April 29, 2018

ProRail 2018 Update

The first visitors 
ProRail 2018 is almost over. Most layout hosts are done, but a few of us are hosting one last session on Monday morning. Over the last three days the USMRR and PoLA each hosted 4 operating sessions and one open house where we had 50 visitors.

Operators having fun
While it is not yet over,  I can say that this has been the highlight of my model railroading hobby experience. Over the past 3 days some of the most experienced model railroaders from the United States, Canada and Norway visited and or operated my layouts. Just about everything went well. Two crews reported zero derailments throughout the whole session.

Watching the operating sessions come to life with such experienced crews was a joy to behold. They even discovered new techniques, such as poling cars to extricate from a tough spot. We will now call this technique "Pole Dancing" in honor of Mark Dance, the first person to try it on the railroad.

Photo Line
Nearly everyone had positive things to say about the railroads and encouraged to me keep at it. Overall, I'd say that the Aquia Line was the railroad that really captured everyone's imagination. One said, "PoLA is nice, but the Aquia Line is art." Another said, "The Aquia Line is a unique railroad." "Beyond expectations," said one operator.  It is truly satisfying to hear your peers say such nice things about your work.

Special thanks to Michael Spoor, Joel Salmons, John Drye, Marty McGuirk, Doug Gurin and Tom Pierpoint for helping me out.

Pole Dance
I put together a video summary of some of the action for the first 3 days.


  1. Are you going to host an op session for the DC region convention in Maryland, next October?

    1. I have two events scheduled for that weekend. I have not resolved the conflict yet.

  2. The Pole Dance...I am honored (I think).

    Thank you for hosting Bernie. The Aquila is a creative masterpiece and, more importantly, a lot of fun. See you in Vancouver.