One of our club’s highest claims to fame is the invention and creation of the very first N-Trak module by club member Ben Davis. Originally built in 1974, our N-Trak module was constructed to demonstrate the viability of a modular layout system. Built by members of the Belmont Shore Model Railroad Club, our module was demonstrated at several public shows (at first alone and later with other N-Trak modules) throughout the mid-seventies.
In the original concept, a “main line board” with 3 main tracks and one switch on the branch line would be provided by the Belmont Shore guys and sold to the individual N-Trakker who would then build the rest of the module to fit. This idea died when they realized how many “main line boards” the club members would have to create.
Over the years, many of the original structures were removed and found other homes on the Belmont Shore Railroad’s permanent layout. The stations, its water tower, the church, and the agricultural supply are now on the Belmont Shore Lines. The two houses, the second water tower, and the stock pens have been lost or destroyed over the last several decades.
The module was only recently brought out of storage for a train convention. It required considerable work to make it operational. Damaged sections of track had to be replaced, and some wiring had to be re-done. The structures seen here today were scattered around our club’s various storage rooms and work shop. A little photographic archaeology had to be done to find which buildings belonged in which lots on the module. That you see at the club today is by no means a “fully restored” piece, but we did atempt to re-assemble the orignal pieces as best as possible.
The impact and influence of N-Trak can still easily be seen today with the expansion of N-Trak and newer T-Trak modules. Attend any train convention and you will most likely find modular layouts assembled in great numbers which all made their humble beginnings from the brains of the early members of the Belmont Shore Model Railroad Club.