Dad 'N' Daughter [D-N-D] Division
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  D-N-D Division

      WHEN our youngest daughter, Norma (nearly 11 years old), left after school on October 7, 1977 for a Girl Scout camping weekend, her pet gerbil had been acting sickly, and she feared it might die in her absence. It did.
      With the hope of  “easing the pain” of the lost gerbil, I decided that upon her return I would offer Norma - as a replacement for the departed gerbil - an N-scale railroad layout, to be located in her former bedroom. Upon her return from the camping trip on Sunday the 9th, she was quite pleased with the railroad layout idea, and we immediately got busy on the first steps for the project.
      With a preliminary layout plan in hand, we acquired a 2x8 ft. chipboard and started test-laying track sections, finally coming up with a layout approximately the same, but slightly different than the first draft.

This is the thank-you poem which the Daughter, Norma, gave to the Dad for building the D-N-D N-scale layout.

      We bought enough Atlas brand sectional and flex-track at a nearby hobby shop to construct the main line, and we had that operating well before bed-time that evening, using a power pack and a small train which had been given to me for Christmas nearly a decade previously as a curiosity when N-scale started to appear in this country*.
      On Monday (a “Columbus Day” work-school holiday), Norma and I worked together on the project much of the day; Florence (“Tiny”) had been visiting her mother in Ohio over the holiday weekend, and upon her return that evening she didn't seem to be “too upset” with our accomplishment - especially when we satisfied her that the layout was self-contained and could be moved if necessary. From that point on, work continued almost daily for some time as the D-N-D (“Dad 'N' Daughter”) - with the large 'N' also denoting the size, ('N' Scale and Gauge) - Railroad “grew like Topsy.”

Below left: A steam locomotive with its two-car passenger consist pulls into a Victorian depot (styled upon the old railroad station at Point of Rocks, Md.) in a diorama on the D-N-D Division of the NORMANED RAILROAD.

Above right: The first locomotive ever to turn a wheel on any N-gauge track of the NORMANED RR (a model European shunting engine by Arnold-Rapido) backs two Blatz Beer and a Carnation Milk “billboard” refrigerator cars into the Falstaff Brewery's spur track on the D-N-D Division's expanded line.

      On October 22nd, had we thought of it, we could have decided this family project should be called the D-D-N-D (“Dad, Daughter 'N' Denny”).That day, Norma and I visited my brother, Denny (her uncle), at his home in a nearby community, and as an advance birthday present for her, I purchased from him (for a bargain total of $30), a variety of N-scale structures, freight cars, accessories and other components, including two working locomotives (one steam, one diesel). These were things he had purchased new for a layout he was building a few years ago, but had never used before he abandoned that effort.

      This built-up scale model of the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania Railway Station, with a 2-4-0 steam locomotive on display, was a feature of the D-N-D Division layout while in active operation at its first home. It was retained as a “memory” piece when the D-N-D layout was moved to its current location in 1997.

      Diary and financial journal records record purchases of equipment and supplies still being made through at least the early months of 1978. Additional structures and accessories (including a turntable and five-stall roundhouse) remained under construction until the D-N-D was moved into the attic on August 20, 1978. It was enjoyed in that venue at various times over the years by various children, grandchildren and uninvited squirrels.

An abandoned shack (known to provide occasional shelter for hobos) sits in lonely decay near a curve in the track on the D-N-D Division layout.

      In August of 1997 - two decades after that project's birth - Dad and Norma agreed that ownership and management of the D-N-D should be transferred to my son (and her brother), Ned, and his sons, Marty and Benjamin Norman.
      With the aid of a friend of theirs and his pickup truck, the D-N-D was transported in toto to the Ned Wright home in a neighboring suburb,  where the repaired, restored, enhanced and enlarged layout now is located, and where Dad (Grandpa) -following a demonstration by the three new owners - had the exquisite pleasure of again operating the N-scale trains on portions of the former D-N-D on Thanksgiving Day of that year.
      Later, on December 13, Dad, Ned, Marty and Ben spent an exciting day at “The Great American Train Show” in a domed arena at the County Fairgrounds, watching and admiring the numerous operating layouts in various scales, as well as doing a bit of business with some of the dealers.

This commercially pre-formed Styrofoam “layout” was an N-scale precursor to the D-N-D. Upon the move of the D-N-D Division to its current home, this segment accompanied the larger layout and became an add-on module in the new location.

More N Scale

The youth group at the New York Museum of Transportation (NYMT) has begun construction of an N Scale model of the former Rochester Subway System. Current progress is examined by the president of the NORMANED RR in the right photo. At left, Norm (on the right) gets an update on the project from Dick ("Lucky") Luchterhand, coordinator of model railroad exhibits at the museum. (Obviously, neither Dick nor Norm qualify as "youth members," however!)

*N Scale (1:160) trains operate on tracks with a gauge of Nine millimeters (0.35 inch). Now one of the most popular of all scales, N-gauge was developed in Great Britain c. 1960 as OOO (“treble-O”) in a size approximately one-half of the popular OO (“double-O”) / HO (“half-O”) gauge (19mm / 16.5mm) and scale (1:76 / 1:87) - a linear scale of about two millimeters (0.08 inch) of model to one foot of prototype. For a time, American manufacturers followed their British counterparts, but eventually a slightly smaller version - the present N Scale - was introduced by the German firm of Arnold. Its Rapido line - made with a linear scale of .075 inch of model to one foot of prototype and a scale ratio of 160:1 - earned high praise from the model railway press, and the proprietary Rapido standards were eventually adopted as the correct ones for N Gauge. The original “Mini-Trains” ready-to-run set from which the “D-N-D” evolved was an Arnold-Rapido product.

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