Rather bigger than our models, but I can recommend this web site for some perfectionist modelling – “Port Rowan in S scale – Modelling a Canadian National branchline from the 1950s in 1:64”. (http://themodelrailwayshow.com/cn1950s/).
None of us are ‘rivet-counters’, but looking at model railways like this encourages me go and build something, perhaps better than last time!
Note too, the branch line flavour of the layout. The USA and Canada are coming to terms with smaller houses, reduced income, and lack of a basement for a massive train room. They have learnt from our UK branch terminus theme, and have improved on it, with simple freight only lines that still offer quite involved operation. Even a single siding can offer complex operation – if you design in three ‘spots’ at three doors to a factory where you have to place a wagon, you effectively have three sidings to shunt.