Newsletter 3/14

Below is my first article in what is to become a long-time monthly article in my division of the NMRA newsletter. For more information regarding these articles see this page: AP Newsletter Articles

Achievement Program

Jim Wanlass, Division AP Chair

For me the first real steps of the AP Program were evaluating what I had already done in my journey of model railroading. You see, most of what we do can count toward earning certificates, it’s just a matter of recording it and documenting it.

For me it also stretches me and makes me go outside my comfort zone sometimes. There are things I wouldn’t normally have tried but found to be quite fun! There may be some things that, in the end, I will have been able to say I have done everything at least once. Kind of like the chocolate buffet bar on cruise ships 🙂 What I’m trying to say is how do I know if I like (or don’t like) certain areas of model railroading if I don’t “give it a go”?

“The World’s Greatest Hobby” has so many aspects to it, that is why it is so great! You may have already earned your Golden Spike Certificate and not known it. Or you could be like me; for ten years I only needed to finish one thing to earn it! Follow along with me on my journey at

I need to update this blog: I have earned another certificate but I’ll explain more later about why it surprised me as to which one. I thought it would be one I would not even try to go for at all and ended up being the first one I earned!

Let me know that you are interested and I will do what I can to help you. Even if you never achieve Master Model Railroader status I believe it is a journey worth starting. After all, what can be wrong with learning new things and increasing ones skill in this awesome hobby we call model railroading? Let’s enjoy the journey together.

– Jim.

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