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Info for Newbies

Participation in a LCCA Annual Convention is limited to members only. LCCA invites hobbyists to join the club and be eligible to attend the upcoming and future Conventions; they are widely regarded as the best events of their kind within the toy train community. Click here to apply for LCCA membership; thereafter, explore the upcoming 2019 Convention in Reno, NV, in detail as a club member. The popular features of LCCA Conventions are described below.

Convention Tours
Tours are a highlight of LCCA Conventions and are railroad related or based on the history and heritage of the area. Most Conventions include a train excursion trip; for example, the 2006 LCCA Convention in Denver offered FOUR train trips! Motorcoach transportation to/from the host hotel to tour sites is included.

Amtrak may provide a discount to members who opt to travel to/from the LCCA Convention aboard its trains, and some railfans make their Convention trip part of a larger adventure by rail.

Convention Social Events
Members enjoy the popular Get Acquainted Party on Thursday evening of Convention week and the festive concluding Banquet on Saturday evening; greeting old friends and meeting new ones. Each Banquet table is piled high with a gift for each person, and one lucky person per table will win a Banquet Car – one of only about 60 made, so it’s an instant rarity. Because this car can not be purchased – only gifted – it’s highly prized as a unique collectible.

The LCCA Store
One designated exhibition room in the host hotel draws a crowd and for good reason; it’s the place for good deals on great LCCA-sponsored products, branded clothing, and collectibles.

Train Show in the Trading Hall
On Friday evening and most of Saturday of Convention week, members cruise a large hall with tables of trains and train-related merchandise for sale. Many bring a shopping list of items they need with them, realizing that this “train show within a Convention” may likely have things they could not find elsewhere with as good a selection or price.

Lionel Seminar
This presentation by Lionel executives is generally a standing-room-only affair “starring” new Lionel products and featuring demonstrations of new items by the men who design and make them. A lively Q&A session follows, and members know “they’ll hear it here first.”

Train Layouts
An operating train layout at the host hotel site will always be an attention-getter for conventioneers, visitors, and local media. In past Conventions, Lionel has provided their 40'x60' layout featuring many of their current production items along with the layouts of the Chicagoland Lionel Railroad Club, the Young Model Railroaders Club of Denver, and the Pittsburgh Independent High-Railers Club, which were stellar attractions. When feasible, organizational train layouts in the area that can accommodate a large group of LCCA visitors may become tour options. For example, the O-gauge layout of the St. Louis Lionel Railroad Club and the large garden railroad (G-gauge) layout within the Chicago Botanical Gardens.

The People
We believe the most important “fringe benefit” of participating in a LCCA Convention is the camaraderie with other train hobbyists. Many members have maintained long-term friendships with other hobbyists around the country based on a first meeting during a Convention. Our events are family friendly, and youngsters are welcome. Some families plan their summer vacation around the Convention. Attend one LCCA Convention, and you’ll be “hooked;” rather, “trained!”