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ALL ABOARD FOR THE NEW LIONEL VISITORS CENTER IN CHESTERFIELD, MICH.

 CHESTERFIELD, Mich., Nov. 19 ~PRNewswire~ -- The new Lionel Trains Visitors Center at company headquarters in Chesterfield (north of Mount Clemens), was officially opened to the public today by Lionel Chairman and CEO Richard Kughn and President Nicholas DeGrazia.
 "All of us at Lionel are thrilled to be able to share the magic of toy trains with the public through the completion and opening of this new Visitors Center," said Kughn, a Detroit-area real estate developer and train enthusiast who purchased the company in 1986.
 Lionel Employees 'Engineer' Visitors Center
 The Visitors Center is a long-time dream of Lionel Trains employees who conceived the idea, designed the plans and won approval for the construction from Lionel management. Over a period of four months, an area of office space in the Lionel headquarters was renovated by more than 60 employees, their relatives and friends, who volunteered their time and talents during after-work hours and on weekends to complete the project.
 Six gallons of liquid polymer, 3,000 square feet of hardware cloth, 100 square feet of foam styrene insulation board and a 4-foot-high stack of Wall Street Journals were used to create the rock formation base for the display layout. A combination of 13 transformers powers the trains and accessories.
 Focal point of the display is the 560-square-foot operating layout, complete with activation buttons that allow visitors to control the action. The layout has over 1,000 feet of track and 7,775 feet of wire (over 1 mile) and more than 5,000 hand-cut and painted track ties.
 Atop the 14-foot by 40-foot layout, 10 Lionel trains run simultaneously on a series of tracks, moving rhythmically through miniature villages with old-fashioned store fronts, past crossing gates flanked by cars and pedestrians and into tiny railroad stations. Suspended from the ceiling and running on a track that circles the perimeter of the Visitors Center is a Lionel Large Scale(R) operating train and a standard gauge train.
 A tour of the Lionel Visitors Center begins with a 10-minute film that covers the 91-year history of the company and looks at a variety of Lionel trains and the current manufacturing process.
 Also featured is a 52-foot-long display case filled with Lionel memorabilia that traces the history of the company back to 1900 and Joshua Lionel Cowen, the founder of Lionel Trains.
 At the end of the tour the "Sidetracks" gift shop is available for those who wish to take home a souvenir of their visit to Lionel Trains.
 Tour Hours
 Tours of the Visitors Center will be offered four days a week -- Wednesday through Saturday, with special hours added for the holidays. Wednesday and Thursday tours are at 3 and 4 p.m., Friday at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. and Saturday at 9 and 10 a.m. Expanded hours between Thanksgiving and Christmas include Saturdays at 11 a.m. and noon, and Sundays at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. Reservations are required. For more information or to arrange a tour, call 313-949-4100, Ext. 1211.
 -0- 11~19~92
 ~NOTE: Photos of the Lionel Visitors Center are available upon request. Contact Jean Dichting at 313-567-5014, and photos will be sent by overnight mail.
 CONTACT: Jean Dichting, 313-567-5014, or Dorothy Langan, 313-567-5042, both of Anthony M. Franco, Inc., for Lionel Trains, Inc.~


CO: Lionel Trains, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: LEI SU:

SM -- DE001 -- 2661 11~19~92 07:59 EST
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Date:Nov 19, 1992
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