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Encyclopedia > NMRA

The National Model Railroad Association or NMRA is a non-profit organization for those involved in the hobby or business of model railroading. It was founded in the United States, and is now active in Canada, Australia, the British Isles, and the Netherlands. It was previously headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is now based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


The best-known activity of the NMRA is the defining of standards, known as Recommended Practices (RP), for model railroad equipment. Many standards defined by the NMRA are widely followed by the industry and modellers, including their HO scale track and wheel standards (RP25) and their Digital Command Control (DCC) standard set. The RP25 standards in particular have been critical in ensuring the reliability and interoperability of US-prototype model railroad equipment, since practically every manufacturer of such equipment follows the RP25 standards. This is in marked contrast to the British market, in which there is no accepted standard among manufacturers. In Europe, the NEM standard is widely followed, but this is further away from prototype accuracy than the RP25 standard.


The NMRA also considers the education of model railroaders and encouraging learning and improving modellers' skills to be part of its mission. The NMRA runs an achievement program to encourage these skills, and runs modelling contests.


Promotion of the model railroading hobby is also part of the NMRA's purpose.


The NMRA is home of the A.C. Kalmbach Memorial Library which houses enough books for any model railroader to go look and they do have videos that you can check out (just recently, the Kalmbach Memorial Library has been designated as the official railroad library in the sate of Tennessee). From the NMRA Kalmbach Library, you can see the Norfolk Southern Georgia Division and the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and see what trains will be running by.


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The membership of the NMRA is a diverse group of individuals unified by their love of model railroading.
NMRA is to lead ongoing efforts to set the standards for evolving technologies.
The NMRA will provide an atmosphere of fellowship by offering members the opportunity to communicate, develop and share their skills.
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