Code of Conduct

National Model Railroad Association, Inc.

Member Code of Conduct


This Code of Conduct (“Code”) has been developed to set expectations for the behaviors, conduct, communication, and interactions between you and other members, officers and directors of the National Model Railroad Association, Inc. (“NMRA”). This Code applies to all such persons when engaging with other NMRA members, participating in any event, social media platform or other sponsored extension of the NMRA (for example, the NMRA Interchange or an NMRA-sponsored online meeting) and attending NMRA meetings, events, or activities (whether National, Regional, Division or other subset). This Code also includes general guidelines on the appropriate use of social media for NMRA matters at any level.

Why do we need a code of conduct?

We join the NMRA and participate in its activities for one common reason – we enjoy the model railroading hobby and the fun, challenges, personal growth and camaraderie that it provides. It is imperative that we keep our common bond of model railroading “front and center” and rise above the inevitable differences that exist among us in personalities, opinions, experience, gender, age, race, nationality, or any of the other factors that make each of us unique individuals. Our collective goal is to enjoy and promote the hobby of model railroading, so we must strive to avoid “distractions” that interfere with or obstruct our common purpose. Collaboration and co-operation are vital for the success of our hobby and our enjoyment of model railroading and everything it has to offer.

What does the NMRA expect of members?

The NMRA expects all members to conduct themselves in a respectful, responsible, and mature manner, and demonstrate courtesy and kindness toward other individuals. Constructive and healthy discussions and interactions are encouraged and in fact are vital to the success of our hobby. However, certain other verbal and nonverbal behaviors and actions are not consistent with the NMRA’s values and hurt our hobby and relationships, such as the use of disparaging language, shouting, profanity, confrontational, intimidating or threatening behavior or language, and immature and disrespectful behavior or language. It is imperative that we interact in a polite and professional manner.

The NMRA does not condone abusive, threatening, or aggressive behavior toward anyone at an NMRA event or in an NMRA forum (such as social media and other forms of electronic and digital interaction). This includes other participants, event organizers or sponsors, judges, or other officials.

You should be welcoming to newcomers and remember they may not have the benefit of experience and information that you have enjoyed. Be constructive in helping to make their entry into the hobby an enjoyable one.


NMRA events and functions are meant to be fun, educational, and inclusive. No one should be subject to intimidation, made to feel unwelcome, or put in fear of reprisal. Harassment may include behavior or language that causes alarm, distress, anxiety, fear of physical violence, offensive statements, verbal abuse, and threats. Members should be sensitive to others.


The NMRA relies on you to identify potential issues and raise concerns that the NMRA may need to address. The NMRA prohibits acts of retaliation against any person who reports an issue honestly and in good faith, and retaliation can constitute misconduct that could subject a member to discipline. This commitment to non-retaliation assures you that raising concerns, reporting misconduct, or cooperating in any investigation will not result in adverse consequences. The NMRA prohibits retaliation in any form, at any level of the organization, recognizing that retaliatory behavior contributes to an environment of mistrust and diminishes the willingness of individuals to be collaborative and transparent. During the investigation of any matter, the NMRA makes every reasonable effort to maintain the confidentiality of those involved.

Use of social media

The rapid growth of social media combined with ease of use and pervasiveness make it an attractive channel for communication. Use of social media for communication also creates the possibility of a host of unintended consequences. To help you identify and avoid potential issues, we are providing some examples of best practices that are meant to help you understand, from a wide range of perspectives, the implications of participation in social media. Any postings that you make as a representative of or participant in NMRA sanctioned activities will reflect on you and the NMRA.

Understand Your Personal Responsibility: You are personally responsible for the content you publish on user-generated content forums, such as blogs or social media sites. Remember that what you publish will be public for a long time. Protect your privacy.

Be Accurate: Be sure that you have all the facts before you post. It’s better to verify your sources first than to have to post a correction or retraction later. If you do make a mistake, admit it and correct it. Post a retraction, edit your post, make any necessary apologies. If you are editing an earlier post, make it clear that you have made a correction.

Respect Others: You can catch a whole lot more flies with honey than vinegar. If you are constructive and respectful while seeking advice, asking for help, or discussing a disagreement or bad experience, you are far more likely to reach an understanding. In some instances, you may not be able to reach an understanding or agreement, but it is your responsibility to be constructive and address the problem rather than attacking the person.

