Okay... so I post too much for someone who's just starting out. However, I finally managed to get my hands on a base-end DC power pack... I pulled out my track, my cars, my three locomotives, and gave them a whirl on my dining room table. I even managed to do a bit of switching with a single spur line in the oval I made... A few lessons learned: 1. I need to upgrade all my cars and locomotives to M-T couplers (and trucks). I could see the difference with my SD40-2 versus everything else... I even tried doing magnetic coupling and such... 2. I love the Peco turnouts and how easy they work even on the tabletop. The rest of the track I was using was Atlas sectional stuff... 3. I much prefer switching to watching things go 'round in an oval. Although the continuous running is a nice way to have something going on while I do the switching... 4. I really need to get my layout going soon... but part of that needs to wait until I find out if I am moving or not... Anyway, now that I've run them once, I'll be doing this a bit more often and doing some more experimenting as I work towards my layout!