Listen to your wife. "Go play with Allan's Trains!"
About the High 'N' Xiety
pictures added today!
The High and Xiety is an operations oriented, DCC controlled, 'freelanced-prototype"
HO railroad based primarily on the coal carrying Clinchfield
Railroad of the Appalachian region.
you are interested in doing scenery, trackwork, weathering, computer
programming or structures, please read on!
If you want to
see some other cool model railroad pictures, be sure to check out
the pictures of our garden railway!
The layout is complete
with efforts focused on completing scenery. Check out some of the
scenes completed in recent months. Come see us during the Plano
Train Show, Saturday 12-5, January 18th, 2014!
The Clinch River is 12 feet long as
it runs along Delano Siding. As I had hoped, it is become one of
the most scenic areas of the layout. We have added a moonshine run
along with police and flashing lights to the layout recently. We
also have a raging fire along with lights and sound effects. In
fact, we have added lots of sound effects like babbling brooks and
sensor triggered flange squeeling. Scenery has been growing in Haysi
and Bear Wallar Hollar. Come see all that we have accomplished during
the past year during the show!
December 27, 2013: The late Jack
Wollschlaeger scratch built this model from photos of the Clinchfield
company store in Trammel, VA. Note to self: When building a model
railroad, give some thought of where a tripod and lights can go
so that photos can be taken that are in complete focus.
Jack also built this craftsman
kit of the Wollschlaeger Furniture Company.
January 2012: The scenic Clinch River running along Delano Siding. Canoist enjoy a leisurely trip down the river and are treated to the sight of a big articulated locomotive and unit coal train.
January 2012: The Clinch River is also enjoyed by fisherman.
Clinchco, January 14th, 2011
January 2012: Along the Clinch
River is a cock fighting farm. I stumbled upon one of these in the
'90s. I'm sure my presence would not have been welcome. So the only
picture I got of the cages was a mental one. This scene is still
under construction. It does include scale roosters. Yes, you can
buy scale roosters!
January 2012: Police chase a moonshine runner on a winding mountain road. One of the police cars looses control and rolls down the mountain side. I have actually seen a police car on its side in a ditch with its lights going and everything - proof that there is a protype for everything!
January 2012: A train pulls up to a tank for water near Fremont Jct.
January 2012: A drag freight passes by Bear "Wallar Hollar". This is the first time I used software called Helicon Focus to fight the problem of narrow depth of field in close-up pictures. It seems to have done a great job.
January 2012: Here a train heads up the switch back of Bear Wallar Hollar.
The layout is open to the public Saturday, January 21st, 2012, 12-5pm.
This is the "Highline."
It is about 14 feet long and 2 feet tall. That is Dante Yard
in the lower left. Currently there are four people working
year round to scenic the
January 2012: The 81" long x 23" high Copper Creek Viaduct
about $600 to build using Central Valley and Micro
Engineering materials. It is the correct scale height
and about 2/3rds of the scale length.
January 2012: Legend has it that a passenger on the Clinchfield saw a little girl along the tracks and asked her where the trail went. "It goes to my daddy's still, but it doesn't come back." The Clinchfield was moonshine country. Can you find the still nestled into the vast forests of the High & Xiety? Trust me; it is right out in the open. Good luck in finding it!
February, 2009: Jack Wollschlaeger completes the McClure woodshed made from a photo of the actual shed in McClure circa 1990. Now we just need to add some piles of wood and other details!
June, 2008: Tarpon Mine
June, 2008: McClure Mine. Not done, but starting to look like something!
Visiting the High & Xiety
The layout is open to the public only during
the January Plano Train Show. For more information on this show,
Please note that this layout is in my home - which is not a museum. The
layout is not open to the public any other day of the year. Thank you
for not showing up on my doorstep on other dates.
This is probably
the most prototypical model railroad in the area. The towns
are in the correct
order and many structures and features of the Clinchfield
included. In a mountainous region, how do you
turn a train around? You don't. Therefore, local "turns" will
return to Dante backwards!
The railroad occupies the entire second
floor of my home - over 1100 square feet!
