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"Stealing A General In Georgia" July 15, LCCA Special Event

The Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA) is proud to be hosting a Special Event Presentation "Stealing A General In Georgia" at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel during our 43rd Annual convention in Chattanooga TN on Monday evening July 15, starting at 7:45 PM.  Our featured guest speaker will be LCCA Member, Dr. Richard Banz who will provide an informative and entertaining talk "Stealing A General in Georgia" about the Great Train Chase of 1862.  Dr Banz is the Executive Director of the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw GA, which is the home of the famous "General" locomotive.  His talk will describe the plot and drama of the Great Locomotive Chase.  In this daring adventure, Union spies infiltrated behind enemy lines and captured a Confederate locomotive, which resulted in some of our nation's first Medals of Honor.  What was the motive of the Raiders?  How did their scheme fail?  Why is the Chase still significant 151 years later.

If you like Lionel trains, Civil War history, real trains, they you will love coming to the LCCA's 43 Annual Convention to be held at the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel July 14-20, 2013.  We will have several Civil War related tours, several operating toy train layouts on site, numerous rail excursion tours, as well as a Toy Train Show and Swap Meet open to the public on Saturday, July 20 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  Admission is FREE, but we will be accepting donations that will go to benefit a local children's charity.  For more information about these activities go to the convention tab on our website or read the June issue of our award winning club publication "The Lion Roars".
Throughout the week, we will have Lionel's impressive operating toy train layout set up in the main lobby of the hotel.  This layout which was designed and built by TW TrainWorx of Dallas TX demonstrates current Lionel train products in operation as well as several interactive buttons that operate Lionel animated accessories.  The kids will just love it!  LCCA's Lionel FasTrack Modular Railroad System will be set up and be operational throughout the week.  This new system will allow new people to enter the hobby and enjoy operation of their Lionel toy trains along with other train enthusiasts.  If you do not have space in your home for your own layout, this modular concept will be one way to build a section and enjoy being part of a larger layout.  This will make for a great group project for any Boy Scout, Girl Scout, school, club, company etc.  Any group/team can coordinate a construction project to build their own Lionel/LCCA FasTrack Modular Railroad layout.

On Tuesday, July 16, Tour #2 will provide our members with an opportunity to experience the dramatic history of railroads and the War Between the States at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw GA.  A prestigious Smithsonian Affiliation member, the museum provides a unique perspective in the strategic and economic use of railroads during and after the Civil War.  The museum is the home to the "General" locomotive made famous during The Great Locomotive Chase of 1862.  The museum also houses an impressive Civil War Collection and the Glover Machine Works (a restored, early 20th century belt-driven locomotive assembly line).

If you are not a member of the LCCA, there is still enough time to join the club,  register for our 43rd annual convention and then have a full week of Fun with Lionel Trains, Civil War History, and real railroads.  Just go to the "join the club" tab on our website

About the LCCA:
The Lionel Collectors Club of America is a national, not-for profit, volunteer organization which was formed by Jim Gates of Perry IA along with 83 other charter members back in 1970.  The club has grown over the years and has approximately 8000 members from all around the world, but predominantly in the US.  The purpose of the club is to "promote and foster interest, research, education and enjoyment of Lionel trains from 1900 to the present in particular and by association, all toy trains in general".

Current LCCA President Dennis DeVito has established a club goal of reaching out and having direct contact with at least 2200 LCCA members and family members this year with the Special Events Program.  President DeVito and the entire LCCA Board of Directors are committing the resources to this family oriented Special Events Program in an effort to expand the club by recruiting new members, retaining current members and promoting the hobby.  We are constantly reaching out and trying to attract new and younger people who may have never experienced the magic of Lionel trains.  We have several LCCA Special Events scheduled in various cities all around the country.   For more information go to the "Special Events" tab on our website 

About Dr. Richard Banz:
Dr. Richard Banz serves as the executive director of the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Georgia, home of the famous 'General' locomotive.  Published in transportation history and adult learning, he has a doctorate degree in adult education from Pennsylvania State University and a master's degree in history from the University of Maryland.  In 1971 he received his first Lionel train set and has loved Lionel trains ever since.  His main interest is in Postwar and MPC/Fundimensions era Lionel trains.  He has built several conventional layouts and currently maintains a 5'x8' layout that he operates and shares with his wife and young son.  He is a proud member of the Lionel Collectors Club of America.

You will not want to miss out on this great, family friendly, Convention.  Spread the word and make your summer vacations plans to visit the sites and attractions of Chattanooga TN and northern Georgia.

Al Kolis
Immediate Past President & Special Events Manager
Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA)