​​Lakes and Pines Division - Train Collectors Association

​From the President: 

Greetings and welcome back to the start of the fall train season.

Fall will be here soon and that means people will have finished their summer vacations, been to the state fair and will finally begin to start thinking about their trains again.

We had our Annual Summer outing on August 20th.   54 Members and their guest’s RSVP’d to spend a lovely day at John and Susan Ellingson’s house out in Minnetonka.  The sun was shining, the cars were washed and waxed, the trains were running and the food was hot.  We were treated to John and Susan’s outstanding collection of Cars, planes and trains.   The layouts performed flawlessly as they entertained the members and guests.   A good time was had by all.  The food was excellent and plentiful!

We are lucky to have such outstanding members in the Lakes and Pines like John and Susan who chose to share their collections with the membership.  Thank you from all of us for your kind hospitality.  If anyone took any pictures (my iPhone dumped mine) I would love to add them to the website.

The Pittsburgh convention was spectacular and well attended.  They had a lot of volunteers and the tours were outstanding.   The Board of Directors spend about two days in meetings and were able to hammer out another balanced budget and no increases to dues.   The national continues to focus on education, the Kids Club and preserving the history of Toy Trains.  Emphasis in the future will be directed towards operators as well.   Another big change is they are looking into tying all of the Divisions and Chapter websites together with the National Websites.  As you probably have noticed the national websites are less than optimal.

I personally had a great time in Pittsburgh and was able to catch up with long time member Mark Gjevre as he peddled his trains in the trading pits.  We caught some outstanding fireworks after the Pirates game near the hotel and enjoyed the evening.   Pittsburgh was an awesome town that I would visit again in a heartbeat.  I managed to come home with some miscellaneous trains and Lionel 385E standard gauge steam engine.  I found a deal too good to pass up so it rode home with Mark and Jane. 

Our first meet of the fall will be on Sunday September 10th.  We will have at least one prospective member in attendance.  I hope to see you all there and remember - you never know what will show up if you don’t show up. 

 See you soon,
Mike Speltz