January 2012: This isn't the whole layout, but this is all that
will fit in one photograph. . Scenery is slowly making its way across the High & Xiety. Level 3 is the unscenic'ed third level
on the upper right. It is above everyone's head. Mirrors on the
ceiling and a JMRI computer monitor helps manage it's 8 track,
yard with a balloon track at the far end. To the left is the highline.
Dante Yard is to the left on level 2. Bear Wallow Hollar is across
from it on the right. In the
far back of the photo are the Loops that get a train up from level
Hollar is level 1. Under level 1 you can just see a portion of
level 0 as trains come up from the floor and Breaks Gorge.
October, 2008: A train exists the tunnel from McClure. In the background is the tunnel to Moss.
January 2012: Moss coal cleaning facility - right half.
January 2012: Moss coal cleaning facility - left half.
Creating the Signature Look
was one of the finest engineered railroads in the world built
to unheard of standards
of its time. The most obvious examples are its penetration
of Clinch Mountain and Breaks Gorge, the Grand Canyon of
Breaks Gorge is now fully forested - 3100 trees! The mountain through the gorge is
built standing 40" tall.
Country is the land of articulated steam. These large locomotives
used a lot of coal. The Clinchfield
needed a way to fill its coaling towers as fast as it was
emptying them. Coaling trestles were ramps used to dump coal
cars directly into the tops of their coaling towers. The
Clinchfield has so many large locomotives, they needed a lot of
coal and the tenders needed filling fast. There were two
of these coaling trestles on the Clinchfield.
Coaling Trestle - made from actual Clinchfield
Bear Wallow Switchback,
or as we like to call it, "Bear Wallar Hollar,"
Map by Ron Flanary
There are a number of places where the view
of the Clinchfield is a lone track running high on a mountainside
or right along the river. Both of these scenes occur in numerous
places just like the prototype.
The Clinchfield "Loops" is a section
of track only a few miles long, but contained many closely-spaced
tunnels. The Loops shared the mountainside with apple orchards.
The tracks were so close together at points, the conductor
could get off the caboose, grab a juicy apple, and get back
on the caboose as it passed by on a lower track. We have
recreated the close track, numerous tunnels, and even the
A view of the scenic'ed "Loops." A
pair of double-headed articulateds are on the upper track
of the photo.
The Loops serve a unique function on the High & Xiety. They are
a creative alternative to a helix. So unlike a helix, you can see
your train as it progresses. Also, unlike a helix, it is scenic'ed.
So rather than be an eyesore you try to hide, this little bit of
trackwork is a Kodak moment that raises the train 24"! How cool
you Accurail! Accurail
offers a custom car service. They painted the car
the color I wanted it, and printed the name,
logo, and car data all to my specifications. This
is truly serving the modeler! Custom decals
were nice, but this saves us tons of work for the
of cars we need. Email Eric Cote at email@example.com for
more information. They have a 48 car minimum and
are priced at approximately their list price for
the car. Not a bad deal for custom work!
Another view of the Loops as a train travels down from
level 3 to level 2.
The Clinchfield had a single track mainline.
We have included five passing sidings. Given that the
railroad will be about 450' from end to end, with sometimes
150' between levels, the passing sidings will be as
essential as in real life to keep from choking traffic.
Trackside Tour - Construction of the HNXT
H&X is a four
level model railroad that occupies the entire
second floor of my home. The lowest level
is called level 0 since it is close to the
floor and has no real operations on it. This
level runs through a walk-in closet, a bathroom,
and the "Jack & Jill" vanity areas.
At right is the throat for the Elkhorn City
Yard. It consists of 5 #8 curved turnouts. One
of my crew considers this a work of art. Since
the yard throat is located in a hallway and two of
& Jill vanity areas it is difficult to photograph.
I prefer to avoid curved turnouts, but this was
the only way to get 12.5' long yard tracks in
the Jack & Jill area and the walk-in closet.
Located in the walk-in closet is the balloon track
This area is not scenic'ed. It is intended
to be walked on, yes, walked on. Notice the light-colored
plywood plates surrounding the points. These
protect the points from foot traffic. As unconventional
as this is, all this actually works!
