The Valley Local - 2015 edition . . .
I'm pretty lucky that I get to drive "on my layout" every day on my way to & from work. Going through Middletown is my favorite, not only because of the cool bridges (including going under the Air Line railroad bridge over the CT River), but because - occasionally - you can see the present-day version of the Valley Local. It may run under a different flag from the old New Haven RR (today it's Providence & Worcester) but it's still the same train - and line - I model, just 68 years later.
Here are a couple of views from a recent morning:
|View looking northwest - Air Line bridge crosses the Connecticut River left to right, west to east. You can barely make out the locomotive through the trees - it's headed south on the Valley Line just south of the diamond.|
|Better view of the local, with the landmark Catholic church steeple in the background.|
Having your layout confront you every day is a mixed-bag: there's constant modeling inspiration, but also constant reminders of all you can't model (or have room to model). But no worries - if I do my modeling right, I'll at least be able to convey the flavor of the area. And in the meantime, as my skills and abilities continue to develop, I'll still be able to enjoy my full size prototype layout every morning on my way to work. That pretty much makes it worth the trip!