Achievement Program


In simple terms, the Achievement Program (AP) is a travel guide, to help you on your journey through 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. With the completion of each category, you will be issued a certificate acknowledging your achievement.

The AP requirements are a set of standards, but they can also serve as a set of 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.

Briefly, the AP is a system of requirements for demonstrating a superior level of skill in various aspects of our hobby. It covers not only building various types of models, but also building other things which are important to the hobby, such as scenery, structures, track work, and wiring. It also recognizes service to the hobby and the NMRA, which are important as well. 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.  Use the links on the right to explore the different certificates and requirements.

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 visit the AP Staff Roster page to find contact information for your Regional AP Manager.

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.  Interested and qualified Master Model Railroaders® (MMR®) are also eligible and encouraged to serve as instructors in the "Modeling With The Masters®" program.

Take a minute to read this interesting history of the Achievment Program. The history was prepared by CJ Riley MMR® #97 - additional material provided by: Willis Ehlert MMR® #59, Rick Shoup MMR® #234, Phil Kohl, Paul Richardson MMR® #345, and Frank Koch, HLM. 

A History of the NMRA Achievement Program (1961 - 2018)

Before you jump in to the website, take a minute to read this short article by Gerry Leone, MMR® - This article appeared in a previous issue of Scale Rails (now the NMRA Magazine). Gerry put some of his thoughts down on paper regarding his quest for the MMR®. Give some thought to what Gerry has to say - He says it so well!. 
What I learned by becoming an MMR® - By Gerry Leone, MMR®.

Golden Spike Award

Some people may be reluctant to participate in the AP, because the requirements seem difficult to understand. The following pages explain each of the different categories in the AP, and what the exact requirements are.

If you are new to the AP, may we recommend that you take a look at the Golden Spike Award. Although not an actual AP category its requirements are structured along the same lines as the AP certificates.

Further Information

First, start by contacting your Division or Region AP Manager for more information, or contact National Achievement Program General Manager, Frank Koch, HLM, achiev [at]