Railroading Merit Badge
CLASS PREPARATION PAGE
 
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
 
Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class, and the event the class is being held in conjunction with, that registration may take a little time.

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. - Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you will not be allowed to participate if you have not provided your signed blue card prior to the class - you should have forwarded your blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail:
Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.

If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.
 
 
 
Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide direction as to where one can find the answers.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Railroading Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference and completion of any Merit Badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scouts completion of any merit badge requirement(s). You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Railroading Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here .   If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST 
 
 
Other Railroading MERIT BADGE PAGES
 
Railroading Merit Badge Current Requirements
 
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Railroading Merit Badge Workbook
 
Railroading Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page
 
Railroading MERIT BADGE SPECIFICS
 

Railroading Merit Badge Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Railroading Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

5. A positive Scouting focus and attitude

 
REQUIREMENTS WITH SUGGESTED STUDY PREPARATION NOTES
 

1. Do THREE of the following:

a. Name three types of modern freight trains. Explain why unit trains are more efficient than mixed freight trains.

b. Name one Class I or regional railroad. Explain what major cities it serves, the locations of major terminals, service facilities, and crew change points, and the major commodities it carries.

c. Using models or pictures, identify 10 types of railroad freight or passenger cars. Explain the purpose of each type of car.

d. Explain how a modern diesel or electric locomotive develops power. Explain the terms dynamic braking and radial steering trucks.

While this requirement and its components will be covered in the class, it is still expected that Scouts review the Railroading Merit Badge pamphlet prior to the class.  Scouts should utilize a notebook or workbook to organize their notes and research in preparing for the class. Scouts will find it helpful to have these notes for easier completion of this requirement and its components during the class.

 

2. Do the following:

a. Explain the purpose and formation of Amtrak. Explain, by the use of a timetable, a plan for making a trip by rail between two cities at least 500 miles apart. List the times of departure and arrival at your destination, the train number and name, and the type of service you want.

Requirement 2a will NOT be covered in the class, HOWEVER, Scouts should work on this requirement component prior to the class and bring their work for consideration by the counselor for sign off.  If the work meets the satisfaction of the merit badge counselor, (saying you did it is not enough, you need to bring proof), most counselors will sign off on this requirement component.

b. List and explain the various forms of public/mass transit using rail.

Scouts should come to the class having prepared for this requirement component by reading the merit badge pamphlet and making any notes they feel might be useful in helping support their explanation to the Counselor during the class.

 

3. Do ONE of the following:

a. Name four departments of a railroad company. Describe what each department does.

b. Tell about the opportunities in railroading that interest you most and why.

c. Name four rail support industries, Describe the function of each one.

Scouts choosing Requirement component a, b, or c, should be prepared and make notes to assist them with the discussion during the class. Scouts will not automatically be signed off on this requirement just for attending as the requirement states that they must "tell" or "name" or "describe" their findings. Scouts will need to actively partake in the class in order to fully receive credit for this requirement.

d. With your parent's and counselor's approval, interview someone employed in the rail industry. Learn what that person does and how this person became interested in railroading. Find out what type of schooling and training are required for this position.

Scouts choosing Requirement 2d will be given an opportunity to share their findings with the counselor in group discussion with the other scouts; facilitated by the counselor, within the class. Scouts should utilize a notebook ro merit badge workbook to make notes from their interview for reference when sharing their work with the counselor.

 

4. Explain the purpose of Operation Lifesaver and its mission.

Scouts should come to the class ready to explain what they have learned about Operation Lifesaver as it relates to this requirement.

 

5. Do THREE of the following:

a. List five safety precautions that help make trains safer for workers and passengers.

b. Explain to your merit badge counselor why safety around rights-of-way is important.

c. List 10 safety tips to remember when you are near a railroad track (either on the ground or on a station platform) or aboard a train.

d. Tell your counselor about the guidelines for conduct that should be followed when you are near or on railroad property. Explain the dangers of trespassing on railroad property.

e. Tell what an automobile driver can do to safely operate a car at grade crossings, and list three things an automobile driver should never do at a grade crossing.

f. Tell how to report a malfunction of grade crossing warning devices.

g. List safety precautions a pedestrian should follow at a public crossing.

This requirement will be covered in the class however Scouts are encouraged to prepare for the class with these items already in the works. Time within the class will be focused on three of the counselor-selected components. Review the Railroading Merit Badge pamphlet to be prepared for the class and this requirement.

 

6. Explain the appearance and meaning of the following warning signs and devices: advance warning sign, pavement markings, crossbucks, flashing red lights, crossing gates.

It is strongly recommended that Scouts come to the class with notes ready for use when completing this requirement. Scouts will want to be able to share their explanation clearly and concisely. Notes will not only aid in a Scout's explanation but will help show the Counselor that some thought and effort have gone into preparing for this requirement.

