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I had always thought of the NMRA as for the "little" scales (HO, N, etc) and not much to do with the Garden Railroad community. However, I just found out the Lone Star Region of NMRA is having their convention this week here in our area. I see that they are having a number of GR related clinics and there are some garden LS layouts on the layout tour.

As I cruised through their website, I see they are a bit pricey and have some fairly sticky rules. Looking at the nickel and dime charges, their regional convention might even cost more than the NGRC if you do everything.


So, I am curious if there are many LS folks involved with NMRA? Is it worth it? AFAICT, there are no LS Clubs on their roster of affiliated clubs. So, I guess it is pretty much an individual choice.


Comments?
 

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Oh, dear. Here it comes. Please note the emergency exits, clearly marked with illuminated signs.

And, this might be a good time to put your helmet and vest on too.

Let's see if I can cover it quickly, before it starts:

1.) Of late, the NMRA has actually taken a great deal of interest in Large Scale as a virtually untapped resource.
2.) Being so "tapped" has generated varying degrees of reactions in the Large Scale community at large.
3.) Much of the reaction has to do with the "fairly sticky rules" you cite above, and their tendency to make a lot of things more than "a bit pricey."

Some of the major driving forces involved actually frequent these pages and will no doubt have much to say, shortly.

I'm gonna go dig up my duct tape and plastic wrap; Homeland Security seems to think that will help.

Matthew (OV)
 

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The scale Nazis of the NMRA have officially dropped all 7/8's scale, 1:13.7 scale (both 7/8n2, 2 foot/45mm gauge and 7/8n18, 18inch/32mm gauge) from its roster. I guess they like to pretend we don't exist. Ferd Mels who runs the 7-8ths.info website tried to get them to reinstate it. So, dear NMRA, you know where to stick it!

-Brian
 

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OMG, Michael just pulled the pin. Duck for cover. All in fun.
 

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Hmmm (should I or shouldn't I?...) Oh what the hey..... The NMRA didn't give a fig about the Large Scale community for decades! When they finally decided to acknowledge our existence they pretty much decided to re-invent the wheel. There are standards in place that we have used for decades but did the NMRA try and work with them? It depends on who you talk to... The big thing that torques most of us off is that we were ignored until they decided they needed the added revenue and now we are supposed to just go along with everything they decree? They're going to need to install heaters in **** before that will ever happen!
That being said...the NMRA has been a major influence in our hobby and I have been a member.....once. I paid my dues to Nationals and was told I now needed to pay dues to Regionals and to my Local Chapter(!!!) I didn't see any reason to waste my money so I didn't re-up when my membership expired. There are certain people that are trying to influence our hobby by being on "Standards" committees and their way of operating has left a bad taste in my mouth. I don't want to start this up again. It's too hot and I'm too tired.
 

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The NMRA came late to the large scale party and they aren't getting a lot of traction with large scale users. The perception is that the NRMA will just cost us more and, in stirring the pot, make things actually worse.

The "standards" and "compatibility" issues were long ago defined by the various manufacture's own agendas and it is a little late to change them now. We're living with some anarchy now because of some of that, but it hasn't been a disaster.


BTW, you might want to add some asbestos underwear to your wardrobe....
 

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I am an NMRA Life Member. A friend, also a G scaler, is an NMRA director. Believe me, there has been internal pressure for NMRA to accept G scalers as part of the model railroading family. I know that we have been stirring it up withing the SFO Bay Area.

Since the manufacturers have not settled on any standards within their own productlines, much less with each other. It would be helpful is someone, anyone, would get our manufacturers to adhere to some reasonable standards. They certainly don't right now. By the way, I am most interested in wheel and track standards. I wish the stupid socket thing would dry up and go away.
 

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I'll take the existing G1MRA standards. No secret working groups or hidden agendas involved.

I too wish the stupid socket thing would dry up and go away.

Unfortunately, since it's the Stanley Ames NMRA Approved Socket, it's become impossible for me to differentiate between them.

So in my thinking the NMRA can dry up and go away, and take the rest of all that with them. The sooner the better.

Richard C.
 

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Well, I have seen the heat on the boards here, and pretty much ignored it, controversy and stress in my hobby kind of defeats the purpose of a HOBBY
. I am an NMRA member, and have always been fond of the orginaization, especially the region--the folks are just great. As an organization that is attempting to further model railroading and promote the hobby as a whole, I think they do an admirable job. I think it is improtant to remember that for the most part the folks that run the NMRA do so as volunteers. I do understand that there are different opinions and personalities, but in the end this is a hobby. I do not thnk everything the NMRA does is great, I take what I like and I leave the rest. It is a personal decision, but for me it is an investment that is worthwhile. I look to items like DCC as my personal proof the NMRA is a good thing in the end. I realize that DCC is not perfect but the blossoming of the technology and interchangability has a lot to do with NMRA and thier "standards." Just my 2 cents--but remember my opinion is worth what you paid for it--NOTHN'.

