Welcome to Kudzu Country!

Allan "Need Another Locomotive" Gartner's Clinchfield-inspired

"Home of countless pieces of flex track that are too long to throw out and too short to use."

A Knoxville, TN area HO Model Railroad



Listen to your wife. "Go play with Allan's trains!"

Track foreman, Jersey, likes to supervise construction on the Kudzu & Tenn. He is always there to lend a helping paw.

The layout that COVID-19 built.

The pandemic had given me a lot of time to work on my layout. I have repurposed one of my businesses as a vaccine factory.

Scroll to the bottom for the latest pictures of scenes on the Kudzu & Tenn!

Click here to see the latest pictures 02/07/24

Latest Status 06/09/24:

I am in the process of putting scenery around the businesses on my layout. It's starting to look like something! One thing about me, one way or another, the layout WILL be scenicked and finished!

I was going to just work down one side of the layout and up the other. But I realized I would have to wait for stuff to dry before continuing, So while waiting for stuff to dry, I started on the other side of the room.

In order to end up with good pictures, besides having the desired scene completed, I need the back ground to be done, too. So keep holding your breath, pictures are coming. They just might be a little while.


I have retired to Maryville, TN near Knoxville. The new layout is being built in the 49' x 16'6" room over the garage - bigger than some clubs at about 740 square feet. Like my last model railroad, I will be trying new thngs that you probably have never seen done before.

The layout is a folded loop capable of continuous running when viewed by guests. For operating sessions, there is a wye in the middle of the loop that will allow trains to be served by a yard that will effectively will be two terminating yards.

So that I don't have to lay on my back under the layout, all the wiring is done from the front via hinge-down smoked acrylic facia.

Further, to avoid having to get under they layout, there will only be switch machines for turnouts that are hard to reach. It gets better, there will be no ground throws! There will be no control panels. Control panels traditionally consume about half the time it takes to wire a layout.

With all the facia panels being hinged-down, the benchwork will be octogon shaped for the turn around loops. The smoked acrylic hinged-down facia will allow viewing of status lights without having to drill the facia for all of them as well as label them.

All the town names used on this railroad are real towns in Tennessee. They are: Big Boy Jct, Bitter End, Boom, Boring, Bucksnort, Difficult, Falling Water, Frog Jump, Hornsbeak, Lick Skillet, Moodyville, Regret, Sawdust, Screamer, Suck Creek, Sweet Lips, Three Way, Tiger Tail, Tater Peeler, Top of the World, and Yum Yum.

The benchwork is shaped like the letter "E". The yard will be located on the middle leg of the "E". The turn around loop are at the ends of the "E" and shown in the foreground on both sides.

I hired a local mural artist, Gale Hinton, to work her magic. www.galehinton.com Above is just one view where she gave me rolling mountains, a waterfall, a cabin, birds, and even a still.

Here is an end view of the penisula showing the hinged, smoked acrylic fascia.

Here is a portion of the east side after the track for the industries has been laid and wired. You can also see the status lights of the various DCC electronics that are shining through the smoked acrylic. Here you can also see another view of the mural backdrop. Landscaping yet to come!.


I also put down a base coat of green paint so that the plywood doesn't show through the ground cover when I put that down. In the meantime, it also helps make the layout more presentable than bare plywood.

A bird's eye view of the turntable and yard. At the far end is a wye allowing point-to-point operations. There are actually two yard sections in this big yard. Each yard section will be used as the terminus of operating sessions.


I collected all those short, unloved pieces of track just to see how many there would be. It turns out I have 124 pieces that were too long to toss, but too short to use. Some of them will be used in a rail salvage yard. The rest will be unceremoniously tossed.

I have added the ability to control my turntable with DCC and also automatically only power up the track the turntable is pointed to.

I have a large gorge in front of a window. In case I ever need to access the window, the gorge is removable. I'm using magnets to hold the gorge sides in place.

I bulit a kit of the station of my home town. How many people get to have the station of their home town on their layout?

