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."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Model Railroad Engineer - Electrical (Requirements)


Model Railroad Engineer - Electrical

The requirements for Model Railroad Engineer - Electrical may look long and complicated, but they are not really. The reason that they are so long is to offer you more options for meeting the requirements.
You don't even have to do all of the work on a single layout - you can do some on a club layout, some in your basement, and some on your garden railroad, etc.
Remember - don't make the requirements more difficult than they are, by reading more into them than is there.

To qualify for the Model Railroad Engineer - Electrical certificate, you must:

A. Construct 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 conventional DC wiring (non-command-control), five electrical blocks that can be controlled independently. 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.
3.      One reversing loop, wye, turntable, or transfer table.
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
6.      One power supply with protective devices (short indicator or circuit breaker) to ensure safe operation.
B. Wire and demonstrate the electrical operation of at least three of the following items:
1.      Turnout
Wiring up the simplest powered turnout from your hobby store will satisfy this requirement.
2.      Crossing
Most commercial crossings come pre-wired. Just set one up so that you can run trains through on both tracks.
  1. Crossover
  2. Double Crossover
  3. Slip Switch - (single or double)
  4. Gauge Separation Turnout
  5. Double Junction Turnout
  6. Three Way Turnout
  7. Gauntlet Turnout
  8. Spring Switch
  9. Operating Switch in Overhead Wire
C. Wire and demonstrate the electrical operation of at least three of the following items:
1.      Electrical turnout position indication on a control panel or at trackside for a minimum of four turnouts.(Remember that many commercial switch machines have electrical terminals to allow you to do this easily.)
2.      Track occupancy indication on a control panel or at trackside for a minimum of five blocks.
3.      Cab control, making provision for connection of at least two power supplies to a minimum of five blocks as the trains progress. (This means that your layout has at least five blocks, each of which can be controlled by one of two power supplies. The five blocks DO NOT have to be in a row along the same stretch of track.)
4.      Engine terminal, including an electrically powered turntable or transfer table, a minimum of three stall tracks, and at least two blocked storage sections for parking locomotives outside the stall area. (This means you need to have a total of five tracks (three inside an engine house or roundhouse, and two outside), that you can cut power independently to store motive power).
5.      Two turnout junctions with electrical interlocking and protecting trackside signals. (This is simply a turnout with electrical protection to prevent a train from going through a turnout that is set against it. Again, the electrical terminals on a switch machine, combined with a couple of insulated rail joiners, make this a fairly easy project. )
6.      High Frequency Lighting (This is an old term for Constant Lighting.)
7.      Electronic throttle with inertia and braking provisions. (This requirement could be combined with requirement A-6, above.)
8.      Grade crossing with electrically actuated warning indication. (You don't have to design or build the circuitry for this yourself. There are a number of commercial components available that you can just wire up to meet this requirements. Or you can use commercial plans that appear in magazines from time to time. Or you can do it from scratch.)
9.      Two-way block signaling with automatic train detection for at least five blocks. (See remarks under #8).
10.  Operating overhead wire, using either pantographs, trolley poles, or both for current collection. (Any traction fans out there?)
11.  Installation of an advanced electronic and/or computer control for the model railroad.
12.  Design, installation, and operation of animated mechanical and/or electrical displays.
13.  Design, installation, and operation of mechanical and/or electrical layout lighting displays.
14.  Installation of a command control receiver. Modifications or additions to the device's wiring are required. Installing a plug-equipped decoder into a manufactured prewired socket is not sufficient.
15.  Installation of a command control throttle buss line around a layout capable of handling at least two throttles at three or more separate locations.
Commercially assembled complete units are not acceptable in the items below:
  1. Construction and installation of a sound system.
  2. Construction and installation of a signaling system.
  3. Development and installation of a CTC system.
  4. Installation and operation of an on-board video system.
  5. Computer generated block detection information.
  6. Hardwired or stored control program (i.e. computer) for operation of the railroad.
  7. Development and demonstration of a computer-to-railroad interface.
  8. Other: 
At first I didn't really know how to demonstrate and document everything that is required for this certificate. I'm very gratefull that I found Gerry Leone's homepage to give me a clue how to handle it all. It gave me a lot of inspiration. I was really at a loss, so unfortunately some of the drawings look a lot like his.

This is one of the reasons for my blog, because I believe that many modelers encounter the same problems. Especially for those members living in quite remote areas with none or very few Master Modelrailroaders you could ask.
(Examples of 'other' includes flashing warning lights on locomotives, or end-of-train devices on cabooses) 

All above items were certified on my home layout or exhibition layouts

D. Prepare a schematic drawing of the propulsion circuitry of the model railroad in (A) showing the gaps, blocks, feeders, speed and direction control, electrical switches, and power supplies.
Note that this requirement includes ONLY the propulsion circuitry. It is not required to include the wiring for electrical turnout control, signal systems, building lighting, etc. You do not need to include the details for parts of the diagram which are repeated. If a number of parts are wired in the same way, it sufficient to draw one section in detail and indicate other locations with rectangles. 

5. Prepare schematic drawings identifying the wiring and components of the six items under (2) and (3).
For the sake of clarity, these schematics should probably be separate from the propulsion circuitry schematic in (D) above. If you already have one over-all schematic of the layout, you might want to consider making multiple copies and going over the applicable lines with a highlighter for each feature.

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