With constant support from model railroading clubs all over the country, Lionel Trains has led the toy train industry with innovative engineering, flawless manufacturing and superior customer service for over 115 years. The 2015-2016 Ambassador Program was a success and helped us make greater strides in the toy train industry. With that success, we are excited to announce the program will be returning for the 2016-2017 year.
After two months of reviewing submission forms for the program, the Lionel team narrowed the field down to ten clubs that we felt would best represent Lionel Trains as ambassadors for the 2016-2017 year.
The Ambassador program extends exclusive benefits to these clubs to assist them in their mission to grow the hobby and pass on the “Magic of the Trains” to the next generation.
Want to know what the Lionel Club Ambassadors are up to in your area? Be sure to check out this page often for an update on upcoming events!
Chicagoland Association of S Gaugers
Number of members: 74
An S – Gauge club for over 39 years, the Chicagoland Association of S Gaugers have been running/displaying Lionel American Flyer equipment on average 9 shows a year. They promote the model railroad hobby and educate the public on model railroading, scene construction, S Gauge Hi-Rail and scale and Lionel conventional and Legacy operation and benefits. The club has several outings per year to museums, layouts and full scale train events. They rotate with 3 other S Gauge clubs hosting the Fall S Fest event in October
The CASG is returning to the program for the second year.
Chicagoland Lionel Railroad Club
New Lenox, IL
Number of members: 134
The Chicagoland Lionel Railroad Club has had a close working relationship for more than 10 years and is a return ambassador for 2016-2017. Since acquiring their new clubhouse in New Lenox, IL over 10 years ago, the club has developed a strong recognition in the south suburban Chicago area through nine monthly open houses, articles published in local print media and stories broadcasted on Chicago television news programs. The centerpiece of the open houses and the attraction for the news media is the clubs main floor layout – the largest interactive club layout in the mid-west – where Lionel Trains are run throughout the day, along with Lionel operating accessories. Also operating during open houses is a smaller layout on the mezzanine where children under the supervision of a club member can run the trains.
Golden Gate American Flyer Club
Number of members: 50
The Golden Gate American Flyer Club has been actively promoting American Flyer and S- Gauge model railroading since 1970. The club features a modular group that runs trains for the public. They exhibit their modules at three or four Great Train Shows around the Bay Area each year and take advantage of other opportunities as they surface. In October of 2014, they were invited by the world renowned San Francisco Exploratorium science museum to run trains as part of a toy-themed festival.. Every third year the GGAF hosts the Flyer Fest West, rotating with two other clubs.
Nassau Lionel Operating Engineers
Number of members: 41
The Nassau Lionel Operating Engineers, Inc. have been an established member of the community since 1983. During that time, the club averages 10 open house days a year and takes their portable modular layout to four community events annually, benefiting local community organizations and veteran groups.
Each holiday season, the members of NLOE construct static displays in at least four public libraries featuring Lion trains – ranging from pre-war to modern era.
New Jersey Hi-Railers
Number of members: 50+
The NJ HiRailers Model Railroad Club is a 501© 3 organization located in located in the historic Bunker Hill section of Paterson, New Jersey and houses the countries largest O scale layout that measures 285 long and 35 feet wide. In addition, the club houses television host Tom Snyder’s Standard Gauge layout and the famous Soprano’s layout that was located in Bobby Baccalieri (Steve Schirripa) garage
The layout continues to evolve with major enhancements being completed in 2016. They have expanded the use of TMCC and Legacy technology to the entire layout and are in the process of adding the Legacy technology to their Millhouse River Turntable. The NJ Hi Railers pride themselves on the dedication provided to members for the best operating experience which can be seen through their webcams and in the faces of their visitors.
This is the second year that the NJ Hi Railers represent Lionel as an Ambassador.