Every great scene starts with a structure. The University of Tennessee sports teams are very popular in this area. So it was only fitting that I paint the support posts of my team track loading dock in team colors. The ramp and dock can be used in a number of configurations. I haven't settled on how I will arrange mine just yet. Go Vols! 02/07/24

have a large gorge in front of a window. In case I ever need to access the window, the gorge is removable. I'm using magnets to hold the gorge sides in place.


Scenes on the Kudzu & Tenn

11/27/23: This photo features the Clinchfield's bridge at Pool Point in the foreground. In the background, is the model of the Clinchfield's unique bridge at Starnes. Both of these bridges were salvaged from my Texas layout.

11/27/23: The bridges over Falling Water. The creek scenes are mostly done, but I still have the table tops to scenic.

11/27/23: Both of these bridges over Frog Jump were salvaged from my Texas layout featuring the Clinchfield's Copper Creek Viaduct. It is about 167 feet to the bottom . Featured in this creek is a locomotive that fell over the side of the bridge, people tubing and a beaver dam and den.

11/27/23: There are three bridges here over Suck Creek. The wooden trestle is the interchange track with Keith Elrod's Tellico Southern Railroad.

11/27/23: The coal mine at Three Way featuring the latest constructed mountain terrain that is on the east side of the Kudzu & Tenn. If you eyesight is good, you will notice I have not yet ballasted the track. I like to do my ballasitn last after I am sure all the trackwork has no problems. The track in the lower left is the interchange track with Keith Elrod's Tellico Southern.

01/01/24: CRR 2006 exits the cut west of Big Boy Jct to return to the mine. The Kudzu and brushes in this scene were completed ahead of schedule. On to the rest of the layout!

02/05/24: Abandoned beehive coke ovens. This type of coke oven went out of use about 1938; inappropriate for my 50's era layout. This makes good use of the area near the curved mainline that otherwise makes it difficult to place a working industry.

02/07/24: A UFO invades a farm on the Kudzu & Tennessee and attempts to beam up a cow. The farmer struggles to save his cow while the dog confronts two of the aliens.

As I do my scenery, I’ve come up with a new definition of “adhesive”: A substance that does not adhere to the surfaces listed on the can or bottle, but will instantly bond your fingers to whatever you are trying to glue down. By the time I am done gluing on the green polyfiber for the Kudzu, I end up looking like a green wookie.

Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, check out the original High & Xiety that I built in Texas.

Other cats on the Kudzu And Tennesse - 02/07/24

"I need a throttle so I can run a train!" Bijou is 20 years old. While she can still jump up on a sofa, she needs help to get up on this bar stool. She likes to visit while I am working on my trains and always announces herself when she walks into the room.


Jackson is Bijou's best friend forever. They spend a lot of time together. Here, Jackson is walking in the yard. Cats usually pick their steps carefully and rarely knock anything over.

"A little help from my friends."

Finally, I'd like to thank the following modelers who have helped build the Kudzu and Tennessee. Some times I just needed an extra hand. Other times, they were just better than I could have done, were much quicker than I am, or just simply helped out while I was focused on wiring.

Feroz Appaiwalla - scratchbuilding wooden structures
Jim Arrasate - model painting

Jim Grossen - terminal blocks and Arduino project
Don Clark - carpentry
Ken Klaviter - decoder installation and model fine tuning

Harley Nichols - scratchbuilding
Jan Shea - figure painting

Jim Vineyard - scratchbuilding wooden structures
Jack Wallschlaeger - craftsman kit construction and scratchbuilding

What is Kudzu?

Kudzu is an invasive, fast growing vine brought to the southeastern United States to control hillside erosion. Unfortunately, its large leaves block the sunlight to the trees and other plants it covers killing them all. It is difficult to kill and it is said, "The only way to get rid of Kudzu is to move." So I have been careful to not buy a home that is anywhere close to Kudzu. Shown here is a hilside with Kudzu. When it goes dormant in the winter, it is a particularly ugly sight.


Be sure to take this little picture tour of  Clinchfield Country!



Copyright by Allan Gartner 1996 - 2024 © All rights reserved. All users, commercial and non-commercial, may link only to this site at www.WiringForDCC.com.