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2006 Denver Recap

2006 Annual LCCA Convention – Denver, CO

July 23-29, 2006

2006 convention logo

The Mile High City of Denver, the capital of Colorado and an entry to the Rocky Mountains, was the locale of the 2006 Convention that included four rail adventures - a record! "The LCCA Special" excursion trip from Denver to Cheyenne, Wyoming, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ride a UP Heritage Fleet train with steam motive power on point for this trip.

Like previous conventions, it featured professionally conducted tours in the area, the Get Acquainted Party, a collectible LCCA On-site Convention Car, and a memorable Banquet.

The first 400 registrants received a very special Early Registration Gift. Qualified pre-registered members picked up their Old Style Clock Tower with LCCA imprint at the registration desk. Convention-goers could purchase the On-site Convention Car; because of the demand, two cars were offered. The very limited Banquet Car was distributed as a table gift to about 60 luck-of-the-draw recipients – a black Rio Grande Chase Gondola.

Images from the 2006 LCCA Convention

The UP Heritage Fleet steam locomotive 844 up front pulled a 21-car consist more or less effortlessly across the high plains from Denver to Cheyenne, WY. “The LCCA Special” excursion run was a highlight of this Convention, and the coach and vista dome seats on this train sold out quickly. Upon arrival in Cheyenne, we ate a BBQ meal and afterwards visited the UP Shops – which are normally closed to the public. FACTOID: the Conductor and several members of the UP Steam Crew are LCCA members!

Photo by Ken Morgan

What goes up must come down; the diesel-powered trains of the Pike’s Peak Cog Railway pass each other going to/from the summit.

We ascended 14,110 feet for a breathtaking view of the region. This vista inspired the author of the words for “America the Beautiful” – and us!

Photo by Ken Morgan

Conventioneers in open gondola cars enjoyed an open-air view of the train excursion through the Royal Gorge. As we rode the rails, kayakers ran the river alongside. At the bottom of the gorge, we looked up – way up – at the famous suspension bridge across the gorge.

Photo by Mike Mottler

The steam train ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad – a re-activated narrow-gauge mining railroad – included a side trip to a mine shaft in the mountainside. This railroad is named for its “loop” – a 360-degree circle of track that crosses over itself to gain altitude in a mountain valley. This picture shows the train crossing the elevated portion of the loop on its way to Silver Plume.

Photo by Ed Richter

Lionel LLC President & CEO Jerry Calabrese (center) attended the Get Acquainted Party with John Fisher (L), LCCA Past President, and Lou Caponi (R), LCCA President. The Lionel company team presented and demonstrated the then-new TMCC Legacy System to club members.

Photo by Ed Richter

LCCAers oogled the layouts of Terry Johnson. He welcomed club members as guests to the train layout at his office and to another one at his home. In addition, Terry showed his collection of classic cars which were also on display for us.

Photo by Ed Richter

Lou Kovaks, inventor of several technical products and systems for Lionel LLC, explained the then-new TMCC Legacy system to club members during the Lionel Seminar – always a highlight of the Convention. At this session, Jerry Calabrese announced a discount deal for LCCA members who decide to purchase this new system for their layouts.

Photo by Ed Richter

This group of LCCA members from the New York City area were exemplars of the spirit of the concluding Saturday evening festive Banquet – good friends, good food, great table gifts – one of which was the rare, limited-production Banquet Car, a black Rio Grande Chase Gondola. Thanks for sharing this photo, Don!

Photo provided by Don Pagel