I went ahead and applied a base coat of green foam to the bare dirt areas of the layout. It looks a bit like a golf course, but that will change with the addition of static grass and other scenery textures. Still a long way to go.
I decided to clean the track and run a loco on the layout. I have not operated the layout in almost three years. The last time was to test out the staging track and an operating scheme. This time, I want to see how it runs after sitting idle for so long. Fortunately, the track ballasting did not foul the track. Everything ran fairly well after a vigorous cleaning with a bright boy track cleaner block.
This is the 6 AM yard switching crew shunting cars left by the Rock Island switcher yesterday evening at the interchange track, and setting them out at the outbound yard track for a later transfer run. Next, the GE 70 tonner will pull cars from the factory track and set them out at the Rock's interchange track. An empty boxcar sitting at the public siding will also be set out at the interchange track.