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

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Frequently Asked Member Questions

Contacting the National Business Office How to Sign Up a Kids Club Member
Contacting TCA Officers Visiting National Toy Train Museum
Updating Your Membership Information Technical Questions About Toy Trains
Get Application to Join TCA Getting Identags for Reproduction Parts
I'm Not Receiving TCA Mailings How Report Division/Chapter Meet Dates
  Purchasing Advertising in TCA Publications
When Are the York Meet Dates Making Donations to TCA
Getting Back Issues of TTCQ Submitting Material for Publication
How Much Are My Trains Worth Mailing Offers to Members
Dealing with Transaction Disputes  

 

Answers

How to Contact the National Business Office
Dial 717 687-8623, and ask for the desired person. For more information on contacting TCA for specific purposes, including common TCA email addresses and mailing address, go here. Staff are pleased to assist members. Normal business hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Eastern Time. Please have your TCA member number ready.

How to Contact an Officer
When calling a National Officer, Committee Member, Division or Chapter Secretary, please remember that these people are volunteers and that you are calling them at home. Contact information for these people can be found in the Membership Directory (available to members only by password). You may also consult Divisional Websites for local contacts.

How to update my address and other information?
Please notify the TCA of any change in your address, phone number, area code or e-mail address. You can do this easily online by logging in to traincollectors.org and updating your Profile (preferred, fastest method), or call the National Business Office at 717 687-8623, or write to us at PO Box 248, Strasburg, PA 17579 or via FAX at 717 687-0742.

How to get an application form to join TCA?
Applications for membership are available here. Or call the National Business Office at 717 687-8623 to have one mailed to you. Chapter and Division Secretaries also have applications available, so you may also contact your local representative.

Why I am not receiving my TCA mailings?
If you know that your membership is current but you are not receiving your National Headquarters News or Train Collectors Quarterly, be sure that we have your correct address on file by contacting the National Business Office. If you are receiving all TCA mailings except the Quarterly, you may have inadvertently checked "Limited Household Mailing" on your renewal notice (or "Would you like to limit US Mail?" if you renewed online). Simply log in to traincollectors.org and change your mailing preference.

When are the York Meet dates?
Volunteers from the Eastern Division handle the York Meet. Any questions regarding registration or rules should be directed to the contacts listed in their meet notice (see their website here: easterntca.com).

Are back issues of the Train Collectors Quarterly available?
You can request back issues of the Quarterly by contacting the Librarian at ref-library@traincollectors.org or 717 687-8976. There may be a charge to cover mailing costs. Note that we also maintain an online archive of all previous issues in PDF form in the password-protected section here.

How much are my trains worth?
Neither the staff at the National Toy Train Museum, National Toy Train Library, nor the National Business Office can give specific values for trains and accessories, but may direct you to the appropriate price guides and how to obtain a copy.

How do I get help with a transaction dispute with another member?
Sometimes transactions do not end as expected and it can be helpful to have third-party mediation. If communication has broken down and you are not satisfied, your first step is to find the Membership Complaint Form printed in each National Headquarters News. Complaints must be submitted in writing. Be sure to get all the details organized and make contact promptly. More information, including general advice, the form, and the underlying TCA rules, can be found here.

How do I sign someone up for the TCA Kids Club?
The TCA has a special membership for children. A TCA member can sponsor any child for Kids Club membership by submitting a simple form. Kids Club members receive a certificate, membership card, newsletter and an easy transition into full TCA membership.  Indeed, on turning 18, a former Kids Club member can become a full TCA member by paying only half of whatever the dues are at that point until his or her 24th birthday. You can find a form to join the Kids Club  in the National Headquarters News or submit your information by web form.

When can I visit the National Toy Train Museum?
Active TCA members and their immediate family are always welcome to visit the public areas of the museum during normal hours of operation. Admission is free with a current membership card. See our hours here.

Who can help answer a question about toy trains' style, production, use or repair?
The National Toy Train Library is an excellent resource for even obscure toy train-related research. The Librarian and Committee Members are on hand to assist. To ask a question or to confirm hours before visiting, please call 717 687-8976 or e-mail to ref-library@traincollectors.org.

Where can I get Identags for marking reproduction parts?
The Association requires that all reproduction parts that are major components and large enough to mark without damaging the piece be marked as a reproduction with either the manufacturer's logo or "R" visible on a cursory examination. To sell these reproduction trains and train parts at TCA meets or by ad in TCA publications, a Standards Committee Inspection Report must be completed by a Standards Committee member. Contact the appropriate Standards Committee member to complete this report. Contact the National Business Office at 717 687-8623 or at tcaoffice@traincollectors.org to have Identags mailed to you at no charge.

How do I report meet dates for my division or chapter?
If you are an officer or meet chairperson of a division or chapter, you can report meet dates, times and locations for publication in the National Headquarters News and here on the TCA website by submitting a form. To receive a digital copy of this form, please contact the Publications Editor at 717 687-8623 or at hqeditor@traincollectors.org.

How do I purchase advertising in TCA publications?
While only TCA members can advertise trains or train-related items, non-train businesses can advertise in TCA publications as well.  Information on advertising rates, requirements and deadlines is printed in the Newsletter. Contact the Publications Editor at 717 687-8623 or at hqeditor@traincollectors.org with other questions and to place an ad.

How do I make a donation to the TCA?
The TCA is a non-profit organization (501 (c)3 and Pennsylvania Tax Exempt) and thrives on contributions. The major part of our educational mission is fulfilled through the National Toy Train Museum and the National Toy Train Library.

Visitors to the National Toy Train Museum web site may make donations for support of the National Toy Train Library or the Museum itself. The Museum and Library may also consider accepting certain donations of property, such as trains and magazines. Please contact the National Business Office at 717 687-8623 for information or to make arrangements.

Members. General information on supporting TCA to defray the cost of member benefits, including online donations, or to support TCA's educational mission, may  be found on here. TCA members considering any type of donation should go there for more information.

How can I submit something for publication in the Train Collectors Quarterly or e-Train?
Historical articles and letters to the Quarterly editor may be submitted to Mark Boyd, P.O. Box 21043, Castro Valley, CA 94546, or via e-mail, tcquarterly-editor@traincollectors.org.  Articles for the e-Train may be submitted to Bob Mintz at bobmintz@comcast.net .

I am a member manufacturer. How can I mail an offering to the membership?
Mailing labels for interested TCA members are available at a nominal charge. Contact the Membership Services Coordinator at 717 687-8623 or at membership@traincollectors.org for pricing and ordering. When renewing dues, members have the option of being included in these mailings or not.

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."
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