Josh Clark

Realistic Model Railroad Operations Class + DVD

with Josh Clark

Model railroading is an incredible hobby, that can teach you multiple skills, techniques, and tools.

Aside from scenery and model building itself, operations is another aspect of the hobby that can open up an entirely new frontier of fun and realism for your railroad.

In this class, your instructor Josh Clark will discuss prototype rail operations, applications to your layout, and how to design an operation session. This class is designed to apply to modelers of all skill levels and layouts of any size. Whether your layout is 4’ x 8’ or is a 40’ x 80’ basement empire, this class will have something for you. If you are still in the planning stages of your layout, you will also learn about designing a layout with operations in mind.

Throughout the class sessions, you’ll learn about how prototype rail companies organize and operate their railroads. We will talk about applying aspects of real railroading to your modeling so that you can add a new sense of realism to your layout.

We’ll also cover several examples of an operating session, following specific trains as they switch out an industry or make their way over the railroad. Additional resources included with the class will help you set up an operating session for your own railroad, such as blank train orders, car rosters and switch lists, and track authority forms.

Operations can be an intimidating aspect of the hobby to get started in, but this class will give you an excellent platform to get started, or continue to build on if you have already applied some aspects of operation to your existing railroad.

In addition to your video instruction, you’ll get a helpful Class Guide PDF that you can print out and use as a reference as you plan for, and incorporate, realistic operational functions into your layout, as well as several downloadable resources that will help you manage your operations like an actual railroad.

NOTE: You’ll receive this Class video instruction in two forms: As on-demand streaming video (in your MRA Account); and as a physical DVD, mailed to you.

  • 10 Sessions
  • 1h 22m

Josh Clark

Josh Clark grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, and has shared the hobby with his Father since he was a youngster. Together, they have spent 12 years building a modern Norfolk Southern layout, which can be seen in many of Josh’s videos. The layout is loosely based on the rail lines of North Carolina, and he enjoys modeling many of the scenes and trains that he saw growing up. By day, Josh is a medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina. One of the big reasons he loves this hobby is that it gives him an escape from long hours of working and studying. Whether it’s building a locomotive in the evenings or finishing scenery on the layout back home with his father, Josh finds the hobby to be a great source of relaxation, friendship, and skills that can apply to many other areas of life.

Class Guide PDF

Download and print this detailed supplement as a reference for the key aspects of realistic railroad operations

Work Order Form Sample

Check out this Sample Work Order Form to see the details you can document for your train

Work Order Form Blank

To see a blank Work Order Form that you could use, download and print this PDF

Roster Switch List Sample

See this Sample Roster Switch List to see the details that you can document for your train

Roster Switch List Blank

To see a blank Work Order Form that you could use, download and print this PDF

Track Authority Form

Use this Track Authority Form to document realistic movement of your train

Sample Rail Yard Schematic

See this schematic as an example of how to layout your railroad yard

Video: Meet Your Instructor

Download this short video to meet your class instructor, Josh Clark

Bonus materials available after purchase

How do I know what the Class covers?

Every Class has a free Preview video you can watch, to give you a flavor of the Instructor and the skills or project that will be covered. In addition, the Overview tab includes a thorough written description of the Class. And finally, each Class Session has a brief written summary of the content in that Session, including the length of each Session video. You will get a good feel for the Class content by reviewing these resources.

Do I have to be a Member of Model Railroad Academy to purchase a Class?

No you don’t. While Premium Members will receive regular offers for special deals on Model Railroad Academy content, Classes are not reserved exclusively for Members. If you buy a Class as a non-member, we’re sure you’d also enjoy having access to our full library of great railroading videos and articles as a Member, so give it a try.

How do I purchase a Class?

First you should decide that the Class is what you want. Review the Class Preview video and the various written descriptions of the Class and each Session before you purchase, so you have a good understanding of the Class content. When you’re ready to purchase and gain access to the Class, simply click the “Add to Cart” button, and proceed through the Checkout process.

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Once you’ve paid, you can access/view your Class by going to the MY ACCOUNT section of Model Railroad Academy. The MY ACCOUNT link is in the upper right-hand area of the website. Within your MY ACCOUNT, a section labeled “My Classes” will appear, including a link to watch the video of your Class. You’ll also receive an email confirmation after your purchase, which will include a link to view your Class. You can access your Class as many times as you wish, and you’ll never lose access to your Account information. Just be sure to “Log In” for access to MY ACCOUNT.

Do I have to take the Class right away?

No. Any Class you buy will be accessible to you always. You can view your Class whenever you want, and you can view individual Sessions in whatever order you like.

Is there a limit on the times I can view my Class?

No. Your access never expires. You can view any Class you purchase as many times as you want, whenever you want.

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Once you purchase any Class, within the Class viewing page, you’ll have access to post a question, comment or tip in the Class Q&A Resource area. This is not a “live chat,” but your Class Instructor and MRA contributors will answer posted questions and provide tips regularly. You can also view other Class participants’ questions and input to take part in this virtual dialogue among others who have taken the Class and are willing to share tips, answers, or ideas.

Can I print out Class details?

For any Bonus Material that is a PDF Download, yes you can. Just click on the icon/button for the Bonus element you want, and print with your local printer.

What are PDF downloads?

These are simply documents, plans, or written materials that are formatted in a way to print out and retain for reference. By simply clicking on the icon/link for any PDF Download that is included with a Class, you can print that document on your own printer or simply view the contents on your computer/mobile device.

Are there any system requirements to view the Class video content?

Your Class video content is best when viewed on a computer manufactured in the past couple of years with a good broadband Internet connection (not dialup). We also highly recommend using the latest version of Firefox, Safari, or Chrome as your Internet Browser, though recent versions of Internet Explorer will work as well. The recommended screen resolution is 1024 x 768 or larger.

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Can I get a refund if I don’t like the Class?

Because you’ll have full access to all the materials and content that is presented in the Class immediately, we can’t offer a refund after purchase. Please review the Class Preview video and the various written descriptions of the Class and each Session before you purchase, so you have a good understanding of the Class content.

How do I contact Model Railroad Academy?

If your question is about the Class content, please use the Class Discussion benefit to ask your question online – and you'll receive feedback from the Class Instructor. Even your fellow Class participants may jump in to offer tips and advice from their experience. If you have other questions or need help, you can email us at modelrailroadacademy@program-director.net or call us toll-free, at 1-855-208-7399. Service Representatives will be available Monday-Friday, from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Central time, excluding normal holidays.

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Realistic Model Railroad Operations Class + DVDPurchase this class for $49.99.