About L.O.T.S.

Our Common Denominator is Fun!

Our friendly band of model train enthusiasts is dedicated to having the most fun possible operating and collecting those wonderful trains from yesteryear and today – Lionel!

Yes, those fascinating milk cars, searchlight cars and Santa Fe diesels that you remember from the 40’s and 50’s are still out there, lovingly cared for by a new generation of hobbyists, as are the new versions being made by modern Lionel!

The members of LOTS, united by their love of these trains and all the skills and enjoyment which results from setting up and running them on model layouts. Many have different interests: scenery, electronics, operations, lighting, accessories, repairing motors, or even operating some of the fine related products from other O-gauge manufacturers, such as K-Line, Weaver, Williams, and MTH Electric Trains.

The common denominator is fun! Come see what LOTS has to offer!

Club History

The Lionel® Operating Train Society (LOTS) was founded in 1979 by Larry Keller (CM-1) of Cincinnati for the purpose of providing a national train club for operators of Lionel® trains and accessories.

Today, LOTS is an Ohio not-for-profit corporation and has been granted tax-exempt status by the IRS as a non-for-profit hobby club. As of December 2020, LOTS had about 1,800 active members throughout the world.

The members of LOTS are united by their love of operating and collecting toy trains. Most members enjoy setting up and running their favorite engines and rolling stock on model layouts. Many have different interests: scenery, electronics, operations, lighting, accessories, repairing/restoring old trains, or even operating some of the fine related products from other O-gauge manufacturers, such as K-Line by Lionel, Weaver, Williams, and MTH Electric Trains.

LOTS has no local chapters or divisions. Instead, small groups of LOTS members may decide to get together informally to run trains on each other’s layouts, build modular layouts, and share maintenance tips.

LOTS Elected and Appointed Officials

Listed below are the current officers, directors and other officials who volunteer their time and expertise to the membership of LOTS.


  • Phil Howe, President (pshowe1022 at gmail.com)
  • Pete Slater, Vice President (p81755 at aol.com)
  • Ralph Knelly, Secretary/Treasurer (rsktrains at verizon.net)


  • Larry Smith, Chairman (larry.smith0202 at gmail.com)
  • Phil Howe, President (same as above)
  • Ed Mazur, Past President (emazur231 at aol.com)
  • John Miller, At Large (dr.john.miller at ns.sympatico.ca )
  • Steve Witherspoon, At Large (s.witherspo at att.net)

Appointed Officials

  • Paula Smith, Business Manager (lotsbusinessoffice at gmail.com)
  • Scott C. Kuntz, Club Counsel (scktrains at aol.com)
  • Larry Smith, Graphics Design/Special Projects Manager (larry.smith0202 at gmail.com
  • Mike Solly, Elections Comm Chairman (trainman52 at verizon.net)
  • Paula Smith, Roster Editor (lotsbusinessoffice at gmail.com)
  • Stan Zoller, Interim SWITCHER Editor (lotsswitcher at gmail.com)
  • Paula and Larry Smith, Website Managers (same as above)
  • Mike Solly, Librarian, (trainman52 at verizon.net)

Past Officers, Directors Switcher Editors and Business Manager


John Ourso (1980-82)
Richard H. Johnson (1982-84)
William Meyer (1984-86)
Vernon V. Vercoe (1986-88)
Geoff Swan (1988-1992, 1996)
Michael Urban (1992-96)
John B. Gallacher (1996-2000)
Scott C. Kuntz (2000-2006 )
Christopher T. Matuszak (2006-2012)
Edward H. Mazur (2012 – 2015)
Philip S. Howe (2015 – )

Vice President

James H. Mitchell (1980-82)
William Meyer (1982-84)
Richard H. Johnson (1984-86)
Michael Urban (1986-1990)
William F. Campbell, Jr (1990)
Stephen R. Horvath (1991-96)
John B. Gallacher (1996)
William Tom Arnold, II (1996-98)
Scott C. Kuntz (1998-2000)
Joseph Wilhelm (2000-2001)
Herb Kern (2001-2009)
Edward H. Mazur (2009 – 2012 )
Philip S. Howe (2012 – 2015 )
Wayne Gatzke (2015 – 2015 )
Pete Slater (2015 –  )


William Meyer (1980-82)
William V. Mayer (1982-85)
Geoff Swan (1985-88)
Larry E. Keller (1988-89)
John P. Dalton (1989-1992)
Robert L. Schultz (1992-1996)
Paul Bernier (1996-2000)


Hank Argue (1980-81)
Frances F. Otten (1981-82)
Adam J. Laffleur, Jr. (1982-1990)
Barilyn Suskin (1990-92)
Carl E. Person (1992-1996)
Todd R. Wagner (1996-98)
William H. O’Hara (1998-2000)


Rita Gallacher (2000-2001)
Breck Pegram (2001-2002)
Ralph Knelly (2002 -2009; 2012 – )
Philip S. Howe (2009 – 2012)


Victor Bodek (2007 – 2013 2016-2018 )
Thomas A. Bromstrup (2013 – 2018 )
Leonard C. Crawford (1985-1987)
Joe T. Davis (1993-95)
Al Eggenberger (1993-97)
John Gallacher (1996 – 2000 )
John L. Godso (1981-83)
Sam H. Griffith (1981-83)
Al Jaworski (1983-88)
Richard H. Johnson (82-86, 87-91,93-97)
Frank P. Kammer, III (2007 – 2010)
Barbara M. Keller (1981-83)
Larry E. Keller (1980-81)
Herb. M. Kern (1997-2001 2010-2013)
Scott Kuntz (1998 – 2012)
Adam J. Laffleur, Jr. (1980-81, 1991-93)
Forrie H. Longeway, III (1980-81)
Cris Matuszak (1999-2004, 2006-2015)
Edward H. Mazur (2001-2007, 2012 – )
William V. Mayer (1987-89)
John W. Miller (2018 – )
Sam McNeil (1980-82, 1983-87)
William Meyer (1984-1991, 1995-2000)
John Ourso (1980-84)
Carl Person (1996-99)
Michael J. Rotolo (2001-2007, 2010-2016)
Michael A. Solly (1991-93, 1997-2001)
Robert L. Schultz (1997-98)
Lawrence L. Smith (2004- 2010, 2013, 2018-)
Geoff Swan (1983-86, 88-92, 1996)
Michael Urban (1992-96)
Vernon V. Vercoe (1986-92)
James E. Welage (1991-95)
Bruce C. Weinel (2013 -2018 )


Sam McNeil (1980-1982)
William V. Mayer (1982-1987)
Robert P. Byrnes (1988-1990)
James R. Barrett (1990-1993)
John P. Dalton (1993-1996)
Sherman E. Silverman (1993-1996)
George A. Brown (1996-1998)
Robert I. Mintz (1998 – 2001)
Donald M. Carlson (2001- 2015)
Ralph P. A. Spoettle (2015 -2020)
Stan Zoller (2020 – )

Business Managers

Paula S. Smith (1996 –    )