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Several years ago, someone put a post on this Forum inquiring as to the name of the ONLY 3-railer ever to become an MMR of the National Model Railroad Association.  The answer: John Siegle MMR #601.

Many of you may be aware that I, John Coy, and my wife, Connie, are on the quest to achieve our MMR as well.  Like John Siegle, we are both 3-railers.  I am closing in within less than one year, and Connie will earn her final certificate to become an MMR in May of 2024.

Today, September 15, 2022, it occurred to me for no apparent reason to look for any additional information about John Siegle.  The only thing I ever saw was his name on the NMRA's listing of MMRs.

After some Google searching, I came across an article (on-line) in the NMRA Magazine December 2017.  It was an article John Siegle wrote himself involving his journey into the Achievement Program and how he came to be an MMR.  There was only one brief mention of him being a 3-railer at the very end of this article.

He wrote a statement something to the effect of others thinking him as "odd" in being a 3-railer and yet becoming an MMR.

I also learned he was a Pastor.  I have met a small handful of pastors who are model railroaders.

I hope that one day I may connect with him. 

You may try to find the article by Google:  NMRA John Siegle 2017_12bulletin.pdf.

Sometimes it shows, sometimes it won't.  I really had to dig to come up with it.John Siegle MMR 601 NMRA Bulletin Dec 2017 PG 3

I am attaching a picture of him just so there is a face for the name.  This picture was in that same article for the NMRA Magazine.

 

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  • John Siegle MMR 601 NMRA Bulletin Dec 2017 PG 3
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Interesting thread. I am extremely active in the NMRA and I am pretty close to getting my MMR. Just have to scratch build a turnout and build a piece of motive power.  Other than that I’m ready to roll. The problem is at this point I’m focused on getting the scenery done on my layout but hopefully after that I’ll get the rest of the work done to earn my MMR

Neal, are you going to scratch build the turnout in 3 rail or 2 rail.  I've scratch built a few turnouts, I was taught by a gentlemen who had a fabulous HO scale layout in an out building in his backyard back in El Paso, his track work was impeccable, you could back a 100 car freight train through his yards and I never experienced or saw a derailment.  He made me a couple of jigs and a template so you could line out your "frog" and then build your frog right on top of it.  He used a sheet of Zink because the solder didn't stick to it.  A few years later when I was in Sn3, Fast Tracks, up in Canada, came out with the jigs to do what I had been doing by hand and it was way faster, you were still scratch building the turnout but you just used their jigs.  They made filing the points so much easier and aligning the frogs at lot faster and more accurate.  Unfortunately, John moved away and I lost touch with him, I'm pretty sure he has passed away, this was back in the 80's and he was 84 at that time but I always that he was in his 60's.  Good luck on getting you MMR, I hope you do.

@J. Motts posted:

Neal, are you going to scratch build the turnout in 3 rail or 2 rail.  I've scratch built a few turnouts, I was taught by a gentlemen who had a fabulous HO scale layout in an out building in his backyard back in El Paso, his track work was impeccable, you could back a 100 car freight train through his yards and I never experienced or saw a derailment.  He made me a couple of jigs and a template so you could line out your "frog" and then build your frog right on top of it.  He used a sheet of Zink because the solder didn't stick to it.  A few years later when I was in Sn3, Fast Tracks, up in Canada, came out with the jigs to do what I had been doing by hand and it was way faster, you were still scratch building the turnout but you just used their jigs.  They made filing the points so much easier and aligning the frogs at lot faster and more accurate.  Unfortunately, John moved away and I lost touch with him, I'm pretty sure he has passed away, this was back in the 80's and he was 84 at that time but I always that he was in his 60's.  Good luck on getting you MMR, I hope you do.

Neal congratulations on your progress!  We are striking a blow for 3-railers a little at a time.  As I'm sure you are aware, several of the categories in the Achievement Program (AP) (a.k.a. Master Modeler Railroaders program) has absolutely NOTHING to do with number of rails: Official, Author, Volunteer, Scenery, Prototype Scenery, Structures.  That is 6 of the 11.

Some 3-railers have told me there is "no way" they would qualify because their track has 3 rails.  That is not true.  I got into the AP because I like a challenge and I'm so glad I did because I've learned so many things.  In fact, I was kind of concerned about having to scratch-build four cars.  Now, I'm planning (not for the AP) what things, cars & structures, that I'm going to build next!  LOL  I just needed a little push. 

Given how many demons that seem to reside in 3 rail trains (engines especially), being a pastor seems to be a distinct advantage *lol*. Glad the NMRA doesn't reject a 3 railer from being an MMR, the whole point of it from what I know (not one of my ambitions, so haven't read all the details) is someone who has exemplary skills in all facets of the hobby, which are independent of scale or number of rails. In terms of scratch building turnouts in 3 rail, over the years have run into  people doing it,  from where I sit biggest thing seemed to be in the frog area.

I am almost done earning my MMR but I did it in a variety of scales. My HO layout was primarily used for civil and electrical, though I scratchbuilt all my track requirements in G scale (switch, crossing, gauntlet) just for fun. My cars were done in four scales (HO, OO, On2, O) and my structures in two scales (N, HO), again just for fun. My author certificate was entirely in articles about 1/8 scale trains. But it has been a fun process!

All in three rail is quite an accomplishment.

I actually was able to contact John Siegle!  The most surprising part of our conversation was the fact he didn't realize that he was the lone 3-railer, and first!, to achieve an MMR.  From the sounds of this thread, several of us may be joining him in the not-to-distant future.  I hope to correspond more with him in the future.

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