This thread is to discuss, show off, and ask advice on your journey towards the Model Railroad Engineer-Civil Certificate. If you have any questions for the AP Chairman, please contact him direct on:
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Post by torikoos »

The requirements for Model Railroad Engineer - Civil may look long and complicated, but they really are not. The reason that they are so long is to offer you more options for meeting the requirements.

Remember - don't read more into the requirements than is there.

To qualify for the Model Railroad Engineer - Civil certificate:
Prepare one original scale drawing of a model railroad track plan, identifying overall size, scale, track elevations, curve radii, and turnout sizes.

Before you start drawing your layout plan, look at requirements 2 & 3 to see what features you are going to want to incorporate in your track plan. Remember: you do not need to build everything on this plan, just the minimum required part of it. The plan should be neat and legible, but it does not have to be in ink.

You should also consider the requirements for Model Railroad Engineer - Electrical, and Chief Dispatcher when planning your layout - it is much easier to include the requirements in the planning stage than to go back and add them later.

This plan must include:

Adequate terminal facilities for handling freight and/or passenger cars
This will vary, depending on the nature of your layout. Keep in mind that a railroad needs to have a reason to exist, other than to provide modelers and railfans something to look at! There needs to be someone that will pay for it to haul something from one place to another, be it lumber, coal, fruit, passengers, etc. (and usually more than one thing). Your plan and your layout should reflect this. Remember, you don't necessarily have to build these facilities, just include them in your plan. This is to show that you know what the design of a logical terminal facility would look like.
Adequate terminal facilities for storage and service of motive power
This doesn't mean you need a turntable with a twenty stall roundhouse. For a small operation, a simple engine house with a fueling track may be sufficient. It should be consistent with the theme of the rest of your plan. Again, remember that you don't necessarily have to build these facilities, just show that you know how to plan one.
A minimum of one mainline passing siding
Four switching locations, not counting yards, interchanges, wyes, and reversing loops
These would typically be spurs for setting out or picking up cars. Again, each one should have a purpose.
Provision for turning motive power (except for switchbacks, trolley lines, etc.)
A turntable, wye, or reverse loop, which actually changes the way that the motive power faces. Not just a loop of track that sends it back through the scene in a different direction on another track.
Provision for simultaneous operation of at least two mainline trains in either direction.
Remember, you don't have to actually build this, just show it on the plan.
Construct and demonstrate, the satisfactory operation of a completed section of the model railroad and track work described in #1. Containing at least 25 linear feet in Z, N, or TT scale, or 50 linear feet in HO or S scale, or seventy five linear feet in O scale, or 100 linear feet in G or #1 scale, or other scales in proportional relationship to HO scale, with appropriate ballast, drainage facilities, and roadbed profile, which may contain spurs, yards, etc.

Notice that last part - 50 feet of track, not 50 feet of main line - all operational track counts. While there is some element of scenery (appearance) to the track work and ballasting, the greatest number of points come from Construction and Conformity. In other words, what you need to show is that you know how to build track following prototype practice.

The track work must have examples of six of the following features:

Passing Siding
A crossover is a diagonal track connecting two parallel tracks.
Reversing Loop
Simple Ladder
A ladder should have a minimum of 3 tracks
Compound Ladder
Transfer Table
Super Elevation
Banking the track and roadbed on a curve.
Simple Overhead Wire - A single overhead wire (such as on a trolley system)
Compound Overhead Wire (catenary)
One wire which carries the power, with another wire above to support it (such as on high-speed electrical lines)
Scale Track
A track with a scale for weighing cars.
Cog Railway Track
Coal Dump Track
Could also be for dumping something besides coal
Ash Pit
Service Pit Track
Grade Elevation
This is a lot simpler than it sounds: it's any change in the slope of the track, like at the top or bottom of a hill. It's to show that you can make the transition smoothly between grades.
Other __________________
Construct for Merit Judging, scratch built scale models of any three of the following, and demonstrate their satisfactory operation:
Point or Stub
Double Crossover
Single Slip Switch
Double Slip Switch
Gauntlet Track
Gauntlet Turnout
Dual Gauge Turnout
Gauge Separation Turnout
Narrow gauge splitting off from dual gauge.
Double Junction Turnout
One set of parallel tracks diverges from another.
Three-Way Turnout
Spring Switch
Operating Switch in Overhead Wire
Other ___________
Commercial frogs are not permitted to be used in any of these items. These models may be built and demonstrated as part of the layout or separately.

Remember that these items do not need to be part of your layout - they don't even need to be the same scale or gauge. They don't even need to be part of a layout at all. You can build them on separate pieces of wood. They just have to be big enough and with enough track on either side to "...demonstrate their satisfactory operation. " This means that a unit of motive power must be able to travel through them (along all the possible routes) under its own power.
It is NOT sufficient to push or pull a car through by hand.

You must win a Merit Award (at least 87.5 points) with the items in section 3 above.

Notice that you only have to win a Merit Award with the items in section 3 - the trackwork items in section 2 don't have to be judged at all, except to demonstrate that they work. They must be available for examination by the judges, however.

You must submit a Statement of Qualification (see SOQ below) which includes the following:

Attachment to the SOQ showing the track plan required in Section 1 above. The attachment should include:

Identification of all scratch built features
All commercial components used
Materials used in building the model
(This is just a list of what was used - you don't have to try and figure out how much)

Description of the track work features, methods of construction and identification of commercial components used in Section 3.
Verification of the Merit Awards(Photocopies of the certificates or signed judging forms.)
Witness Certification showing that each of the above models meets all applicable NMRA standards.
Further Information
Contact National Achievement Program General Manager, Paul Richardson, MMR, or your Region or Division Achievement Program Manager for more information.

Forms available for this category:

SOQ Form:
Record and Validation form:
Judging Form:
Koos Fockens -Devon UK. North American Model Railroading
Age is just a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, then it doesn't matter.
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