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.  Visit the NMRA website,, 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.

A clinic and information on the NMRA ACHIEVEMENT PROGRAM was presented at one of our Hudson Valley Division meetings. We spent most of the time on the Golden Spike Award which is the first step of the Program. Additional information follows: