NMRA MCR Division 2 (Rev 2)
The final and accepted proposal.

Modular Railroad Proposal


The purpose of a Division sponsored modular railroad is to promote the NMRA and the hobby of model railroading to the general public. In addition, to aid in the experience of being a member of the NMRA, to foster friendship and cooperation among the members of Division 2 and to more fully enhance their membership experience.


The module group will consist of any member of the Division 2 who wishes to be a part of the module group. The member will also be expected to follow the guidelines set up by the module committee/group. The member should understand that they will be expected to attend as many shows as they can with their module. The modular group should have advance notice for any shows/events that the modules will be on display so that all members should have enough time to participate. In the event that a member cannot make it to an event he will have the responsibility to get his module to the event by making whatever arrangements he needs to make to get his module to and from the event if his module is needed. The member will not have to be in attendance during the entire time the layout is displayed. A schedule will be used to allow the participants to schedule their time if necessary. The Division will not be responsible for the transportation or security of the modules and models used on them. Most shows and other venues have security onsite when the show is closed but it is still up to the module group to determine how they want to secure their displays.

Layout Design Parameters:

The modular HO scale layout will be built by individual members who will be responsible for the construction of their modules. Module ownership will rest with the individual modeler. The minimum design of the layout will be of 2' (foot) wide modules and will be 4' (foot) in length, with 2 tracks of HO scale centered on the module. Any spur, sidings or switching tracks will be between the main lines and the edges of the modules and will be fully operational. All mainline track and turnouts used on the modules will be code 83 rail. Sidings and industrial tracks can be a smaller code rail. The use of backdrops will be determined by the module group and the module committee. The layout design will be coordinated by the committee and the module group so that scenes are coherent and blend together and are not duplicated. The scenic setting for the modular layout will be the type of scenery and topography common to the Southwestern Pennsylvania area. The overall size and design of the modular layout will depend on how many members join the group. All modules will be built to comply with the Engineering Specification Document (ESD). The ESD will be formulated and enforced by the Committee.

Module Signage:

Each module will have a plaque or nameplate with the owner's name, The Division's name and Logo and the NMRA's logo affixed on all sides visible to the public. Size and layout of the signage and other identifying lettering will be determined by the module group and detailed in the ESD.

Quality Control Committee:

All modules must pass an inspection by the quality control committee. The committee will consist of members of the module committee and the module group. Decisions on module suitability for a show rest solely and finally with the quality control committee. Their decision is final. Every effort will be made to assist the module builders in completing their module to the standards set by the committee.


The control system that will be used on the modular layout will be DCC. The chosen system will either be NCE or Digitrax, and will use a radio or other wireless hand held controller. The Division will own the booster, one control unit and one throttle. The Module Committee Chairman will be responsible for these electronics. The decoders used in module owners locomotives and additional hand throttles will be provided by the operating members at their expense.


Basic module construction -- the 2'x4' frame, legs and top will be constructed by the committee and sold to members to build their modules on. The cost of the materials will be paid for Division 2 NMRA, and the proceeds of the module bases (that are sold) will be returned to Division 2 NMRA. The modules will be sold at a small markup, used to offset the cost of the DCC equipment. The DCC components placement will be detailed in the ESD. There will be hand held plug in receptacles placed around the modular as a back up for the hand held radio controllers.


The Modular railroad will be displayed as often as possible to help promote the NMRA and raise awareness of our organization. The attendance at any show will be determined by the module group as a whole. Any modular group member can ask the group to vote on attending a show or display. The display of the module layout will be based upon the current Division activities, the layout could be displayed at our Jamboree, Train Show and Sale, GATS and Greenberg Shows. Most shopping malls will allow set up and display as well.

NMRA Owned Equipment:

All equipment purchased with funds supplied by the NMRA Division 2 that belongs to the modular group will be the responsibility of the Module committee chairman or a member he so designates.

Cost to the Division:

The module committee will make a request for start up money before construction is started. As stated above any money that is borrowed by the module group will be paid back to the Division through the sale of the module frames and any income from money/donations received at train shows or other venues that the modules are displayed. Any money received by the module group will be paid back to the Division over and above expenses.


Should the module committee/group be disbanded through inactivity, vote or decree, then all Division owned materials (for example, the DCC station and booster) will be returned to the Division for sale or other disposition as the Division Officers see fit. Members and former members of the Module Committee/group will no longer be able use their modules to represent the Division. Former members may display their modules as long as any references that may lead the general public to believe that they are representing the Division must be removed from the module.