Queen City Hi-Railers
Number of members: 40
With the largest traveling modular “O” gauge layout in the Midwest, the Queen City Hi-Railers are regular participants in large local train shows. With their very flexible modular layout, they can tailor operations and displays to fit local community events. Along with their well-established holiday season of shows, they continue to look to expand their exposure by participating in shows outside of the Fall/Winter season and beyond local markets.
In addition to their traveling display, they maintain a stationary layout at the QCHR clubroom for member use, club recruitment and to develop enhancements to the club operations. The QCHR club rents a space in a community building, where, along with four other local model train clubs, there exists an “unofficial” regional group of model railroading. Together, these clubs organize an annual train club open house to share their love for model railroading.
TMB Model Train Club
Number of members: 81
TMB Model Train Club membership consists of approximately 80 men and women that love O-gauge trains. The club rents a location of 4000 sq. ft. in Farmingdale, NY. Since 2013 the membership has been in the process of constructing a layout. Currently in operation are 2 mainlines, 2 branch lines, and a subway system. Currently under construction are the logging line as well as various scenery and wiring projects needed to complete the layout.
Members usually meet each Friday night to work on the layout or run trains. Work and run sessions can vary depending on the time of year. The months between November and February are mostly geared toward run session whereas the remainder of year is mostly devoted to construction, maintenance, and scenery work.
The club also has a modular layout that is used to promote the club at various community events, and train meets around Long Island. The modular layout has also toured various schools for the disabled and the veteran’s hospital bringing the love of trains to those individuals that are unable to make it to our annual open houses.
Toy Train Operating Society – Southern Pacific Division
Costa Mesa, CA
Number of members: 200
The TTOS Southern Pacific Division are an operating group that focuses on getting families into the toy train hobby and keeping people in the hobby through running and collecting trains, and creating and building portable layouts.
As a division of the Toy Train Operating society, TTOS and the Pacific Division are continually looking for opportunities to promote and educate the public through the use of their Lionel and American Flyer layouts and displays.
One member, Jeff Meyers developed the concept of the “All Aboard FasTrackers” squares that are now used at shows with over already built (www.allaboardfastrackers.com). These small layouts can be run at home, at small venues or added to other squares to make bigger layouts. In addition, Myers teaches and trains enthusiasts using the Command Control System.
Toy Train Operating Society – Silver State Division
Boulder City, Nevada
Number of members: 26
Founded in 1983, the Silver State Division of the Toy Train Operating Society is the only 3-rail O-Gauge club with a large permanent layout in Nevada. The layout is inside a refurbished 1912 Pullman passenger car. In 2003, the Nevada State Railroad Museum along with the Friends of the Nevada Southern Railway- Model Railroaders partnered with the Silver State division to refurbish and operate a Lionel train layout in the “Club Car.” It officially opened for public weekend visits in 2013. The club also operates a scenic 5 x 32 four tier layout that is fully wired with TMCC and Legacy.
In addition to the Club Car and local events, the Silver State Division started a Boy Scout Merit Badge program with the NSRM and the Friends.
Wichita Toy Train Club
Number of members: 75
The Wichita Toy Train Club and Museum is dedicated to promoting model railroading in the Wichita area and south Kansas. The club currently hosts open houses on the 2nd and 4th weekend of each month and the current building has 4000 square feet of layouts. The “O” gauge layout includes hands on learning for kids.
In addition to the 4000 square feet of layouts the club features an “O” and “S” gauge traveling modular layout that are taken to various events and train shows in the area. They dedicate themselves as an organization that loves the model railroad hobby.
Great efforts have been made by all our 2015-2016 Lionel Club Ambassadors in sharing the "Magic of the Trains". One Club Ambassador stands out in creating events and sharing in the excitement of what is unique about their train club. The winner for 2015-2016 is:
Chicagoland Lionel Railroad Club in New Lenox, IL
The information about the clubs is provided by them and may or may not be accurate depending on changes in membership, 501c status, etc.. Lionel is sharing their content and not validating it’s accuracy.