Achievement Programme

The NMRA is a world wide organisation and to encourage modelling they have
something called the Achievement Programme.

From the NMRA website:


In simple terms, the Achievement Program (AP) is a travel
guide, to help you on your journey through the world of model railroading.
The AP also provides incentive to learn and master the many crafts and skills
necessary in the hobby of model railroading. With the completion of each category,
you will be issued a certificate acknowledging your achievement.

The AP requirements are a set of standards, but they can
also serve as a set of guideposts for those who are new, near-new, and not-so-new
to the hobby. Not because they lead to some sort of official pat-on-the-back,
but because they are a source of ideas for projects that can help us learn
to become better modellers.

Briefly, the AP is a system of requirements for demonstrating
a superior level of skill in various aspects of our hobby. It covers not only
building various types of models, but also building other things which are
important to the hobby, such as scenery, structures, track work, and wiring.
It also recognizes service to the hobby and the NMRA, which are important
as well.

Master Model Railroader

An NMRA member qualifies as a Master Model Railroader when
he or she has obtained at least seven of the eleven Achievement Certificates
provided that he or she has earned at least one Achievement Certificate in
each of the four areas of the Regulations. Earning the title of Master Model
Railroader is the ultimate goal for many participants in the Achievement Program.


Golden Spike Award

Some people may be reluctant to participate in the AP, because
the rules seem difficult to understand. The following pages explain each of
the different categories in the AP, and what the exact requirements are.

If you are new to the AP, may we recommend that you take
a look at the Golden Spike Award, although not an actual AP category its requirements
are structured along the same lines.

For more details click here
to see the NMRA BR website.


My Achievement Programme Progress

I finished my MMR in July 2014 – number 542.  I’m now working on the last four certificates.

What is a Merit Award?

To achieve many of the certificates you need to obtain Merit
Awards. A Merit Award is achieved when you get 87.5 points out of 125 in areas
such as construction, details, conformity (to prototype), finish and lettering
and scratch building. You don’t need to enter a competition to be judged,
a British Region AP helper would be happy to do so.

My progress so far is:

Certificate (Require 1 of each section, 7 in total)Progress
Railroad Equipment:
Motive PowerCertificate achieved July 2014
CarsNothing judged yet
Railroad Setting:
StructuresCertificate achieved July 2014
SceneryMore square footage needed!
Prototype ModelsPhoto chosen, models being built.
Railroad Construction & Operation:
CivilCertificate achieved July 2014
ElectricalCertificate achieved October 2013
Chief DispatcherSeveral hours as a road engineer.
Service to the Hobby:
OfficialCertificate achieved July 2014
VolunteerCertificate achieved October 2008
AuthorCertificate achieved October 2011

Individual Certificate Progress:

Motive Power
3 models / 1 scratchbuilt / 3 Merit Awards

ModelScratch BuiltMerit AwardTypeFinished
1.Porter & scratch built slope back tender
2.J-2 New Haven conversion

Achieved July 2014

8 cars / 4 scratch built / 4 types incl passenger cars

ModelScratch BuiltMerit AwardTypeFinished
1.Camp Car (6 of them)
APassenger Cars/Camp Cars
BTank Car
CBox Car
DFlat Car

12 Structures / 1 bridge / 6 scratch built / 6 Merit Awards

ModelScratch BuiltMerit AwardTypeFinished
1.OO UK terraced houses
2.On30 pile bridge
3.HO NEBISCO buildings
4.HO Bowyer Manufacturing
5.O Gas Station
6.O General Store
7.O Repair Barn
8.HO NEBISCO billboards
9.Martin Machine
10.Bikini Car Wash
11.Hand Car Shed
12.On30 swamp hut
AStyrene Structure
CWood Trestle
DWooden Structure
EPlaster Structure
FPlastic Kit Structure

Achieved July 2014

32 sq foot including terrain, structures, background, lighting and realism/conformity.
Photos and description are needed plus a Merit Award on the section being judged.

