One more blog post for this week on the Hitop branch. Even though I have visited the area many times in the past, I haven’t been able to visit lately, as now I’m over a thousand miles away. I have friends who grew up in the area I model, namely Nitro. I used to work with a man from Hurricane. I used to date a young woman from Montgomery. I currently work with a man who grew up in Huntington. I used to attend Bridge Day in the New River Gorge quite often. I’ve been through the area by car and by train. I never met a person in this part of the country I didn’t like. Hard work, family, and religion are all strong in the area I remember visiting.
Even though my layout has fictitious industries included, and is not modeled exactly per the prototype, I feel it’s a pretty close representation of this part of West Virginia. What I have done as well on my layout to make it more realistic (I hope), to me anyway, is to name every figure (person) on the layout. Each one has a story to tell. Even I’m on the layout! That’s me btw in the blue bib overalls walking towards my power on the service track in Dickinson yard.
The people are named after relatives past and present, co-workers I had while on the railroad, and friends. Some have been included in the stories you’ll see online here, some have already been published. These people help me to put a further spin on the story of the area I model, to make it more “down home” to me, that fits this area, and to bring back memories of friends, family, and co-workers. Watch for the stories that name these people of what could have been on the Hitop….