We plan great conventions, so you can plan on having a great time!

LOTS 44th Annual Convention – Knoxville, TN (July 9-16, 2023)

It’s time to make your summer vacation plans! This year’s LOTS convention takes us to Knoxville, Tennessee – Home of the Vols! From July 9-16, 2023, you’ll enjoy six days of tours in or near the third largest city in Tennessee. Knoxville is located in the Great Appalachian Valley, known locally as the Tennessee Valley, about halfway between the Great Smoky Mountains to the east, and the Cumberland Plateau to the west, and is within a days drive of more than half the entire membership in LOTS! “Make plans now to join your fellow LOTS Members in Knoxville, Tennessee! You’re sure to have a great time!” Bring your friends and family with you! LOTS Members are some of the friendliest conventioneers on the planet, and always have a great time together!

Our headquarters hotel is the Hilton – Knoxville Airport (McGhee Tyson – TYS) The hotel is just off US-129, connected to McGhee Tyson Airport via a covered walkway. A free shuttle is available within a five-mile radius. They have a wonderful indoor pool and fitness center. LOTS rate is $135. Parking and WiFi are free. Reservations at the hotel are now open.  Please call 865.970.4300 to register. Our group code is LOTS.

Tour Descriptions and Activities Information – CLICK HERE

Online registration for tours and activites – CLICK HERE

Knoxville Airport Model Train Show – July 15, 2023 – Open to the Public!

On Saturday, July 15, we’ll share and promote toy trains by hosting the Knoxville Airport Model Train Show. The show features all types and sizes of trains in one of the Hilton Knoxville Airport Hotel ballrooms. Free parking is available until the Lot fills up. All registered LOTS Members and their guests can attend the show free of charge beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 15, as long as they are wearing their 2023 Convention name badges. Registered LOTS Members get exclusive access to the show for the first hour! If you do not register for the convention, you will not be admitted to the train show during the exclusive access time. You are welcome to attend beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets will be available at the door for $8.00 per person. Location: Grand Ballroom

The LOTS 2023 Get Acquainted Party is also “Open to the Public” this year and will be held on-site at the Hilton Knoxville Airport Hotel. An authentic Mexican fiesta buffet will be served, along with a cash bar. The dinner coincides with the LOTS annual “no reserve, no buyer’s premium” live toy train auction. In this auction, we are liquidating the collection of all types of trains and train stuff of Cris Matuszak, DM-1399, a long time LOTS member who passed away in 2020. To bid on any item in the auction, you must attend the auction in person. Priority seating will be provided (at assigned tables) in the ballroom for those attending the Get Acquainted Party. You can still attend the auction without purchasing a dinner ticket, however, your seat will be at the back of the ballroom. The auction will be open to public. Get your registration in as early as possible to ensure your spot. Location: Cascades Ballroom

Online registration for vendors at the Knoxville Airport Model Train and Dinner during the LOTS 2nd Annual Toy Train Auction – CLICK HERE

Future Conventions are scheduled for –

Lawrence, Kansas – July 21-28, 2024

Annual Conventions Typically Feature:

  • Daily excursion tours to various sites of interest
  • Member home layout tours
  • Annual Train Show – table sales of all sizes and types of toy trains (swap meet)
  • Operating layouts
  • Annual Business Meeting
  • Closing banquet – Great Camaraderie with fellow Members!

Visit World Class Layouts

Perhaps the greatest benefit, after camaraderie, is the opportunity to visit world class layouts around the USA. Many of the layouts that we visit have been featured in such magazines as Classic Toy Trains and O-Gauge.

Each layout is unique and interesting in their special ways. These visits leave all of us with ideas for our own layouts, present and in the future. One-on-one conversations with the layout owners/builders give us a unique opportunity to probe, question, marvel and perhaps the impetus to put our layout dreams into operation.

Although most of us are O and O-27 gauge hobbyists, we can learn from every scale/gauge that your LOTS Convention team presents for its attendees. After the LOTS Convention layouts, visit the layouts and collections of your friends and acquaintances. I bet that they will allow and encourage you to bring along a train or two. It is always fun to run trains on someone else’s layout.

Perhaps it will take you back to your initial days in the hobby when you ran your trains at your friends houses and ran them around the track at breakneck speeds to see if and when they would fly off the tracks!

Edward Mazur, DM 3123

Divisions and Chapters

Although LOTS is to remain a national club and shall not be subdivided into formal divisions or chapters (see Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution), LOTS members are encouraged to develop informal local operating groups to promote the enjoyment of operating and collecting Lionel and compatible trains and accessories.

Such operating groups may, for example, build and operate modular layouts; run trains on each other’s layouts; or meet periodically to share their knowledge regarding any aspect of operating Lionel and compatible trains and accessories.

Local operating groups are encouraged to submit periodic reports to the Switcher Editor in the interest of sharing their knowledge, experience and layout construction tips with all LOTS members.

Local operating groups also are encouraged to sponsor regional LOTS train meets. Host a meet today!


LOTS’ Annual Convention Cities

1980 Little Rock, AR
John Ourso & Al Otten
1981 Cincinnati, OH
Larry Keller & Al Cigolotti
1982 Kalamazoo, MI
Seth Giem
1983 New Orleans, LA
Dom Schwab
1984 Pittsburgh, PA
Al Jaworski
1985 St. Louis, MO
Adam Laffleur
1986 Philadelphia, PA
Vernon Vercoe
1987 Tulsa, OK
Dave Stonecipher
1988 Seattle, WA
Geoff Swan
1989 Dearborn, MI
Gary Montagne &
Michael Urban

1990 Baltimore, MD
Kenneth Starke
1991 Dayton, OH
Richard H. Johnson
1992 Modesto, CA
Tony Tesoriere
1993 Ft. Wayne, IN
John Gallacher
1994 New Brunswick, NJ
Steve Horvath
1995 Chicago, IL
Cris Matuszak
1996 Boston, MA
Paul Bernier &
Steve Horvath
1997 Scranton, PA
Robert K. Thomas
1998 San Diego, CA
Joe Lesser
1999 Mobile, AL
Herb Kern

2000 Detroit, MI
Joe Wilhelm & Scott Kuntz
2001 Baltimore, MD
Mike Solly, Dave Przyborski & Sherman Silverman
2002 Milwaukee, WI
Scott Kuntz & Cris Matuszak
2003 Lancaster, PA
Herb Kern
2004 Cincinnati, OH
Frank Kammer, Mike Rolcik &
Paula Smith
2005 Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA
Ralph Spoettle & Bruce Goettel
2006 Saratoga Springs, NY
Robert Taylor, Richard Silber & Tony Rudmann
2007 Portland, OR
Paula Smith & Tom Steeves
2008 South Bend, IN
National Committee
2009 Chattanooga, TN
National Committee

2010 Hartford, CT
National Committee
2011 Omaha, NE
National Committee
2012 Rochester, NY
National Committee
2013 Reno, NV
National Committee
2014 Pittsburgh, PA
National Committee
2015 Chicago, IL (St. Charles)
National Committee
2016 Philadelphia, PA (Valley Forge)
National Committee
2017 Denver, CO
National Committee
2018 Manchester, NH
National Committee
2019 Louisville, KY
National Committee
2022 Dayton, OH
National Committee