GSMRRClub Celebrates 50 Years in North Haledon, NJ

May 17, 2006
For Immediate Release
by Tony Tofani

The Garden State Model Railway Club Inc. today announced that the year 2007 will be the Club's 50th year as an incorporated entity in New Jersey, and also its 50th year in North Haledon. Special preparations are under way now for a year-long celebration.

The 50th Anniversary celebration will begin with the 2006 Model Railroad Show and Open House this autumn, November 25-27, December 2-4, and December 9-11. This annual event has drawn families, model railroaders, train collectors, rail historians, and railfans since 1957. "Every year, in almost any kind of winter weather, we open our doors to the public at the onset of the Christmas season. Our Club is not just about trains, it's also about the history of northern New Jersey and the role that the railroads played in the development of the area," said Jack Oliver, President of the Club.

Other 50th Anniversary events and activities will be planned for 2007, culminating with the 2007 Model Railroad Show and Open House.

Originally founded in 1953 by a small group of model railroaders, the Club was housed in a garage in Paterson for 3 years. When the basement of the strip mall on High Mountain Road became available, the membership took advantage of the larger space.

The Club's HO-gauge layout has 3 railroads in its 30 x 40 room: the Garden State Northern (The High Mountain Road), The Otter Creek & Perry short line, and the Morris, Passaic & Southwestern. The layout can be run as a double-track, continuous loop main line going through many cites, towns and industries, or as a loop-to-loop single-track main with passing sidings. This is one of the only model railroads in the country that can run on conventional DC power or on Digital Command Control (DCC) at the flip of a switch.

Over the years, membership has fluctuated from a handful to more than 30 members at present. Members come from all walks of life, and range in age from 12 to 75+. The Club has a relaxed atmosphere, and all members become close friends very quickly. Potential new members are always welcome to stop in and complete an application for membership.

In addition to building and maintaining the layout, the Club's activities include hikes of old and abandoned railway lines in NJ, NY, and PA, an annual pilgrimage to the East Broad Top Railroad in Orbisonia, PA, trips to other model railroad layouts and railroadiana shows, and maintaining a library of rare and historic railroad and model railroad periodicals. "The history of railroading is a major part of the history of our country" says member and famous author William T. Greenberg, Jr.

For more information on the Garden State Model Railway Club Inc., or its 50th Anniversary Celebration, please see our web site (

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