Civil Engineering

RequrirementSatisfied ByFinished
1.Original Scale Drawing includingPlanYes
AAdequate terminal facilities for handling freight and/or passenger carsPlanYes
BAdequate terminal facilities for storage and service of
motive power
CA minimum of one mainline passing sidingPlanYes
DFour switching locations, not counting yards, interchanges,
wyes, and reversing loops
EProvision for turning motive power (except for switchbacks,
trolley lines, etc.)
FProvision for simultaneous operation of at least two mainline
trains in either direction.
2.Construct and demonstrate, the satisfactory operation of
a completed section of the model railroad and track work described in
#1. Containing at least 50 linear feet in HO.
1. Passing SidingLayoutYes
2. SpurLayoutYes
3. CrossoverLayoutYes
8. TurntableLayoutYes
15. Coal Dump TrackLayoutYes
18. Grade ElevationLayoutYes

3.Construct for Merit Judging, scratch built scale models of any three of the following. and demonstrate their satisfactory operation:

ModelMerit AwardFinished
1. Turnout
5. Crossing
10. Gauge Separation Turnout

Achieved July 2014


Satisfied by:Finished
AConstruct and demonstrate on own or club layout, the satisfactory
operation of an electrical control system on a model railroad capable
of simultaneous and independent control of two mainline trains in either
direction, and containing at least:
1.For command control wiring (DCC, TMCC, and others), sufficient
gaps and switches to maintain polarity, phase if needed, and troubleshooting.
2.One mainline passing siding.Storage LoopYes
3.One reversing loop, wye, turntable, or transfer table.Lower LevelYes
4.One yard with a minimum of three tracks and a switching
lead independent of the main line.
5.Facilities for the storing of at least two unused motive
power units
Storage YardsYes
6.One power supply with protective devices (short indicator
or circuit breaker) to ensure safe operation.
DCC SystemYes
BWire and demonstrate the electrical operation of at least
three of the following items:
1. TurnoutLayoutYes
3. CrossoverLayoutYes
4. Double CrossoverLayoutYes
CWire and demonstrate the electrical operation of at least
three of the following items:
1. Electrical turnout position indicationLayoutYes
15. Installation of a command control throttle buss lineLayoutYes
16. Construction and installation of a sound systemLayoutYes
DPrepare a schematic drawingLayoutYes

Achieved October 2013.

Association Official
To qualify for the Association Official certificate, you must:
Have served in an office of President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, or Director, and have completed satisfactory service in one of the following:
At least one year in office at the national level.

Achieved July 2014

Have served actively on one or more NMRA committees (National, Regional, or Division) long enough to accumulate sixty (60) certified time units (TUs). The TUs you receive for various types of service are listed below:

DatesTime Units
3.Active satisfactory service as a Region committee Manager,
or on a National committee: 2 TUs per month.
Running Ardenrail Exhibition1/6/06 – 30/06/0726
4.Active satisfactory service as a Region committee member,
a Division Officer or committee Manager: 1 TU per month.
Running Ardenrail Exhibition1/7/07-30/6/0812
Running Arden Subdivision1/12/06 to 31/01/0926
10.Individuals (and their crews) who open their home or club
layout for layout tours in conjunction with NMRA conventions or other
NMRA sponsored events earn credit as follows for each day that the layout
is open for viewing.
c. Divisional Event 3 Time Units / day (3 TUs maximum per event)
Layout open day30/4/053
Layout open day26/11/053
Layout open day8/4/063
Layout open day11/11/063
Layout open day24/11/073
Layout open day12/4/083
Layout open day15/11/083

Achieved October 2008

1.Prepare and submit material on any of the following subjects:
Model Railroading.
Prototype Railroading, Applicable to Modeling.
NMRA Administration (e.g. Officers or Committee Reports)
The material being claimed must be the work of the author, photographer, artist, draftsperson, etc. applying for the certificate.
A total of forty-two (42) points must be earned from a combination of material in the following areas:

APublished Articles
Continental ModellerJune 09National1.54.5
Continental ModellerJuly 09National1.755.25
Model RailroaderMarch 11National515
D.Electronic Publications

Achieved October 2011