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ProRail 2008

A sampling of Thank You emails received after ProRail:



From: Don Bozman
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 10:42 PM
Subject: Final ProRail 2008 Post Script

 Hi Guys,

Without exception, everyone that wrote us had nothing but positive things to say about their experiences at our ProRail. Moreover, we got a number of sterling comments like (1) "best ever", (2) "best I ever attended," (3) "we set a new higher standard for op sessions", and (4) "there was never a better one".  So see.....all that hard work in preparation really paid off.

With this email, I shut down ProRail 2008 forever. I have forwarded our files to Kansas City as they will host next year's ProRail. I've been assured that each of you will receive an invitation.

Thanks again for your participation.

Happy R.R.'ing,
Don Bozman
Houston, TX

From: Jim Lofland
Sent: Sunday, April 27, 2008 12:52 PM
To: Mark H
Subject: Great Operating Session

Hi Mark -

I just wanted to take a minute and tell you just how much I enjoyed my time operating on the "All Points North Model Railroad Club during ProRail. You and the other club members have gotten a lot accomplished in such a short time. The operations was great, and the long runs I greatly enjoyed. At first I had a hard time finding the "CP" locations, but that quickly got resolved. I would appreciate if you would pass my thanks for the invitation and operations to all of the other Club Members.

Again, if you or any of your club members are ever in the Baton Rouge Area, please give me a call and know that you have an open invitation to come by my place and see and operate my "Tall Timber & Santa Fe" Railroad Layout. Also, if a group wanted to come over for a couple of sessions on the two layouts in Baton Rouge, I most likely could arrange that also.

Again thank for such a great time at your club layout. Maybe I will get another chance to operate on the "All Points North" layout in the future.

Jim Lofland



From: Phil Monat
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 8:05 AM
To: Mark H
Subject: ProRail Thanks


Hello there, this is from Phil Monat, one of the ProRail guests who had the pleasure of operating at your delightful club last week. I wanted to drop you a note and thank you, as I had a great time and you fellas went way out of our way to welcome us. It's a beautiful layout with great operational potential - I wish you all the best and thanks again for making our visit so pleasant.

Phil Monat



From: Don Bozman
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 9:20 AM
To: All ProRail Host Layout Owners and Helpers
Subject: ProRail 2008 Curtain

Hi Guys,

I want to thank each of you for your participation in ProRail 2008. To date, I've heard compliments that range from how well the railroads ran, to our southern hospitality, to the website, to the hotel accommodations. On two occasions that I know of, we were told that ProRail has now been raised to a higher level. None of this happened by chance, but was the result of the generosity of many, plus months of hard work and dedication by all. If I had a budget, I'd throw you a party. But alas, all you get is my thanks, and the knowledge that you "done good....very very good". 

I'd be happy to receive any feedback you want to share (good or bad), along with any suggestions you would like to make.

I plan to get with Jim Thompson (web master) soon to make a CD of the web site plus I want to include all the informational handouts. This will be sent to the watchdogs of ProRail.

Everybody get some rest. You deserve it.

Happy R.R.'ing,



From: Tom Enloe
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 6:58 PM
To: Mark H
Subject: ProRail 2008 at APN's Layout

APN was a highlight of Prorail and I have recommended to a number of Houston folks to visit you for a most enjoyable op session.

Good luck and thanks for a great time.

Tom Enloe



From: Chris Lee
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 7:40 PM
To: Mark H
Subject: ProRail 2008 at APN's Layout


Please feel free to pass this along to fellow club members:

Thanks to all of your club members for taking their free time to host ProRail 2008 and myself included. I had a truly enjoyable time operating on your layout. The scheme was great and the CTC panel was a blast to run. You all provided me insight on how a club should really run. I hope to bring some of that knowledge to my own club back in NY. You all put on a great show.

Thanks again,




From: Ray deBlieck
Sent: Monday, April 28, 2008 8:33 PM
To: Mark H
Subject: ProRail 2008 at APN's Layout


This weekend was my first visit to Houston (aside from an occasional plane change, anyway).

I admit that while APN was not my first choice (I'm sure you understand Freitag!), I was more impressed with my day at your place than either of the other two days. I greatly admire what you guys are doing and what you bring to hobbyist. Clubs are not my favorite thing, but you guys make me rethink my personal blanket condemnation of them. It is not often that I see a club that has not just a great layout, but an absolutely incredible attitude towards the operations end of the hobby.

If you could provide me with a list (including e-mail addresses) of the guys who worked with us Friday, I will be sure that each one gets an invitation to BayRails next March. That is a similar style Ops weekend here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Thanks so much for some great hospitality and a fun day operating.

Ray deBlieck



From: Howard Stevenson
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 8:15 AM
To: Mark H
Subject: ProRail 2008 at APN's Layout






From: Paul Dolkos
Sent: Tuesday, April 29, 2008 11:26 AM
To: Mark H
Subject: ProRail 2008 at APN's Layout


Thank you and your crew for hosting me and all the others for a ProRail session. I really enjoyed my time at APN. Its a wonderful facility that you have put together.

RailOp seems to draw a lot of criticism, but you guys put together three back to back sessions and for the trains that I ran, all cars were in the train. I don't know what you have to go through in the preparation stage to make that happen and that is the real test. Doing the same thing with individual car cards would require a lot of work on an operation of your size. Just keeping track of the cards as operators moved with them around the layout would be a chore. You can be sure that some cards would not be left at the location or not picked up as cars were set out or added to the train. But personally I would hate to depend on a computer for car routing. The prototype does it but they have lots of clerks to do it.

One possible alternative with car cards is to have a clerk position where all the cards are kept and have them produce switch lists or switching instructions for each train. Believe it or not, one layout owner that uses this approach, has people fighting for this job. Some people enjoy sitting at a desk and much of the work can be done before the session starts.

I found your benchwork construction interesting. I talked at some length to your woodworking genius (do not get his name). My question is why does he use the furniture screws as opposed to something else like drywall screws?

Again, thanks for your hospitality. If any of you get to the Washington, D.C. area, take some time to visit my layout.

Paul Dolkos



From: Dan Thompson
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008
To: Mark H
Subject: ProRail 2008 at APN's Layout

To the team at All Points North Model Railroad Club. I operated on your layout on Thursday, 24-April as part of ProRail 2008 Houston. I enjoyed operating there and had a great time. I may not remember all the names yet, but the fellowship and friendliness was great. Thanks for letting us come operate. Whether you choose to implement all the suggestions in the feedback or not is your choice, but I do like the idea of asking, as you did, for the input of those who operated. It would be interesting to return in a few years and see where you have taken the layout.

So Thank you for a good day of operating.
Dan Thompson



From: Brian Helms
Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:22 PM
To: Roger M
Subject: ProRail Thanks

To all members of APN,

I was part of the Friday ProRail group and wanted to thank you all for a great time. You have a quality crew who exhibited the hospitality Texas is famous for. You have an incredible facility and a first class railroad. I learned some useful techniques from your innovative operation. I will certainly borrow your baltic birch benchwork construction methods and Scott's sharing of knowledge regarding signaling and his dispatching program is an inspiration to us at Mid South as we implement our own signaling computer dispatching. You are at least six months ahead of us.

If any of your crew can make the trip to Baton Rouge, we would love to share our Mid South Operations. Right now expected operating sessions are the first Saturday of even months. I think a group from Houston is coming sometime in August, so there are options. Again thanks for sharing your railroad.

Brian Helms



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Updated on 05/30/2008