Respect Your Audience: Don’t use personal insults or disparaging conduct or language toward others. Show proper consideration for others’ privacy and for sensitive topics. Users are free to discuss topics and disagree with one another but be respectful of others’ opinions. You are more likely to achieve your goals if you are constructive and respectful while discussing a bad experience or disagreeing with an idea or a person. Harassment is not acceptable.

Think Before You Post: There’s no such thing as a “private” social media site. Search engines can turn up posts and pictures years after publication. Comments can be forwarded or copied, and screenshots are easily available. Archival systems save information even if you delete a post. If you feel angry or passionate about a subject, it’s prudent to wait until you are calm and clear-headed before posting.

Does it Pass the Publicity Test? If the content of your message would not be acceptable for face-to-face conversation, over the telephone, or in another medium, it is not acceptable for a social networking site. Do not use the anonymity afforded by a social media screen name or handle to post something that you wouldn’t say if you could be identified.

Take the High Ground: You are more likely to build a high quality following if you discuss ideas and situations civilly. Don’t pick fights online. Remember that as a participant in NMRA programming, you are representing the NMRA, and the organization supports the principles of fun, respect, and inclusion.

Do not post information that you know (or reasonably should know) is private, confidential, or proprietary. Some information that becomes available to you may be considered private, confidential or proprietary by the owner or source of such information – think before you post and if you are unsure, check with the owner or source before posting. Do not post anything in a private forum that you would not present in any public forum because there is no true privacy on the Internet. Ask yourself if you would want to see this published in the newspaper or posted on a billboard tomorrow or ten years from now? Additionally, ask yourself if you would want to see screenshots posted to the person or persons about whom you are speaking or writing.

Be Aware of Liability: You are responsible for what you post on your own site and on the sites of others. Be sure that what you post today is not something that you will regret in the future and that you are not violating any legal guidelines. Postings on social media sites can be, and have been, the subject of lawsuits alleging defamation, slander, or libel. In such a lawsuit, a court can compel the social media platform to disclose your account information; you won’t be anonymous.

How does the NMRA enforce this code?

The NMRA can enforce this code of conduct independently, or in response to a complaint, after notice to affected members and due process including an opportunity to be heard. Proceedings include gathering facts, interviewing witnesses, conducting a hearing, and imposing discipline or dismissing the matter. The NMRA is a private membership organization; membership, member benefits, and the use of NMRA trademarks and intellectual property are not free or public. Therefore, the NMRA’s leadership can determine that a violation of this code of conduct justifies a disciplinary action. Examples of actions include censure (a warning the similar conduct could cause termination), removal from an elected office, disqualification from elected offices or leadership, and termination of membership. The NMRA’s Corporate Policies & Procedures Manual (CPPM), and Ohio state law applicable to nonprofit membership corporations such as the NMRA, governs the enforcement of this code and member discipline.




This policy establishing these standards of conduct and procedures for discipline for violations thereof shall apply to any event or activity of the Mid-Eastern Region, NMRA, Inc. (MER), its Divisions, and any event or activity in which the MER or its Divisions are participating with other entities.


The Mid-Eastern Region, NMRA, Inc. (MER) is committed to the principles of diversity, integrity, civility, and respect in all of our activities. MER looks to each participant in MER activities, whether a National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) member or not, to be a partner in this commitment by helping us to maintain a collegial and cordial environment.  MER expects all participants to behave in ways that reinforce the mission and founding principles of NMRA and MER.

Consistent with the purposes of NMRA, MER acknowledges the dignity and worth of all its participants and strives to create a safe, orderly, caring, and inviting environment to facilitate participant learning, achievement, and collegiality, and in which people are treated with dignity, decency and respect.

The environment of MER is characterized by mutual trust, tolerance and acceptance, and the absence of intimidation, oppression, dishonesty and exploitation. We celebrate diversity and differences of opinion, including vigorous debate, while remembering that we are individuals who may disagree without becoming disagreeable.

MER promotes a society where bad conduct in the form of abusive behavior, harassment or rude behavior, as well as violent or disruptive behavior, is not tolerated. These types of bad conduct disrupt a participant’s ability to learn and to enjoy model railroading. Demonstration of appropriate behavior, treating others with civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate bad conduct is expected of every participant.