Not long after the end of the second World War, a group of 16 model-railroad lovers began laying miniature tracks in a converted building adjacent to a city park in Glendale. The tiny railroad was so extensive and detailed, it prompted USC cinema students to capture it in a film that has since become a visual record of the Glendale Model Railroad Club's early years. Just 15 years after it was founded in 1949, the GMRRC literally went up in flames when a fire destroyed the original layout in 1963, forcing the burgeoning club to start all over again. Today, the GMRRC is the oldest active model-railroad club west of the Mississippi, with about 25 members building, operating and maintaining a reproduction of the Southern Pacific Railroad's Verdugo Valley Lines. Visitors have a standing invitation to the club's monthly open house, where they can watch the club members, dressed in a uniform of buttercream polo shirts, operate up to five trains traveling between a scaled-down Union Station and a replica of the Tehachapi Loop, a California State Historical Landmark.
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