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Club History

Lenny the Lion

Lenny The Lion, Club Mascot

Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA)

The LCCA was founded in Des Moines, Iowa on August 1, 1970. It was a simple idea—collectors and operators of Lionel® trains had long needed an organization dedicated solely to their hobby interest. Organizer Jim Gates placed ads in railroading magazines and invited others with similar interests to establish a Lionel-oriented train club. By July 1, 1971, 83 charter members had signed on. Since then, our membership has continued to increase to where today, there are about 8,000 LCCA members worldwide.

The purpose of LCCA is to promote enjoyment of and information-sharing about toy trains with emphasis on Lionel electric trains and continuing education of toy train operators and collectors. The motto of the club is "A lifetime of happiness collecting Lionel trains," and our club emblem is the legendary Lionel 700E Hudson locomotive.

If you are an owner of Lionel trains that were a part of your childhood experience and want to find out about their value today, visit our webpage frequently asked questions about toy trains as collectibles.

Non-members of the LCCA can benefit from the free services that this website provides. Keep abreast of news and events in the toy train collecting hobby. Visit our downloads page to receive free computer wallpapers and screensavers. Read a brief summary of membership benefits as a prelude to joining the club.

Lionel President and CEO Jerry Calabrese presided over the Lionel Seminar Q&A session within the LCCA Convention at Denver in July, 2006.

Lionel President and CEO Jerry Calabrese presided over the Lionel Seminar Q&A session within the LCCA Convention at Denver in July, 2006.

LCCA Conventions

The first Annual Convention of the LCCA was held in 1971 in Des Moines. Our annual Conventions are one of the highlights of club membership. Held in major cities across the nation each July, these events are filled with family-oriented fun and train-related activities. Along with the business and membership meetings, there are tours of local sites and attractions; a Get Acquainted Party; a festive Banquet on Saturday night with gifts for all; as well as a Trading Hall packed with tables filled with toy trains to buy, sell, and trade.

At the second convention in 1972, the club began the practice of offering a souvenir Convention car to the members. These cars represent the locale of the Convention. These cars have been offered each year since and are manufactured by Lionel exclusively for the club. Each is distinctively decorated with a discreet notation on it. The LCCA has expanded its Convention car program to include other unique Lionel items available to members only.

Club Publications — Two in Print, Three Online

To share information about Lionel trains and collectibles, the club publishes an award-winning four-color magazine five times annually devoted to all aspects of Lionel collecting and operating, entitled The Lion Roars.

In addition, the club publishes a bi-monthly buy/sell/trade newsletter, the Interchange Track. This newsletter contains thousands of train-related items all sorted by era and manufacturer, all in numerical order, so it only takes seconds to find that special item you're seeking!

The club presents three online publications: this website, an online Membership Roster, and the e-Track online marketplace.

Members can shop at the LCCA Store and transact club business online.

At a club-sponsored train show, a savvy shopper considers purchasing a Lionel Auto Loader car.

At the train show within the LCCA Convention, a savvy shopper considers purchasing a Lionel Auto Loader freight car.

Train Show

LCCA presents a train show within its annual Convention, and members may bring their shopping lists to the event and cruise the Trading Hall looking for trains, accessories, parts, and collectibles not likely to be found elsewhere. Shoppers in pursuit of an item meet knowledgeable sellers that may have that piece on their table. This train show is a great opportunity to do some comparison shopping based on condition and price. This event is opened exclusively to members on Friday evening and early Saturday morning of the Convention; then the train show is opened at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning to the public paying an admission fee.