|The Ambassador in Waterbury, P. R. Hastings photo, courtesy Mr. Robert C. Jones
For me, it was this Phil Hastings photo of the Ambassador going through Waterbury.
I was at a Navy training school in Newport, RI and decided to take a much needed break from studying the innards of the ALCO 251C engine in a marine application to seek out some nearby hobby shops. At the time I was happily modeling the Central Vermont - the railroad that I knew from the 1970s and 80s - lots of green, black, red, and blue Geeps and ALCO RS-11s (ironically, equipped with the same 251C that I was studying).
I wandered into a local hobby shop and noticed a six volume set of hardcover books on the Central Vermont. As I flipped through Volume V of Robert C Jone's "The Central Vermont Railway" I stumbled across this Phil Hastings photo printed across a two-page spread.
Sure, I'd been to Waterbury, and had taken photos of trains from much the same spot that Phil was standing on that day back in 1954. But what was missing when I went there was something I can only call "texture" of the steam-to-diesel transition era.
I bought the book (eventually I'd obtain the entire set, which I consider a "must have" for the CV fan) and have to say it was that book - primarily that photo - that turned me from being content to model "today" to modeling the same railroad as it used to look.
I suppose it should come as no surprise that Waterbury, more specifically the angle of that Hastings photo was a scene I wanted to capture in miniature "front and center" on the railroad.
I need to tweak some of the angles, and the water tank and station might need to be a little further apart but even though the scene is unfinished I thought I'd share it here.