The Town of Old Saybrook (aka Saybrook Junction) is where the Valley Line originally crossed over the New Haven's Shore Line and where, in the late 1940s, there's a wye for turning trains and such. There's also an interlocking tower, station, and water tank. In stark contrast to the rest of the layout (which consists of weedy branchlines), Old Saybrook provides a slice of Big Time Railroading - 4 tracks, fully signaled, and 71 trains per day. Click here for more on that craziness.
While the initial reason for building this layout was to replicate the operations of the New Haven Railroad's "Valley Local" along the Connecticut River (informed heavily by the memories of one John Wallace), I'd always intended for the layout to try and represent railroad operations in the CT Valley generally along the entire line from Hartford to Old Saybrook.
But as my research continued to enrich my understanding of how the railroad operated in this area, my focus has - um - "evolved." There was evidence of this evolution from the earliest days of the layout - e.g. I'd always planned to have the Air Line come in to Middletown, just as it does in Wallace's descriptions of the Valley Local. The Air Line plays an important - though only a bit - part in the Local's operation. And so it does on my layout as well.
Old Saybrook has evolved a bit, well, differently. I'd always intended to have the "Saybrook Scene" greet visitors as they come down the basement stairs. Since I live in Old Saybrook, including the station area is especially appropriate - but only as a backdrop to the Valley Local. Heck, at first this scene wasn't even going to be operational.
So my initial plan to have Old Saybrook be a bit player, that quickly (de?)evolved to a desire to run the mainline trains prototypically. Click here for the start of that journey and click here for where it all ended up. And click here for all the blog posts about this great part of the layout.
And for layout photos of this area, just scroll down . . .