating layouts in the Gallery -- two that come to mind are both under "No Switches - Fun to Run": the El Dorito Mine, a totally prototypical tailings removal line; and Stourbridge Town, an exact copy of the platform and operation at Stourbridge, Chris Gilbert's "local"."
"El Dorito Mine" is a beautiful little operating diorama that looks as if it would be about eighteen inches long in Gn15. I considered building it as a Cornish tin mine, "Wheal Oggy", but decided not to get distracted from Cuddle. Both are well worth a look, but it was the six foot length of Stourbridge Town, leaving the area still within the “rules” for a micro-layout, that caught my eye.
I started thinking about what I could do with a six-foot length of track and came up with several ideas. In the end, I decided that (a) I didn't have room for a six-foot layout without moving a lot of stuff around; (b) being out of practice, I wasn't sure I could build a baseboard that would split down Iain Rice style into several sections; and (c) I didn't actually need six feet in order to get the basics in.
I'm building the shorter version, which leaves out the stamp mill area, but I or someone else may one day build a longer one and I thought I'd post the ideas and sketches. Why, you may ask, have I not built the short version so that it can be extended with another three-foot section? Well, it has to do with the small bridge, masquerading in the short Cuddle as a short trestle behind which one can see the barge. Now, if I had a six-foot baseboard like this one, I'd model the bridge intact as a scenic break between the adit and stamp mill area and the wharf, thus allowing me to model the whole barge at the front of the baseboard. I'd probably also move the tailings away from the wharf. But I'll compromise in the six-foot version by retaining the retort-house as part of an expanded wharf buildings complex.