​​Lakes and Pines Division - Train Collectors Association


We had a fantastic Lakes & Pines 50th Anniversary Party on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at Murzyn Hall in Columbia Heights. It’s hard to imagine that 50 years has went by since our TCA Division was founded in 1969. I have to personally thank President Mike Speltz for putting in so much work to make this special event happen. The pulled pork and pulled chicken were fabulous. Also the displays that Mike assembled, spelling out the entire history of Lakes & Pines, was a fantastic effort. Thanks again!

The first railroad flea market of the fall season occurred September 14th when the Twin City Model Railroad Museum put on their Fall Hobby Show & Sale at the Education Building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The weather was great and the sale was well attended. What I noticed is that there was a lot of American Flyer on the tables this fall. And prices were fair. Apparently there are little old widows out there selling off their husband’s collections. Unfortunately, we will be seeing much more of these sell-offs as our generation passes on. It might be a good time to think of the future. You should talk with your spouse, significant other, or your extended family and let them know your wishes about what should happen with your collection.

The next train flea market that I have a notice for is the West Wisconsin Railroad Club 18th Annual Train Show on Saturday, October 12 from 10AM – 5PM and Sunday, October 13 from 10AM – 4PM at the Eau Claire YMCA Indoor Sports Center, 3456 Craig Road in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The Newport Model RR Club Train Flea Market will be held on Saturday, October 19 from 9AM – 2PM at the Woodbury High School, 2665 Woodlane Drive in Woodbury, Minnesota. For more information about the show and table reservations contact Mark at 651-207-7747.

Skipping to November, the Granite City Train Show is Saturday, November 16 from 9AM – 3PM at the River’s Edge Convention Center, 10 – 4 th Avenue South in St Cloud, Minnesota. For more information about the show and table reservations call 320-255-0033 or visit www.granitecitytrainshow.com.

Also in November, Greg Beckman’s Greater Upper Midwest Train Show & Sale will be November 23 from 9AM – 2PM at the Century College West Campus, 3300 Century Avenue North in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. For more info about the show and table reservations call Greg at 651-808-8556. Here are two more October events that may be of interest.

The Twin City Model Railroad Museum will present “The Circus Moves By Rail” from October 12 – 15 at the museum located at 668 Transfer Road in St Paul. That’s just one-half block from University Avenue. Hours will be Saturday from 10AM – 5PM, Sunday from Noon – 5PM, and Monday & Tuesday from 10AM – 3PM. The 2019 Trego Railfan Weekend is October 25 – 27 in Trego, Wisconsin.

The Chicago & North Western Historical Society along with the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad and the Railroad Memories Museum offer a weekend of great railroad activities. For questions or reservations call them at 715-635-3200. There will be train rides and photo charters at this event.

LIONEL 2019 CATALOG VOL.II, TRADITIONAL O AND AMERICAN FLYER Last month we covered all the trains you can’t afford. This month we cover the cheaper trains, if you consider cheaper engines to be in the $400 - $500 range. Now Lionel presents the next generation of LionChief control, LionChief Plus 2.0. These new locomotives combine the best features of LionChief Plus locomotives with TMCC command control and additional sound and lighting enhancements. Yes, that also includes ‘PRICE’ enhancements. First they show their 0-6-0 steam switchers that now have TMCC. They come in five roadnames plus three sets that include the enhanced engine. Next are new Bershires in eight roadnames including North Pole Central, Polar Express, Halloween ELX and Disney. The first new LionChief Plus 2.0 diesel is the Lionmaster SD80MAC/SD90MAC. The SD90MAX is available in Union Pacific. The traditional sized GG1 returns in five different Pennsylvania paint schemes plus a Pennsylvania GG1 Fast Freight set. EMD FT sets are next to get the enhanced treatment. These are available in Santa Fe freight blue and yellow, a terrific looking Great Northern set, New York Central and the Texas Special. Hey, you have to see the Shark Research & Rescue Set on page 88. The set includes a LionChief GP38 diesel, a submarine car, and Shark Containment boxcar with a shark fin that moves along the top of the car and a porthole caboose. A Shark Aquarium car is available separately. There are some new Made in USA boxcars with the colorful graphics. The one that really catches my eye is the Angela Trotta Thomas Well Stocked Shelves Boxcar. Heck, it’s only $85.

They also show twelve special boxcars and a caboose that you can get specially personalized for your own layout. They also show nine new building kits that require assembly and some painting so really make them stand out on your railroad. The American Flyer line includes some really nice new locomotives and heavyweight passenger cars that really look great. First is new Legacy Berkshires in six roadnames including the special American Railroads #759 paint scheme. This is the first time Legacy control has been put in a Flyer engine. Next is the Legacy powered U36C in five paint schemes including the Milwaukee Road. The Flyer EP5 electric is back after a 10 year absence and it is now equipped with the FlyerChief control system. It’s available in New Haven, New York Central, Great Northern and Pennsylvania.

On page 110 they show the brand new Great Northern Heavyweight passenger cars. Absolutely beautiful. There are eight different cars. The cars are also available in a New Haven paint scheme. Next there are Freightsounds boxcars in five roadnames and new regular boxcars in five roadnames including a sharp Great Northern green boxcar with the GN goat and a yellow boxcar lettered for Green Bay and Western. The S gauge section ends with new 3 Bay Hoppers and Milk Flat Cars. LIONEL IS TRYING HO SCALE TRAINS AGAIN – WILL THEY BE SUCCESSFUL? That is really the big question. Lionel has never been able to successfully compete with the HO giants such as Athearn, Atlas, Bachmann, Kato and others. The postwar line (1957 – 1966) lasted the longest. In the 1950’s Lionel was the self-proclaimed “leader in model railroading”. Lionel’s HO line was less than half the cost of its O gauge line. In 1958 an HO boxcar was $2.50 versus $6 for a 6464. An HO GP9 cost $11 versus $32.50 for a #2348. The deluxe HO passenger outfit (double diesel and four streamline cars) listed for $40. The Super O #2526W Super Chief was $100. Never mind that O gauge trains did more. HO diesels of the 1950’s lacked horns, HO steams didn’t smoke or whistle, and HO passenger cars weren’t lighted. Lionel HO would ultimately fail because Scale HO became more and more detailed, with better and better mechanisms, and got ultimately more expensive. The scale crowd looked down on rocket launchers, exploding boxcars and animated aquarium cars. The new cars from the Model Power molds are primitive compared to the other HO manufacturers. So we will just have to wait and see what happens. I’ll have lots more on Lionel’s HO history next month.

We will see you at Murzyn Hall on October 13th . Anyone have HO for sale? Roundhouse

Rick Krenske