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As “Freight Handler for the Nation,” Chicago Attracts Hobbyists to Illinois

NEWS BRIEF - Overview

Lionel® Collectors Club of America
Media Contact for LCCA:
Mike Mottler
501-327-8747 Conway, AR

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Volunteers at the LCCA welcome desk will greet members and visitors to the convention and the Train Show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago O'hare in Rosemont, IL.
During the final week of July [22–28] 2007, about 1,200 club members and their families will travel to Illinois and participate in the LCCA annual convention.

The convention will be based at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois. Several high-profile activities of the convention will be open to the public at the site.

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Many LCCA members will bring a toy train shopping list with them to the convention and will seek items for sale on more than 200 tables at the Train Show on Saturday of convention week
  • A 70x15-feet, fully scenicked train layout created for Lionel will be shipped from New York City to the host hotel and operated continuously from Wednesday through Saturday.
  • A 40x30-feet modular layout built by the Chicagoland Lionel Railroad Club will be operating in the lobby of the hotel for hands-on fun for families.
  • Public viewing and involvement with the layouts will be presented at no charge.
  • Train show on Saturday, July 28, from 9 to 3, with more than 200 tables of trains, accessories, and stuff for sale. Children under 18 will be admitted free with an adult paying $5 admission.
  • Persons may bring their O- and S-gauge electric toy trains to the site for free appraisals.

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One of the tours of the LCCA convention will be a visit to the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL, to see trains on static display and for a ride a restored Burlington Route passenger train.
Convention-goers will visit train-related attractions in the Windy City, ride aboard three real trains in the area, and participate in a busy schedule of social and hobby activities.

  • Tour of the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois
  • Day trip to the Fox River Trolley Museum near St. Charles, Illinois
  • Narrated ride through the Chicago Loop on a CTA “L” train.
  • Visit to the huge train layout in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry
  • Tour of the Ogilvy Transportation Museum at Union Station
  • Visit to the Chicago Botanical Gardens with an outdoor "garden railroad" with trains in action.

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One of tours of the LCCA convention will be a visit to the 7,500 square feet garden railroad within the Chicago Botanical Gardens.
Club members will participate in family-friendly convention activities filled with hobby-related information, fun, and social events.

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A local classic rock band, Fast Eddie and the Corvettes, will perform hits of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s during the Get Acquainted Party on Thursday evening of the LCCA convention.
  • Jerry Calabrese, President and CEO of Lionel LLC, will conduct a Q&A session and show new products.
  • LCCA will unveil the 2007 convention on-site car – a unique, limited-edition Lionel collectible created exclusively for club members who attend the event.
  • The get acquainted party on Thursday evening will feature Fast Eddie and the Corvettes.
  • Every member attending the concluding banquet on Saturday evening will receive a free hobby-related gift, and the silent auction will offer unique hobby collectibles for bid.



LCCA Standard Descriptor
The Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA) was founded in the Midwest in 1970 by a group of hobbyists to promote awareness and enjoyment of toy trains. Today, the LCCA is a not-for-profit, international hobby-based organization with more than 8,000 members who are toy train collectors and operators. Members favor Lionel trains, and the club collaborates with Lionel LLC to produce limited-edition, collectible cars and offer special products for members. For more information, visit the LCCA website:

LCCA Resource Persons as Interviewees
Spokesperson: Lou Caponi, President
484-431-8529 (cell)
Springfield, PA
E-mail: or
Convention Details: John Fisher, Convention Manager
612-804-4241 (cell)
St. Paul, MN