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The Train Collectors Association is one of the world's largest and most prestigious collecting societies.

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Question mark - train.Finding Toy Train Answers

Need some help answering a question about toy trains? That's what TCA is all about!

Sometimes answers seem elusive and require some digging, but we have assembled some excellent sources of information which you can work with, and we're constantly working on more.

Lionel Trains book.In addition, fellow TCA members are very helpful in assisting their colleagues in delving into tricky questions!

Note: Some material is available only to TCA Members, such as the recently scanned Lionel Trains, Standard of the World 1900 - 1943, Second Edition, a classic authored by TCA experts. Join TCA and gain access to this and to a wide range of other membership benefits!

Here are some great sources of information:

  • TCA library.National Toy Train Library, a professionally managed facility with special services for members. (Sorry, we do not provide appraisal services, but can suggest sources.)
  • Online Catalog of TCA Reference Library holdings. Over 20,000 records including virtually all the Library's books and most of the 1200 photographs in the collection. Also included are manufacturers catalogs, advertising, newsletters, ¬†commemorative paper, posters and much more.¬† Each record contains detailed information about the item and search terms.
  • Consult Train Collectors Quarterly Archive, a searchable compilation of over fifty years of articles in TCA's quarterly magazine. The Archive has a special search system for these holdings. (Member Password required.)
  • TCA e*Train, a searchable online magazine with over a decade of articles, many dealing in considerable detail with toy train facts. Collecting, layouts, restoration, and more.
  • Toy Train Mailing List, a Yahoo online discussion group for members and non-members. Registration required. Authoritative members provide assistance.
  • TCA Standards. TCA has promulgated standards on grading, paper items, restored items, and other helpful guidance.
  • National Toy Train Museum has extensive operating layouts and thousands of historic and contemporary trains plus special exhibits.
  • Links to train makers and other train sites.
  • Ask another member. The Directory of members is available only to TCA members and password is required.
  • Beginners Basic Information. From our National Toy Train Museum site.
  • TCA Site Searches. We now offer Google Custom Search engines on our main TCA web sites. They are in the left column of each page. They search the public content of the respective sites. Password-protected pages are not covered by these search engines to preserve privacy. You can also use our multi-site search to look in multiple TCA sites in one pass.
Train Collectors Association Mission Statement:
"To develop an appreciation of and to preserve an important segment of history - Tinplate Toy Trains - through research, education, community outreach, fellowship, establishment of collecting standards, and to promote the growth and enjoyment of collecting and operating toy, model and scale trains."
Visit the other members of the TCA Family of Web Sites:
TCA Sites Gateway | Toy Train Museum & Library | TCA e*Train | TCA x-change 
Toy Trains Mailing List | TCA National Convention
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