The final level
is about 72" off the floor. This is obviously
too high to operate, but provides a prototypical
perspective of the famed and picturesque Copper
here for the HNXT Mainline Track Diagram
|Leaving Elkhorn City,
scenicked track begins as the train exits Skaggs
Hole Tunnel and enters The Breaks occupying the
entire one side of a bedroom. Here the
floor to ceiling distance is nearly identical
to the scale distance from Clinchfield Overlook
- about 920' up. To best mimic this, the track
is a mere 7" off the floor! Other than
the coal loader in Breaks Gorge, there is no
operation here due to the low proximity to the
floor. The view for the average adult
will be about a scale 600' up. Note: The
bridge extends 12 scale feet into the tunnel - just
like the prototype!
Passing through spectacular
Breaks Gorge required four tunnels and two
Each of the two bridges is paired up with a
tunnel making rather picturesque
scenes. Breaks Gorge features class six rapids (read deadly for all but
the best kayakers).
You can't hear the rushing water
of the Russell Fork. Only the horn and faint
rumble of the diesel engines can be heard - otherwise
the train passes through the gorge as if
it was floating on air. Perched
on the rock outcropping of Clinchfield Overlook,
above sea level, winds can make this a frigid
place during the running of the Santa Claus
know from experience!
|Pool Point Bridge is a box truss
deck bridge. Skaggs Hole is a deck girder. Both
have open decking and both have a walkway. There
is a Carl Sagan's worth of trees (billions and
billions) planted here in the Breaks. The
Breaks has a usually dry waterfall, which we
have modeled and a very unusual tunnel at Stateline. It
has a third portal on its side where rubble
was dumped into the Russell Fork rather than
taking it back out one entrance or the other. This
third portal is still there today and was modeled.
Trivia question: How many rabbits
do you see in the above picture? One? Some
railroads have hidden
Santas, Elvis, and even Jimmy Hoffa. This one has rabbits. The railroad
is covered in them and more are being added as construction continues. Be sure
look for them when you visit. Don't be mad if you leave without finding them.
This isn't a game for wusses! You can practice on the above photos. There are
is brought into Dante on the second level (Pronounced
Dant or Daint by the non-Italian residents. Dante
was an Italian cook when the railroad was built.). Here
a turntable and two double-ended yards are placed
end-to-end so that trains can cross the scale. Dante
is a very busy place.
Southbound trains from Dante go through
the "Loops" for a final spectacular exit
on a high mountain side and then across Copper Creek
- just like the prototype! - to the final hidden
storage yard. The operator
will be looking upward at the train as it leaves
railfans do today.
Computer-aided Model Railroading
We now have five, yes five, monitors configured as a virtual control panel.
Do you now have the itch for the Clinchfield and fresh
mountain air? Are you now wondering why I didn't put
this section at the top? If you live in the Dallas,
Texas area, we need to talk.
I am lacking help in the following areas:
1. I can't have too many people working on scenery. It is a big
2. Car and locomotive assembly, decoder installation, couplers installation,
and making them run well.
3. Model building - especially kitbashing, scratch-building, and
4. Weathering cars and structures.
5. Fine tuning trackwork.
6. JMRI programming.
7. Bring scenes to life by adding people and vehicles.
There are no dues. Dinner as well as soda and beer
of your choice is provided. Work sessions are held on Thursday nights
and Sunday afternoons.
1. When you need to plug in a saw or something,
do not unplug the refrigerator that keeps the beer and sodas cold
or the cordless drill batteries chargered. I may not be able to
protect you from the posse if the cordless drills become useless,
or worse, the beer is warm!
2. No "ooops" or "ut-ohs." Nonetheless, if the mistake
is preceded by a loud, crashing noise, it is sporting
to make like a cat - "I have no idea what just
happen, but I didn't do it." Better yet, blame
it on someone who didn't come that night. If you
can make it stick,
that is all the better!
If you are able to do any of these
things, please e-mail me: bigboy@WiringForDCC.com
Be sure to take this little picture
tour of Clinchfield
I have several cats. We are frequently complimented
that our house does not smell like cats. The cats
are also not allowed in the train room. So mild sufferers
do not have a problem. Those that suffer more severely
may have trouble.