Regards,

Matt
 

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Posted By Dr G on 05/31/2009 8:43 PM
Well, I have seen the heat on the boards here, and pretty much ignored it, controversy and stress in my hobby kind of defeats the purpose of a HOBBY
. I am an NMRA member, and have always been fond of the orginaization, especially the region--the folks are just great. As an organization that is attempting to further model railroading and promote the hobby as a whole, I think they do an admirable job. I think it is improtant to remember that for the most part the folks that run the NMRA do so as volunteers. I do understand that there are different opinions and personalities, but in the end this is a hobby. I do not thnk everything the NMRA does is great, I take what I like and I leave the rest. It is a personal decision, but for me it is an investment that is worthwhile. I look to items like DCC as my personal proof the NMRA is a good thing in the end. I realize that DCC is not perfect but the blossoming of the technology and interchangability has a lot to do with NMRA and thier "standards." Just my 2 cents--but remember my opinion is worth what you paid for it--NOTHN'.

Regards,

Matt


I second that.
DrG
 

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Funny this should come up today. I joined the NMRA to try to help in a particular area. It was a flaming waste of time. I won't go into the details, but there is a definite power structure that affects stuff.

Anyway, that aside, just tonight I went through the standards pages on wheels and track, and there are some new standards that apparently will be approved thiis July. I've updated my "track and wheel standards" page on my site, and so far the new standards are an improvement in my estimation. Will any of the manufacturers follow them? Probably not. USAT is not likely to change, Aristo/Lewis wants the Morop/NEM standards (very loose and worthless in my opinion), and Bachmann is going to be heavily influenced by Stan Ames, which is a good thing here.

Before I get flamed for that last remark, look at the new Hi-Rail standards on the NMRA site. They are closer to G1MRA, and better in my opinion in terms of being "tighter".

Regards, Greg
 

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Posted By Curmudgeon on 05/31/2009 5:39 PM
G1MRA.
Say it out loud.





Said my 2 cents worth on this some years ago. The G1MRA standards have been around a long time. Why does the Enema-Ray need to change what is proven to work. Change for the sake of change? Perhaps, or as in the past a hidden agenda is about to be sprung again.
 

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I went to a clinic at a NMRA regional meet with my father.....I decided at that time I did not need merit badges to enjoy the hobby....
 

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Awwwwww.....

Just think about all the clinics hosted by Stanley you'll miss out on.
 

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In some ways the NMRA is like Washington. They see there's problems and they mean well by wanting to "fix" them (i.e. coupler standards and gauge standards to name just a couple) but they go about it in a heavy-handed way that is guaranteed to irritate (sounds better than p*ss off!) those of us in large scale! You see, if you are not a member of the NMRA then you aren't listened to. Only members of the NMRA get to vote on these "standards" that they expect to impose on all of us! It makes sense I suppose...they are the largest model railroad organization and they have undeniably improved our hobby with regards to the smaller scales. The "supersocket" debacle of 2007-08 is a good example of certain people working within the rules of the NMRA but (in my personal opinion) using underhanded and disreputable tactics to try and force their agenda! While this is a singular example, it is indicative of the autocratic and dictatorial Modus Operandii that many of us large scalers have come to dislike. It's a shame really because the NMRA is the most organized group and they have a lot to offer the hobby. I will say this: they have good intentions. Take that for what it's worth.
 

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Once NMRA adopts the G1MRA standards I might listen to them.
Standards are good for interchangeability, and I sometimes get a feeling that the manufacturers don't even have standard they use at all. Back to back spacing for one is all over the place causing too many undesired operational troubles.
 

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I can't speak of the politics and such behind the NMRA, but I will say the problem I have with them is the 'pricey'-factor. They once held quite a large convention a couple hours drive from me and I was all ready to go... until I saw the price. Keeping in mind I was but a humble (read: broke) college student at the time, I don't believe their affinity for high prices does anything but alienate.
 

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Only members of the NMRA get to vote on these "standards" that they expect to impose


We're all for standards, but until we are all allowed to vote they won't be getting anyone to 'buy in'. Perhaps they are putting the egg before the chicken, and getting us to join first (before proposing standards) might work.

Re: prices. I joined the US Power Squadron when I got my power boat, as they had good education and civic programs, but I discovered over 50% of my dues went to support a bloated natiuonal bureaucracy, including a nice new building for the full-time staff. Not with my nickel - so I left.
 
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