June 23, 2019

POLA and Porsches

GP60B unit leads the train back to staging. Running this way requires the conductor to stand on the railing of the
loco and relay hand signals and radio calls to the engineer in the cab. 
We got back from a week long trip to Daytona
Beach to help my mother-in-law with chores on her condo. It was a fun week with some golf, walks on the beach and a little bit of house work. I suppose the highlight of the week was a near hole in one I hit at the Oceans Course at Daytona Beach Shores. I didn't get the ace, but a tap in for birdie isn't bad. Alas, I didn't get any of my planned model railroad work done.

This morning, Todd Dolkos texted me and asked if he and his dad, Paul Dolkos,  could come over to operate POLA. I said, "sure. I just need a half hour to stage it."  Brad Trencamp also came by to show off his new 2014 Porsche Cayman S.

L to R Brad, Todd, Paul
I got the railroad staged just as all three showed up.

While Paul and Todd operated, Brad and I took a test ride in the Cayman S. I have never driven a Cayman before and I was very impressed. The car offers the traditional Porsche experience of great handling, excellent gearbox and a torquey engine in a lightweight and nimble package.  What a treat to test drive.  I may have to consider a Cayman in my future.
Brad and his new wheels.

For a change of pace, I had the POLA crew use a set of GP60A and B units. When they were done switching, they had to pull the train into staging with the B unit in the lead. Paul wondered if that was a prototype practice, I wasn't sure, so I texted Mark Steenwyck, a loco engineer for BNSF. According to Mark, it is possible. The conductor must ride on the nose of the B unit and use hand signals and radio call to the engineer in the cab to control the train. Since they don't have ditch lights, they are restricted to 20 MPH across grade crossings.

While Paul and Todd operated, I worked on some of the client models I have on my do list. I have a lot of tasks to complete before heading to Utah in a few weeks for the NMRA National Convention.


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