Mike Spoor and his boss, Maj CJ stopped by tonight to put the PoLA layout through an operational test. They are Army guys in town for military training at Joint Base Anacostia- Bolling (formerly know as Bolling Air Force Base.) Mike has been here many times before. CJ is not a train guy, but he enjoyed seeing the layout.
This op session had nearly a full load of cars with 27 cars being switched in or out. This a copy of the switch list they used. There also about 10 cars on the layout that did not get switched. The session included some new cars that literally came out of their boxes tonight. Some of those cars had coupler issues and some tuning will be necessary.
Mike did most of the model RR work while CJ and I BS'ed. We had fun comparing stories from our Army service. The Army today is much different from when I was in as nearly everyone now has combat experience. Being a cold war veteran in NATO in the early 1980s, my combat happened in German Gasthauses, Alpine ski slopes, and in the sport cars on the autobahn. In retrospect it was a fun time. Today things are much more serious. Service members today deserve a lot of respect.
Some observations on the op session.
The layout easily handled this number of cars.
Although we only ran one train, there was room in staging and on the layout for a second train (to be run sequentially, not simultaneously). With each train taking over an hour to switch, a full op session could take 2-3 hours with two trains.
One of the turnouts was causing trouble. It never acts up when I operate, but seems to be pesky when Mike operates. Not sure what the problem with it is. More testing is required.
We also ran the Civil War layout briefly to demonstrate some of its unique features. CJ got to run the McCallum, which he seemed to enjoy.
All in all a good night.