ROLLING STOCK STANDARDS & RECOMMENDED PRACTICES

I. Standards

Poway Station has subscribed to all the NMRA Standards & Recommended Practices (RPs), including RP 20.1, Car Weight. RP 20.1 provides guidance for proper car weight, for a given length car, that will optimize its performance in operation and interchange. All Standards and RPs can be found on the NMRA web page at http://www.nmra.org/standards/ and subordinate pages. Printed copies will be available for review at most club meetings. 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 discussion of these Standards and Recommended Practices, the term "in interchange" shall mean "used with other members' equipment to constitute an operating consist.")

A. Cars 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. Cars to be used in operating sessions must exhibit unique (different from all others) reporting marks. (No two cars should operate with the same road name and car numbers.)

C. Cars 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.)

D. Diaphragms (on passenger cars) must not interfere with the ability of rolling stock to negotiate the track work in the layout in such a manner as to cause derailments.

E. Any second adverse event (defined as a derailment or train separation - uncoupling) during the same operating session will cause the offending car/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.

B. Couplers should be Kadee brand, for HO, or Microtrains brand, for N. Although many newer R-T-R and kit rolling stock is 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. Cars 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. Cars to be used "in interchange" should not exceed the AREMA Plate H clearance specifications. (No over-height or width cars.) 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. For more information on Plates and clearances refer to the discussion of the NMRA gauge and Clearances.