CP Executive train in Albany

CP Executive train in Albany

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

NMRA MMR requirements for layout

Now that my benchwork is pretty much finished, I can set my sights on more enjoyable tasks such as laying roadbed and then track! I have slowly been accumulating stuff over the past year, but I am sure I will need to place another order before it is all said and done.

As has been mentioned previously, I plan to work on my NMRA Master Model Railroader certification as I build my layout. I have already earned the Model Railroad Author in 2011, and I am now working on my Model Railroad - Civil and Model Railroad - Electrical certificates. Since one focuses on trackwork (Civil) and the other the wiring (Electrical), it seems to make sense to do them together. That being said, I want to finish the electrical one first because the track one will require handlaying a bit of track, and that will slow me down.

There are a lot of requirements for each certificate listed online, though there is plenty of room to pick and choose various pieces. However, if you have a small layout like mine there are some things that necessarily might be missed. That isn't a fault of the MMR system, but it will require some creative planning on my part. One option I have is to wait several years until my layout is larger (my Watervliet section woudl have a wye, my North Albany section would have a yard) but I don't want to do that. Another possibility is to distribute everything onto the layout I have, but I don't want to compromise the vision of what I am modeling. A third option is to devote one area of my layout to the MMR requirements and cram everything on it that naturally wouldn't be elsewhere. This is what I am doing.

In addition to the paperwork that is required, including drawing up schematics and plans and such, there are some physical requirements that must be included in my layout(s). Here are the ones I selected (some were mandatory), with the numbers correlating with the NMRA requirements:

Electrical certificate
1(1): For a DCC layout, include sufficient gaps and switches to maintain polarity and troubleshoot;
1(2): One mainline passing siding;
1(3): One turntable;
1(4): A yard with a minimum of three tracks and a switching lead;
1(5): Facilities for storing at least two unused engines; and
1(6): One power supply with protective devices (short indicator / circuit breaker).
(2) Wire / demonstrate the electrical operation of a: (1) Turnout; (2) Crossing; and (3) Crossover.
(3) Wire / demonstrate the electrical operation of a: (4) Engine terminal including an electrically powered turntable, minimum of three stall tracks, and at least two blocked storage sections for parking locomotives outside of the stall area; (14) DCC decoder installation; and (23) End-Of-Train device.

Civil certificate
(2) At least 50 linear feet of track with ballast, drainage facilities, and roadbed, including examples of: a) passing siding; (b) spur; (f) simple ladder; (h) turntable; (j) super elevation; and (r) grade elevation.

Some of those things are required to be on the layout itself (red/green), while others just need to be built and demonstrated (yellow/blue). The green ones are already integrated into my Colonie Main layout design, while the red ones will be located on the one side of my layout that I don't have plans for. The yellow were built on a separate, small section because my layout doesn't include crossings or crossovers. Finally, the blue items are stand-alone things.

Even as I prepare to install the roadbed for three of the sections I need to have at least some sort of rough understanding of what will go in the last one. I plan to download some templates and play around with them to make it all fit.

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