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2009 Sacramento Recap

2009 Annual LCCA Convention – Sacramento, CA

A Golden Experience

2009 convention logo

The annual club Convention is an enjoyable mix of socializing with train hobbyists, taking train excursions, shopping at a large train show, taking heritage tours of the region, and participating in the Lionel seminar. Attendance at a LCCA Convention is limited to members only, and the club is proud of its reputation of presenting the best Conventions of all the train clubs.

Images from the 2009 LCCA Convention


We kicked off the week with a ride on the famous Napa Valley Wine Train. This leisurely trip took us through the lush and fertile fields of California’s famous wine region. Pulled by restored ALCo FAs built in 1959 and run at about 20 MPH, the train rolled along the beautiful rolling hills covered with grapevines as we enjoyed the refurbished elegance of Pullmans converted into lounge, dining, and barbeque cars. The gourmet meal was wonderful, and whether you had sole, tuna, beef, or chicken, the comments I overheard were unanimous: “absolutely delicious.”


This day was filled with tours. #1 included the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system and streetcars, and #2 and #3 offered visits to many of Sacramento’s historic sites including Sutter’s Fort, the state capitol and International Gardens, and the gold-rush-era buildings along the waterfront.

Tour #2 included the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament which has no equal in size and elegance west of the Rockies. Tour #3 included a visit to the California Auto Museum with over 160 vehicles on display.

In the evening, we enjoyed a private reception at the California State Railroad Museum. We climbed aboard several trains and viewed the tremendous Standard Gauge collection of trains gifted to the museum by Thomas W. Sefton and presented as “Small Wonders: The Magic of Toy Trains.”


Conventioneers boarded the Sierra Railroad Luncheon Train for a 32-mile trip through unspoiled, natural countryside. Scenes from this area have been used in several movies and TV shows. That evening, about 100 first-time Convention attendees met club officers, directors, and appointees at a reception with a Mexican-theme light dinner.


Three coach loads of semi-sleepy conventioneers left at 8 a.m. for a two-hour ride to San Francisco. They visited Nob Hill, Coit Tower, Lombard Street (the curviest street in the world), the Presidio, and the famous Fisherman’s Wharf with seals resting on Pier 39. We hopped aboard for a cable car ride and enjoyed an oriental multi-course lunch at the famous Express of China Restaurant.

Thursday night is a bright spot in week-long event because of the popular and entertaining Get Acquainted Party. The food on a spectacular buffet represented a taste of California, and the musical group California Dreamin’ provided the entertainment.


We closed the tour schedule with two tours: the Western Railway Museum and Electric Train Ride or a ride to the historic city of Folsom on a light-rail train.

After the club’s Annual Business Meeting and the Lionel Seminar on Friday afternoon, we opened the doors to the Trading Hall to Convention attendees. All available tables were sold out and orange and blue boxes contained goodies from the rare and pricey to the current and affordable.


In addition to the conventioneers-in-residence, more than 400 visitors streamed into the Trading Hall on Saturday morning through mid-afternoon. Sixty-four visitors joined the club as new members at the site – a record for LCCA. More than a third of the “newbies” were young junior members.

The Saturday Reception and Banquet was the fantastic finale of the Convention. Incoming president Al Kolis presented outgoing president Dick Johnson with a Lionel President’s Special B&O steam locomotive and tender with this engraved text: “With appreciation from the LCCA for the past two years of leadership.”

The banquet offered goodies galore – on the tables, in the silent auction, and through the raffle – all part of the fun.

by Bob Carter RM 6620