Märklin Inc. celebrates LGB's 50th anniversary

Event in California featured special LGB displays, museum tours, a charity fundraiser, and much more
RELATED TOPICS: MARKLIN | LGB
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A Grizzly Flats volunteer educates attendees about the restoration work being done on the Grizzly Flats Chloe locomotive.
Steven Stepanek
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Chloe’s first class passenger car, No. 7
Stephen van Cleave
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The LGB 50th anniversary RhB class Ge 4/4 II Electric Locomotive on display. (Look for a review of this product in the December 2018 issue of Garden Railways.)
Stephen van Cleave
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LGB new items displayed on old railroad steamer trunks.
Steven Stepanek
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A large display of LGB memorabilia from the Richter family was shipped over for the event.
Steven Stepanek
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The Märklin, Inc. team in gray shirts and OERM board member, John Mobley, in front of the Chloe locomotive
Ken Mitchroney
On September 2, 2018, Märklin, Inc., the North American Subsidiary of Gebr. Märklin & Cie. GmbH, celebrated the 50th anniversary of LGB with a special event for LGB Club members and enthusiasts at the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California.

Events celebrating LGB’s 50th anniversary were held in Germany and Hungary earlier this year, and this was the premiere event held in North America. Märklin, Inc. general manager, Gale Cousins, said he decided to hold the event at the Orange Empire Railway Museum (OERM) because, “It is the official home of Ward Kimball’s Baldwin-built locomotive, Chloe. As a proud sponsor of the Chloe Restoration Project, Märklin, Inc. could help raise money for continued restoration.”

Ward Kimball, an animator for Walt Disney, and his wife Betty donated their backyard Grizzly Flats Railroad collection to OERM. Chloe was built in 1907 and was originally a workhorse for Hawaiian Waimanalo Sugar Company. OERM is working hard to get Chloe up and running again, but it is a big project.

The entire team of Märklin, Inc. employees from the United States attended, and a special guest from Märklin Germany, Janko Franke, Export Manager, was in also in attendance.

Approximately 175 people attended the event. In-N-Out Burgers and custom cupcakes with LGB’s 50th logo were served. OERM and Grizzly Flats provided a team of volunteers to help with the event. There were docent-led tours of the museum, trolley rides that ran continually, and a train that left on the hour taking passengers into town and back. LGB new products were on display including the new models of the Grizzly Flats Chloe locomotive and passenger cars. A digital presentation helped LGB modelers learn more about running trains digitally on their layouts, and a collection of historic LGB memorabilia was on display. There was also a variety of products for sale, including LGB 50th logo baseball hats, beer steins, coffee mugs and polo shirts.

Among the attendees of the event, were members of Ward and Betty Kimball’s family. Stacy Cousins, Marketing Manager for Märklin, Inc., said, “We were very touched to have been contacted by the Kimball family and have them in attendance at our event.”

To raise money for the Chloe Restoration Project, Märklin, Inc. sponsored a few different fundraisers during the event. There was a silent auction of collectible items belonging to LGB founder, Wolfgang Richter. Janko Franke announced the winners of the silent auction items and spoke about the connection these items had to Wolfgang Richter and LGB’s history. Two different raffles were held, one for LGB 50th logo products and a raffle of special LGB items, including a complete Chloe train and one-of-a-kind Grizzly Flats Railroad boxcars made by a friend of the museum specifically for the event. All of the proceeds from the silent auction and raffles went to the Chloe Restoration Project.

For more information about LGB garden trains and the LGB Grizzly Flats models visit www.lgb.com. To learn more about the Orange Empire Railway Museum and the Chloe Restoration Project, visit www.oerm.org.

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