At this time, the modules are NMRA compatible with these exceptions:
- Rail height 50 inches (NMRA 40 inches) We liked the eye level perspective and the extra height to work/duck under the layout. A second, shorter, set of legs would allow the module to be fully NMRA compliant.
- Operation from the outside (south) sides of modules. This is neccessitated by the museum space constraints, and the combination of a higher (50" vs. 40") rail height and the 14" high sky boards. This means any controls and jacks that would normally be on the rear of the module need to be duplicated on the front.
- Recommended Module Size 30 inches deep by 72 inches long (NMRA is 24" x 48") These modules are compatible with the NMRA standard, but allow more room. All other sizes of NMRA compliant modules are welcome.
- Recommended Time Period is the 1950's steam to diesel transition. This was done to allow the widest range of equipment to look appropriate on the modules. It is viewed by many as the most exciting time in american railroad history.
- Recommended Module Construction diagram. The Boulder Model Railroad Club HO diagram shows a module design that allows below the track scenery. The normal, flat top construction method is recommended for yards, etc.
- Folding legs are highly recommended to speed up set-up and take-down of modules at shows. SacCentral has a nice diagram showing one method.
- Code 100 nickel silver rail, either flextrack or handlaid on plastic ties. No fiber ties, sectional track or brass. Again, this is compliant with the NMRA standards and recommended practices.
- Switches - We are in the process of determining the recommended turnout manufacturer and style (insulated, powered frog, power routing, etc.).
- DC Track power system. This allows friends to bring in trains to run and minimizes the upfront expense for members. However, we are looking at adding a LocoNet requirement to the standards, so the modules would be ready for conversion to DCC. A tethered, transistorized, walk around throttle will probably also be adopted similar to the Ntrak throttles.
- Colors. The group is in the process of picking "standard" colors for the skyboard, ballast, folliage, framework and skirting to provide, where possible, a uniform appearance. The two standard grass colors can be mixed in various proportions to simulate the various seasons.
- Rail spacing, electrical, grades, construction, etc are all NMRA standard. We use the NMRA standard Cinch-Jones Plugs. While other clubs use the 4 flat wire trailer connector, we believe the cinch-jones provides easy trouble shooting and installation of throttles and control blocks worth the extra cost.
- Dues - There are no montly dues to belong to the Headwaters HOtrak Module Group. However the group expects a non-monetary toll in two ways:
A. The "rent" paid to the museum is in the form of the Dillon module. The group members are expected to contribute the the construction, with time, money and/or materials. This is in exchange for having a great place to set up the modules and run trains.
B. The "rent" paid to your fellow members is providing switching interest and/or interesting scenery on your module.