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May 12 in Bald Knob, AR - LCCA Special Event

A local festival is a great “excuse” for a parade, a party, and a LCCA-sponsored, toy-train-related Special Event! On National Train Day (Saturday, May 12), LCCA members and Lionel-oriented hobbyists are invited to Bald Knob, AR (about 55 miles NE of Little Rock on Routes 67 and 167), to participate in celebrating the world’s greatest hobby in a down-home setting.

This day is also the Strawberry Homecoming Festival in town, so lots of visitors will be there. The requisite parade will travel along Market Street, which will be the center of train-related activities at Arkansas Traveler Hobbies (ATH) because it is located on that same street. The building, formerly a MO PAC depot, has been recycled as a full-line train hobby store; a wonderful adaptive reuse project.

Outdoors and under the protective canopy of the depot, LCCA members in Arkansas – Craig Gerard (RM 15198), Robert Lewis (RM 27374), and Mike Mottler (RM 12394) – will operate their Lionel trains on a fully scenicked loaner layout provided by Craig Christiansen, owner of ATH and a layout builder and master craftsman. The 6x10-feet layout will accommodate conventional and TMCC-equipped locomotives on the outer and inner loops respectively.

Two “celebrity” LCCA Junior Members are scheduled to appear: Ryan Christiansen, son of the owners of ATH and the young “model” that appeared in several LCCA product ads, and Clayton Holderfield, one of the two initial Junior Members of the club and the cover kid shown on the April 2005 issue of TLR.

LCCA members may bring a train to run on the layout as guest engineers. All club members will receive a SPECIAL EVENT commemorative pin and a Billboard Insert as a memento of the occasion. Several door prizes will be offered, and hourly prizes will be presented to lucky winners. The grand door prize will be a Lionel train set given to the lucky winner of a fun-to-do contest.

Inside the store, a fabulous, fully scenicked O-gauge and O-scale layout will be in operation. It has appeared in LCCA and other hobby publications as the setting for ads for LCCA-sponsored products. A museum of railroad artifacts is located in the former Baggage Room of the depot building. Alongside the store, the dual-track Union Pacific main line remains in active use. Every passing train will rattle the windows, and the blast of the diesel horns will clear your sinuses!

Admission to this event is free, and the public is also invited to participate. To register to run your trains on the layout as a guest engineer, contact Mike at: