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     The CMPA layout started life as Thomas wooden track and a bunch of imaginative stories. Dad used to live in Sharonville Ohio, and when he picked me up in Indiana for a weekend, we told stoies of regualr passengers in the train that was his truck. After he moved back to Indiana and settled in, they too developed rooted locations. Thomas began to give way to HO, and the Half-Moon Orion & Northern concept began to take root.
The HO&N
    Half-Moon was a seaplane base formed out of plastic Ertl track and docked many matchbox planes. Orion was a space station turned major far off city the line connected to. HO&N would take hold in an attic 16X30 and boast a major river town with a mainline cutting through it. Many uniquie buildings and industries would ne there, as well as a carflaot. The other end of that carfloat? another layut I would build when I grew up and moved off. That line would be the Rock Valley. Dad at one end, and I at the other. Because, well, our heroes are invincible and we'll keep them forever, right?
Wrong. may 1st. 2010, Kyle Davis passed away, claimed by Colon Cancer. all plans and basic benchwork for the HO&N ceased. In fact, so did that whole universe. And mine, for a time. Sudenly out of space, the only real thing for me to do was to head back to the drawing board. 
     Mom and I always went to Madison  Indiana to get away for a while. Immediately, I fell in love with the line and developed plans to model it, but after the HO&N. That would be Dad & I's and then the CPA would work well for a single person built layout. Except, without Dad, the HO&N was harder, farther off, and losing its magic. I still wanted the characters, but the line itself started slipping.
It wasn't until I flipped open a Historic book on Madison and discovered that most of the industries and buildings I wanted for Half-Moon are or were in Madison at one point did the wheels turn in full force again: Merge the layouts. Surely one rivertown is compatablew with another. I jsut didn't know how much. 
Brewery? Madison had 3. Woodworking? If you count the saddletree factory. Lighthouse? Not as big as I wanted, but one is there, would make a nice restaurant. Boatworks? Do you want the big steamboat or the smaller motorboat shop?  90%  of the HO&N fell into Madison nearly seamlessly on top of industires that were already there! The rest of themmight look out of place, but the onese that would be the worst were the ones with a historic precendent. Madison would live again on my line. The HO&N? Now a welathy backer who occasionally shows up. Rock Valley is a similar subsidiary. I may still model that carfloat, I don't know.