Thunderbird Model Railroad Club Membership

The Thunderbird Model Railroad Club is the oldest organized HO scale model railroad club in Arizona, having been chartered on August 2, 1949 with 41 members. Since the reorganization in 1958 when the current membership numbering system was adopted, there have been a total of 130 regular members and 8 junior/youth affiliate members in the club. An additional 52 regular members, 14 junior, and 5 honorary members were part of the organization prior to the numbering system. The membership has remain stable throughout the years and currently the club limits the active membership to 30 due to the physical constraints of the layout.

As an organization dedicated to the preservation of model railroading in Arizona and fostering friendships among it's members and within all who share a passion for model railroading, the club is a 100% complaint member of the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) and Pacific Southwest Region (PSR) of the NMRA. Through these associations Thunderbird Model Railroad Club members enjoy the opportunity to master new skills in model railroading and to help increase the enjoyment of the hobby by promoting manufacturing standards that increase the reliability of products made for the hobby.

To become a member of the Thunderbird Model Railroad Club an individual needs to start by visiting the club during one of the Tuesday evening open house sessions. It is highly recommended that your visit is prearranged by using the Contact Us link on the website to ensure a Conductor is available to be your host. Individuals will be given a tour of the facility and an opportunity to speak with club members and possibly operate club equipment on the layout if the opportunity is present. After this initial introduction to the Thunderbird Model Railroad Club, your host Conductor will discuss the details of becoming a member. Active membership is limited to 30 members after which a waiting list for prospective members is maintained.

Currently there are 23 active members of the Club

Individuals should understand that membership is not guaranteed and the following guidelines and rules are enforced to ensure the mutual satisfaction of individuals seeking membership and of the Thunderbird Model Railroad Club.

Prospective Member Guidelines and Rules

  1. A prospective member (PM) is a person who wishes to become a regular member of the Thunderbird Model Railroad Club. PM's are non-voting, non-dues paying, non-operating (except under special conditions) members who have no rights or privileges in the Club. The number of PM's is limited by the number of active membership and available slots.

  2. To become a PM an individual must state a desire to the Vice-President or to any member of the BOD. At this time the individual must fill out a Prospective Member questionnaire which includes name, address, phone number, and his or her model railroading interests. The request will be reviewed and voted on by the BOD at its next regular meeting. If accepted the individual is notified that they are accepted as a PM and asked to attend the regular Tuesday night meetings.

  3. The first night a new PM attends he or she will be introduced by the Vice-President or BOD member to the Club members and in turn they will introduce the PM to other members as they arrive. In this way the PM will get to know the members and have an opportunity to work with them on various projects. At this time the PM will be informed of the Club rules and policies. Activities of a new PM will be under the supervision of a regular member who will be appointed as the PM's "Conductor".

  4. PM's should attend the regular Tuesday night meetings with the exception of the business meeting. If the BOD or general membership wishes the PM to be present at a business meeting or social function, he or she will be invited to attend. A record of the PM's attendance will be maintained by the Conductor as a basis of the PM's interest in the Club.

  5. The PM shall understand that he or she may be dropped from PM status if three-fourths of the BOD members feel he or she will not make a good member, or if the general membership feels he or she doesn't meet with their approval. The PM shall be informed by the Vice-President of any decision immediately and given the reasons why he or she is being dismissed.

  6. PM's will be allowed to work on the layout under the direction of a regular member. They should not work alone and should circulate around to participate in the various member's projects from week to week to get a better idea of the work that is going on and to get to know all members. PM's should work primarily in the area they feel most competent but, hopefully, they should be encouraged to work in all areas.

  7. PM's are allowed operating rights on the layout under the direction of their assigned Conductor or under the supervision of a regular member designated by the Conductor.

  8. The PM must show interest through attendance and a willingness to work with the members. Poor attendance can be interpreted as a lack of interest. A PM spends an average of 3-6 months in this status before being considered by the BOD for elevation to Applicant Member Status.

 

Applicant Status Guidelines and Rules

Once successfully completing the PM initiation and upon recommendation by the BOD and approval by the general membership the individual will transition to Applicant Member (AM) Status.

  1. At this time the Applicant is required to pay the initiation deposit fee - see below.

  2. AM's are non-voting, non-dues paying, non-operating (except under special conditions) members who have no rights or privileges in the Club.

  3. AM's should attend the regular Tuesday night meetings with the exception of the business meeting. If the BOD or general membership wishes the AM to be present at a business meeting or social function, he or she will be invited to attend.

  4. A record of the AM's attendance will be maintained by the Conductor as a basis of the AM's interest in the Club.

  5. AM's who have shown proficiency in learning the Club layout operations can be granted operating privileges by their conductor with the approval of the BOD and general membership. The AM must show interest through attendance and a willingness to work with the members. Poor attendance can be interpreted as a lack of interest.

  6. An AM spends an average of 3-6 months in this status before being considered by the BOD for elevation to Member Status. Upon successfully completion of the Prospective and Applicant member process and if/when a membership slot is available, the applicant will be presented by the BOD for vote at the next general business meeting in accordance with the Club Constitution and By-Laws. Upon affirmative vote by the general membership the Applicant will be welcomed as the newest member to the Thunderbird Model Railroad Club.

  7. At this time the balance of the initiation fee is due and the member will enjoy all rights and privileges of the Thunderbird model railroad Club.

Membership Fees & Dues

Initiation Fee $150.00 ($15.00 Refundable initiation deposit due upon elevation to Applicant Member status)
                                (Balance due upon affirmative vote by membership to regular member status)

Club Annual Dues $120.00 per year  (payable as $10.00 per month or lump sum)

NMRA Membership Dues $66.00 per year with subscription to NMRA magazine
                                      $44.00 per year without subscription to NMRA magazine

PSR Dispatch $12.00 per year

Thunderbird Model Railroad Club is a %100 NMRA and PSR club. Individuals that are current members of the NMRA will have their dues prorated to align with the Thunderbird Model Railroad Club renewal date to ensure compliance as a %100 NMRA Club.

 Thunderbird Application

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