 

7. Do EACH of the following:

a. Explain how railroad signals operate and show two basic signal types using color or configuration.

b. Explain the meaning of three horn signals.

c. Describe a way to signal a train for an emergency stop.

d. Explain the use and function of the EOTD (end-of-train device) or FRED (flashing rear end device) used on the last car of most freight trains.

This requirement and its components will be completed within the class, but Scouts are still expected to have reviewed the Railroading Merit Badge pamphlet prior to the class to gain a basic understanding for use during the class as it pertains to this requirement.

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT CLASS PREPARATION NOTES FOR REQUIREMENT 8 ARE SPECIFIC TO COUNSELOR AND LOCATION REQUIREMENTS AND RESOURCES.  PLEASE ONLY REFERENCE THE EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SELECTED SPECIAL-INTEREST AREA AS RELATED TO WHERE THE SCOUTMASTER BUCKY MERIT BADGE CLASS IS BEING HELD.

MAKE SURE YOU UTILIZE ONLY THE NOTES FOR THE SELECTED SPECIAL-INTEREST AREA AS IT PERTAINS TO THE OFFERING OF THE SCOUTMASTER BUCKY CLASS OFFERING.

 

8. Select ONE of the following special-interest areas and complete the requirements:

a. MODEL RAILROADING

With your parent's and counselor's approval, do TWO of the following:

Please note that Scouts will need to select one of the requirement components below to do prior to the class in order for consideration of completing this full requirement option. The Counselor will cover requirement 8a3 within the class as one of the two components requiremed for completion of the Model Railroading option of Requirement 8.

1. Draw a layout of your own model railroad or one that could be built in your home. Design a point-to-point track or loop with different routings. Include one of the following: turnaround or terminal or yard or siding.

Requirement 8a1 will NOT be covered in the class, HOWEVER, Scouts who can bring their completed layout design to the class will have an opportunity with the counselor for consideration of sign off on this requirement component.

2. Build one model railroad car kit or one locomotive kit.

Requirement 8a2 will NOT be covered in the class, HOWEVER, Scouts who bring their completed model railroad car or locomotive will have an opportunity with the counselor for consideration of sign off on this requirement component.

3. Name the scale of four popular model railroad gauges. Identify the scale of four model cars or locomotives.

Requirement 8a3 will be covered in the class.

4. Locate the Web site of four model railroad-related manufacturers or magazine publishers. Print information on their products and services and discuss the information with your counselor.

Requirement 8a4 will NOT be covered in the class, HOWEVER, Scouts may bring their work to the class for an opportunity to review with the counselor for consideration of sign off on this requirement component.

5. Build one railroad structure (from scratch or using a kit), paint and weather the structure, mount it on your layout or diorama, and make the surrounding area on the diorama scenic.

Requirement 8a5 will NOT be covered in the class, HOWEVER, Scouts who bring their completed model railroad structure and diorama will have an opportunity with the counselor for consideration of sign off on this requirement component.

6. Alone or with others, build a model railroad or modular layout including ballast and scenery. Make electrical connections and operate a train. Describe what you enjoyed most.

Requirement 8a6 will NOT be covered in the class, HOWEVER, Scouts choosing this requirement component should bring photos of their model railroad layout and be prepared to share their experience and answer question about their layout with the counselor.

7. Participate in a switching contest on a timesaver layout and record your time.

Requirement 8a7 will NOT be covered or offered as a part of this class.

8. Explain the difference between powering and controlling a model railroad by using direct current, and powering and controlling a model railroad using digital command control.

Requirement 8a8 will be partially covered as a part of this class.  Scouts wishing to stay after the class may have an opportunity to run one of the trains on the model railroad layout; which would complete this requirement component.

b. RAILFANNING

With your parent's and counselor's approval, do TWO of the following:

1. Visit a railroad museum, historical display, or a prototype railroad-sponsored public event. With permission, photograph, videotape, or sketch items of interest. Explain what you saw and describe your photos, sketches, or videotape.

This requirement component will be covered in the class.

2. Purchase tickets and ride a scenic or historic railroad. Under supervision, photograph the equipment and discuss with your counselor the historic significance of the operation.

This requirement component will be covered in the class.

3. Locate the Web site of four rail historical groups, then find information on the history of the rail preservation operations and purpose of each group. Talk with a member of one of the groups and find out how you might help.

Requirement 8b3 will NOT be covered in the class, HOWEVER, Scouts may bring their work to the class for an opportunity to review with the counselor for consideration of sign off on this requirement component.

4. Plan a trip by rail between two points. Obtain a schedule and explain when the train should arrive at two intermediate points. Purchase the tickets and make the trip. Explain to your counselor what you saw.

Requirement 8b4 will NOT be covered in the class, HOWEVER, Scouts who bring their completed work with supporting documents will have an opportunity with the counselor for consideration of sign off on this requirement component.

 
this page last reviewed / updated: April 2019
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