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 NMRA AP Civil Eng.Certificate "Support" Thread

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Dutchman Posted - 02/10/2009 : 12:17:59 PM
This thread is one of a series of threads intended to help RR-L Forum members who are also members of the NMRA and are working within the NMRA’s Achievement Program. This is not a thread to debate the pros and cons of either the NMRA or the Achievement Program. For a full explanation of the purpose of these threads, members should refer to this thread on the forum: http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=24676

This is the category where the tire meets the road (or where the wheelsets meet the rails)!

To earn this certificate, you must prepare one original scale drawing of a model railroad track plan, identifying overall size, scale, track elevations, curve radii, and turnout sizes. There are specific requirements for what must be included in this drawing on the NMRA website here: http://www.nmra.org/education/achievement/ap_civil.html

After preparing the scale drawing, you must then construct and demonstrate the satisfactory operation of a completed section of the model railroad and track work described in the scale drawing. There are again specific linear feet requirements for differing scales that can be found at the link above. When doing the trackwork, you must include appropriate ballast, drainage facilities, and roadbed profile, which may contain spurs, yards, etc. Construct for Merit Judging, scratch built scale models of any three of the following, and demonstrate their satisfactory operation (the three must achieve Merit status):

• Turnout (point or stub)
• Crossover
• Double Crossover
• Single Slip Switch
• Double Slip Switch
• Crossing
• 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 ___________

Note: 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.

I believe that we have a number of RR-L members who have either completed these requirements or are currently working on them. I hope that they jump in here with some insights and pictures.
15   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
jbvb Posted - 01/16/2018 : 10:22:00 AM
Ask your Division or Region AP Chair? Mine accepted several Section 2 features which were ballasted but not surrounded with finished scenery. I think (but do not know) they might not have been accepted if un-ballasted, if only because ballasting track offers many opportunities to screw up operation.
Joe-SVL Posted - 01/14/2018 : 8:55:51 PM
I have just completed and tested my 3 track pieces and am now checking on all loose ends before I request judges. One section is a little confusing to me namely #2 -"Construct and demonstrate the satisfactory operation of ......50' HO track work with appropriate ballast, drainage facilities, and roadbed profile. Track work shall have examples of at least of the following features." The area I used for my scenery certificate contains about 70' of track work including ballast, drainage facilities and roadbed profile. However items like passing siding, reversing loop that are not in the scenery certificate area, have roadbed profile; but no installed drainage facilities or ballast. Question - do all 6 of the items listed in section 2 have to have ballast, roadbed profile and drainage facilities?


Joe Brann
Orlando, FL
jbvb Posted - 12/01/2017 : 8:32:31 PM
Have you tried operating over the gauntlet track? That's the first thing most evaluators will check. If the guard rails are too far apart, or the running rails too close together, you'll find at least some of your equipment will derail. I don't have the Mark VI gauge and its instructions aren't readily available. If the NO-GO protrusion I see in pictures is as wide or wider than the FLANGEWAY tabs at the top, and both are intended as standards for flangeways, IMO someone at the NMRA has screwed up.
Joe-SVL Posted - 11/30/2017 : 09:09:55 AM
I have build the stock rail-guard rail and wing rail-frog rail gaps on my two #6 turnouts and on both ends of my gauntlet track with a spacing of about 0.040" so as to safely stay below the width of the No-Go tab on the Mark VI track gauge. However in doing this the flangeway (checkoint) tabs do not fit down into the gaps I mentioned above. From my viewpoint the tabs are on the very edge of the applicable rails. I've already done a lot of "tweaking" of my rail pieces to insure compliance. However I am concerned about the flangeway tabs not fitting down into the above mentioned gaps. So my question is how critical have judges been wrt the flangeway tabs needing to fit down in the rail gaps?


Joe Brann
Orlando, FL
Frank Palmer Posted - 08/01/2017 : 7:47:46 PM
I think if you built one like this it should satisfy several requirements.

Joe-SVL Posted - 08/01/2017 : 7:03:17 PM
Gantlet track inquiry

I have decided to build a gantlet track as my third track piece and could use some help.

Question 1 - What length did those who have built gantlet track make your piece of gantlet track? Length recommendations are always welcome.

Question 2 - Is the No-Go tab on the HO-scale standards gauge the generally accepted spacing between rails 1 and 2, and rails 3 and 4 on a piece of gantlet tracks?


Joe Brann
Orlando FL
Joe-SVL Posted - 07/17/2017 : 1:52:03 PM
When the judging is done on the track pieces that one builds to fulfill the requirements for this certificate what NMRA Standards or RP-s are used by the judges to evaluate the construction or conformity of the item being judged? Certainly the flangeway and the No-Go nubs on the NMRA Standards gauge are used; but are other measurements a la RP-13.x taken?

Also are the track groves in a Fast Track turnout jig, particularly around the frog, compliant with NMRA standards or RP-s. I know the guard rail to stock rail is.


Joe Brann
Orlando, FL
Dutchman Posted - 07/16/2017 : 11:07:24 PM
Joe, I think it was PolyScale grey primer.
Joe-SVL Posted - 07/16/2017 : 5:43:27 PM

What did you use as a primer on the PC ties before you painted them?

Dutchman Posted - 07/07/2017 : 09:18:17 AM

I think it was a 50/50 mix of Rust and Rail Brown PolyScale paint.
Joe-SVL Posted - 07/07/2017 : 08:55:24 AM
>> I had fun doing it and it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. Often the way, isn't it?<<

Absolutely. Right from the beginning last Monday I have had a ball making my first turnout. Not anywhere near as daunting as originally expected due totally to the fine Fast Tracks jigs and video! The track on my layout is completed so my two turnouts will only be used by me for the Civil Certificate, which will be #6

It looks like you stained your QuickStick ties, what did you do to the PC ties to make them appear as they are in your fine video?

jbvb Posted - 07/06/2017 : 7:54:20 PM
I built one turnout to Merit Award stadards. Photos on pg. 1 and 2 of this thread, and in my B&M Eastern Route thread. It's a foot from the audience when my Rowley module is on display. I don't know how many of them appreciate it, but it is quite visible in close-up photos. If you're doing your Civil track on a separate board, consider arranging it as a photographic diorama like a lot of other modelers keep around to set up outside when photographing a completed car/loco project.
Dutchman Posted - 07/06/2017 : 7:36:33 PM
Joe, we should only be held to the standards, and not 'recommended practices', so you should be okay.

If the turnout works well and the clearances and track gauge checks out with the standards gauge, you should be fine.

I put enough spikes in the track work to hold it in place on the cork, but didn't over do it.

I left Civil go to the last Certificate because I had no background in making turnouts. In the end, I had fun doing it and it wasn't as bad as I had imagined. Often the way, isn't it?
Joe-SVL Posted - 07/06/2017 : 6:58:05 PM
Sorry I forgot to reply to
"Will you be at the Convention in a few weeks?"

Presently I am not planning on attending. I know it is in town, but the Rosen Hotel is probably a good 30-45 minute drive from the house plus the daily parking fee which I don't know the cost of now.
BTW - GREAT track work in your video. You sure don't bite off the easy ones do you?

Joe-SVL Posted - 07/06/2017 : 5:41:16 PM

Video helped a whole lot. I was searching for something yesterday and saw in a drawer a roll of cork from long long ago that I had completed forgotten about. Did you secure your track to the cork? Any thoughts on whether I need to recut my switchpoint rail so that the wing rails will be the correct length?



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