I often thought of a layout with just grassed fields and bare of buildings. I can only remember seeing one layout in this matter, and that was "Arid Australia" some time ago. For memory, it came from Western Australia just for an exhibition.
When I drive along some of our highways, I sometimes see a railway line following the road, or the other way round, and think, maybe this could be for my next layout !!
But it never eventuates. We always include something into our layouts in the form of a residential or industrial area of some kind, and claim the line was there to serve that purpose. Even without any structures, the line is there so that freight can be transferred from one State or Town, to another, economically. When I was back in the working class, ships berthed in Sydney and their Interstate cargo was transferred by rail, this was to save the Shipping Company berthing fees and time spent sailing between Ports. In those days it was cheaper to transfer the freight this way, and probably still is today.
This layout being based on the "Camden Line", has a bit of both. Between Campbelltown and Narellan there were three small station halts, being, Maryfields, Kenny Hill and Curran's Hill and between Narellan and Camden three more being, Graham's Hill, Kirkham and Elderslie, which is the one I have included on this layout. This covered the passenger services, and the Milk and Coal being the freight.
So, with all that jargon over, I guess my attention should now revert to doing some "scenery and structures".