NMRA Resources

NMRA Resources

Kalmbach Memorial Library

Our Library is mostly utilized by the NMRA members for researching their modeling needs, but we also assist historians, publishers, authors, and model manufacturers in various aspects of research. Many questions consist of photocopy requests, article searches, requests for drawings or plans, or historical information. We answer 90 to 130 questions per month, and usually within a few weeks of receipt of the question, depending on its complexity and the amount of pending questions in the Library.

NMRA members receive one free research question per year (questions taking more than fifteen minutes to answer), not including photocopy charges, and are charged $15.00 per hour for subsequent questions. Non-members are charged $30.00 per hour. Members also receive an unlimited amount of ready-reference questions (requests requiring less than fifteen minutes to answer), not including photocopy charges.

The Kalmbach Memorial Library is an NMRA member benefit and we invite you to contact us with your questions. We're always glad to help in any way we can.

Jennifer Eble

For more information about the Library resources, click here.

Standards and Recommended Practices

The N.M.R.A.'s work in developing Standards and Recommended Practices is the primary reason that what you buy from one manufacturer will work with product from another manufacturer. The Standards and RPs cover everything from track specifications, turnouts and electrical to wheels, car weight, clearances and modules. The latest in these efforts has produced the DCC Standards and RPs. None of this would have been possible without the willing participation of manufacturers and the hours donated by countless volunteers who tested and developed the various specifications.

Before the 1930s, there were no common standards pertaining to model railroad equipment. One manufacturer's equipment would not necessarily work with another manufacturer's or even run on someone else's track. Many modelers built to their own standard or from their own designs and ideas. In many cases it was difficult, if not impossible, to take your cars or locomotives to another modeler's railroad. Click here for more information.

Achievement Program

In simple terms, the Achievement Program (AP) is a travel guide that can help you on your journey through the world of model railroading. The AP provides incentives to learn and master the many crafts and skills that are useful in the hobby of model railroading. In this program, with the completion of each category, you will be issued a certificate acknowledging your achievement.

The AP requirements are a set of standards that can serve as guideposts for those who are new, near-new, and not-so-new to the hobby. Not because they lead to some sort of official pat-on-the-back, but because they are a source of ideas for projects that can help us learn to become better modelers. Click here for more information.

Why Join the N.M.R.A.?

The NMRA is People...
The NMRA is you and your fellow modelers, sharing and learning all the fascinating aspects of model railroading. Organized into regions which are sub-divided into divisions, the NMRA offers the model railroader a network of activities and opportunities to participate with fellow enthusiasts in planned meetings, clinics, conventions, fan trips and other social activities. Increased knowledge and enjoyment of the hobby are thus a direct benefit of NMRA membership.


The NMRA is Fun...
The NMRA is Member Services...
The NMRA is Engineering...
The NMRA is The A. C. Kalmbach Memorial Library...
The NMRA is the Achievement Program...
The NMRA is Conventions...

For more information than you found in the 'Why Should You Join' Page, take a look at Member Benefits

Page last updated April 26, 2019