Are fiddle yards / staging tracks really necessary ?. Layout design in recent years as featured in the model press have traditionally featured a station and embelishments, to fiddle yard - I'm talking continious run here rather than end to end where a fiddle yard is an essential part of operation. To my way of thinking hidden yards are almost always difficult to access, and if controlled properly expencive to configure. They occupy typically a huge part of the layout, point work and huge amounts of track are consumed by them. If their visable they look unrealistic. My question therfore is can the fiddle yard be substituted by a large station for instance, with quite a few platforms, and passing roads,this surely is more attractive than a fiddleyard yet just as functional. Carriage sidings certainly look better than a fiddle yard, and when accompanied by an MPD lead to some realistic stock movements. What would you rather have the railway version of the M25 or some industry sidings, motive power depot, carriage sidings and a busy station.