LOCOMOTIVE STANDARDS & RECOMMENDED PRACTICES

I. Standards

Poway Station has subscribed to all the NMRA Standards and Recommended Practices (RPs), including Standard S-9, Electrical. This Standard provides guidance for proper locomotive wiring that will optimize its performance in operation and interchange. All NMRA Standards and RPs can be found at http://www.nmra.org/standards/ and subordinate pages on the web. It should be noted that the NMRA has recently proposed revisions to its Standards and RPs. This document has not been evaluated against the proposals.

In addition, Poway Station has adopted the following specific standards: (For the purpose of this discussion on these Standards and Recommended Practices pages, the term "in interchange" shall mean "used with other members' equipment to constitute an operating consist.")

A. Locomotives to be used "in interchange" at public shows and operating sessions must be equipped with operating knuckle couplers.

An exception will be granted for a "unit consist" that will not be coupled to or used with equipment other than that provided in the original consist.

B. Locomotives to be used in operating sessions must exhibit unique (different from all other) locomotive numbers. (No two locomotives should operate with the same road name and locomotive numbers.)

 

C. Locomotives to be used in public shows and operating sessions must not have electronics that are not compatible with the operation of club throttles. (This means constant lighting, sound, or motion, for instance, must not inordinately overload, or short out, the throttles being used.) DCC control must be disabled while the locomotive is on the club layout common track.

D. Diaphragms (on "covered wagons" - E and F units) must not interfere with the ability of the consist to negotiate the track work in the layout.

E. Any second adverse event (defined as a derailment or train separation - uncoupling) during the same operating session will cause the offending locomotive/consist to be removed from the layout for the remainder of the show, or until certified for operation by a member of the Standards Committee.

II. Recommended Practices

In addition to the Standards described above, Poway Station has adopted the following Recommended Practices. Although not mandatory, Poway Station strongly encourages the use of these practices.

A. Wheels should be metal, with flange contours that conform to RP-25 or Finescale dimensions. Metal wheels track better (plastic wheels "pick" irregularities in the track, causing derailments), and RP-25 flanges are required to successfully negotiate the Code 83 track work. "Traction tires" (rubber inserts in driving wheels to improve pulling ability) are discouraged, for track cleaning reasons.

B. Couplers should be Kadee brand, for HO, or Microtrains brand, for N. Although many newer R-T-R and kit locomotives are delivered with plastic operating knuckle couplers, we have found that the length of trains operated on club layouts develops stresses that exceed the capability of these plastic couplers. The resulting failures cause un-couplings, and possible derailments.

C. Locomotives to be used "in interchange" should have at least minimal weathering applied, to improve the illusion that these are real trains in miniature.

An exception will be granted for a "unit consist" that will not be coupled to or used with equipment other than that provided in the original consist.

D. Locomotives to be used "in interchange" should not exceed the AREMA Plate H clearance. (No over-height or width locomotives.) Plate H accommodates double-stack cars and tri-level autoracks. The NMRA gauge currently available is the Plate C profile. Plate H is slightly higher and wider, and raises the outside shoulders of the profile, resulting in a much flatter appearance across the top. Refer to the discussion of the NMRA gauge and Clearances at the NMRA web page at http://www.nmra.org/standards/gauge.html for more information on Plates and clearances.

E. Locomotives to be used "in interchange" should have flywheels installed when possible, to improve interoperability and provide constant operating speeds. Gearing should be reduced to that which will provide scale speeds consistent with the prototype.