NMRA Achievement Program


The NMRA Achievement Program (AP) is a guide, to help you on your journey from beginner to accomplished master in 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. As members of the NMRA earn credit in the different categories, they will be issued a certificate acknowledging their achievement.  All current AP Awards are listed in the NMRA Magazine each month.

The AP requirements are a set of standards and guides for those who are just beginning their model railroading adventure, or those who have been in the hobby for a little while, and for those who are experienced in the hobby. The AP is for everyone. The APs are there not because they are the sole source of recognition in the hobby, but because they are a source of information and ideas for projects that can help us learn to become better modelers, which in turn can allow us to have greater pleasure in the hobby.

In summary, the AP is a system of requirements for demonstrating a superior level of skill in various aspects of our hobby.

Categories of the Achievement Program
(click on any item to find out more information)

1. Model Railroad Equipment

2. Settings

3. Engineering and Operation

4. Service to the hobby and the NMRA

The Achievement Program is also a personal commitment to share one’s knowledge with others and to encourage them as they also make the AP journey.

We hope that you will soon find just how easy it is to participate in the Achievement Program, and if you are not yet involved start you off on the right foot. Please contact the NMRA Canada office to obtain contact information for your Regional AP Manager.

Golden Spike Award

The Golden Spike Award (GSA) will be awarded to any NMRA member who does not already hold MMR status, and who completes the Qualifications listed below along with obtaining the necessary signatures of the Division AP Manager ( or some local NMRA member approved by the Division AP Manager).

The GSA Consists of the following items:

1.  Rolling Stock (Motive Power & Cars): 

  • Display six units of rolling stock either scratch-built, craftsman kits or super-detailed commercial kits.

2.  Model Railroad Setting (Structures & Scenery):

  • Construct a minimum of eight square feet of model railroad or module(s) including scenery in any scale.
  • Construct five structures either scratchbuilt, craftsman kits or superdetailed commercial kits.  If a module has less than five structures, additional structures separate from the scene may be presented.

3.  Engineering (Civil & Electrical)

  • Three types of track are required (e.g. turnout, crossing, crossover, etc.).  All must be properly ballasted and installed on proper roadbed.  Commercial track may be used.  
  • All installed track must be properly wired so that two trains can be operated simultaneously (e.g. double track main, single track main with sidings, and block or command or other form of control).  
  • Provide any one additional electrical feature such as power operated turnouts, signaling, turnout indication, lighted buildings, etc.