Thursday, November 28, 2019

A visit to the Valley Line

PDX-2 on the Shailerville Bridge at Haddam, Connecticut

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of operating on Chris Adams's HO scale layout (Valley Local blog) that replicates the New Haven's Valley Line from Wethersfield to Old Saybrook, roughly following the Connecticut River from Hartford to Long Island Sound. Chris has done an amazing job at recreating many of the signature scenes and industries along the line, circa the late 1940s. As someone who spent a good chunk of his youth in Wethersfield and thought long and hard about modeling the same line in the same era, I have always had a soft spot for this layout.


The freight house and the Chapman Company at Old Saybrook

I was tasked with operating the local freight, PDX-2, from Fort Yard in New London via Old Saybrook and up the line to East Haddam on October 13, 1948. Power was one of the New Haven's new Alco RS-2 road switchers, no. 0510. I didn't take that many photos (I was absorbed and forgot!) I thoroughly enjoyed operating the local, with its switching duties at Old Saybrook, Essex, Deep River, and Haddam. The layout operates flawlessly, allowing one to focus on the operational tasks and not worry about distractions from electronics, derailments, etc. The attention paid to not only the track and maintenance as well as the visual aesthetics results in a satisfying experience. 

Thank you to Chris for a great experience with good company. I can't wait until I am called to the duty roster again.


The passenger station and interlocking at Old Saybrook, looking west, towards New Haven and New York. The Valley Line branch is the diverging track in the foreground.

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