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The only reason I joined the TCA is for the sole benefit of being able to attend the York train shows on member only days.  

According to their membership benefits page, Train Meets is their #1 reason for joining (See picture). 

So I'm just curious, how many of you (attendees or vendors) joined the TCA for the sole benefit of attending one of their train meets (shows) around the country?

Have Fun!

Ron

 

 

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Last edited by Ron045
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@Ron045 posted:

 

So I'm just curious, how many of you (attendees or vendors) joined the TCA for the sole benefit of attending one of their train meets (shows) around the country?

 

 

 

Aside from York, the public (at least in my area) has always been able to attend local TCA shows. Usually a TCA member could get in a hour earlier (8 instead of 9). Most of the big shows around here, like Allentown, Greenberg, and WGH, are not TCA affiliated.

Interesting question. In the beginning half the train friends belonged to TCA to attend York and local meets. As they quit going to York almost all have dropped their memberships feeling the Divisions didn't offer enough to justify paying local and national dues.  

With the end of MTH will it change York attendance? Plus with the uncertainty of this virus issue will there be many meets at all in 2021? 

Last edited by BobbyD

I originally joined the TCA in 1989 to specifically go to the Eastern division meet in York . Started off going twice a year. Then they was a lapse of a number of years when I did not attend York . York will continue to evolve. Lionel does October now and MTH will be done this coming  April. How much that will eventually affect York is anyones guess. As it stands now and not knowing how train shows are going to fair in the future I do like the monthly publications they send out each month so I wil continue to be a member of the TCA. ....Paul 2

There are definitely "fair weather" members. 

I guess I should have fully expected it considering the way these discussions have gone in the past, but I was saddened a bit when I saw  one forum member mentioning being a former TCA member due to allowing his to lapse due to York being cancelled this year.

So I joined initially to go to York (paid membership at the door to join my first time), but I've certainly gotten enough enjoyment of the organization over the years, there is no way I am letting it lapse just because York doesn't happen due to the pandemic.

@Joe Hohmann posted:

Aside from York, the public (at least in my area) has always been able to attend local TCA shows. Usually a TCA member could get in a hour earlier (8 instead of 9). Most of the big shows around here, like Allentown, Greenberg, and WGH, are not TCA affiliated.

If you mean Atlantic Division meets, it has been that way for a while, but I'm pretty sure it was not always that way.  I want to guess that changed in the early 00's (maybe very late 90's), but I forget the exact year.

I'm thinking it may have opened to the public around the same time all the different venues were being tried out after the meets moved away from the Westover County Club.

-Dave

Last edited by Dave45681

I joined because my father and my uncle co-sponsored me back in the day when that was a thing.  I stayed because of the people, not the trains.  Desert Division for me has been a wonderful experience.  They have put up with my endless PRR presentations, 3rd Rail presentations, HO presentations and everything most of the members don't collect.  We have our first socially distanced meeting on the 12th and won't they be surprised with what I bring this time.  Well surprised or bored.  Take your pick.

As an aside I wrote the original bylaws amendment for approval of the national BOD to eliminate the two signature rule when I was a director.  No disrespect towards my family though as having two family members sponsor me was a very cool moment that I didn't appreciate at the time.

I originally joined TCA to sell trains at the Nor-Cal meets.  The monthly pre-covid Nor-Cal meets were open only to TCA members.  There haven't been any meets this year.

However, I maintain both my TCA and Nor-Cal membership because of all the wonderful friends that I have made.  I wouldn't have met any of these folks but for my TCA membership.  I have also had a great time at the two TCA National Conventions that I have attended.  I have never been to York.

For me the benefit of TCA membership boils down to:

1.  Wonderful friends who share my passion for trains of all types.  

2.  The opportunity to attend TCA only events.

3.  TCA National Conventions.

4.  I plan to go to York someday.  

NH Joe

Very interesting Question, actually, I joined to go to York with TCA members as a guest at first. I joined in 2003, attended York, was totally amazed at the Orange Hall, and all the other buildings, and the OGR Meeting in The Grandstands. Wow, a fantastic memory of a fantastic time, with Big Jim Bengert, whom passed away several years ago. We took a whirlwind tour of Howard Zanes fantastic home HO model railroad, SteamTown, in Scranton, drove past Gryzboski’s older store, and the great countryside of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and oh yes Dover Delaware, visiting “Just Trains”. I joined for going to York, but, all of the fun we had involved People, the most important ingredient of the TCA. We also went to Patterson New Jersey to see the most humongous layout we’ve ever been to, “The New Jersey’s Hi Railers layout, unbelievable..... It’s about the people.... I love the booklets like the headquarters news, (Newsletter), “the train collectors quarterly”. Trains are fun and there’s a lot of knowledge of our toy trains in the TCA. A great organization of fun to meet people. Great thread. Happy Railroading Everyone 

I joined back in 2010 to go to York. I was sponsored by two people on this forum (names withheld to protect the guilty parties), and was probably one of the last who had to be sponsored. However, even without York this year (never been to another TCA train show) I kept my membership. Here is why:

-Support the museum (a great place and good source of obscure information)

-Keep my TCA number (add credibility if needed when selling stuff)

-Support their efforts to keep young people in the hobby (I don't want to be doing this by myself in 50 years. If this quarantine has taught me anything, its that this hobby is more fun with others). 

-The quarterly magazine

Are any of these reasons alone enough to maintain membership? No, not at the price they are asking a year. However, many other organizations are charging this much to belong to a museum and you don't get all these other benefits! Because of this, I think it is still worth it, and plan to continue my membership for a long time.  

@RoyBoy posted:

I joined in 1972. In Minneapolis at that time, TCA was the only game in town.

I joined TCA in late 1972 ... and TTOS at the same time.  TTOS was a pretty strong national organization then - but most particularly in the west.  I lived in the Bay Area at the time.

My membership in TCA (and TTOS, et. al.) is not related to the "ability" to attend train meets.

Not initially (I've been a TCA member since 1983.)  I guess during the '90s and early 2000s there were a few years where I re-upped my membership just because of York.

After several years I realized that LOTS and LCCA are more operator-oriented, and maybe a better fit for what interests me about the Hobby.  But we have a fairly active local TCA chapter, and the national headquarters research library is a great resource that I hope to make more use of in the future.

I don't have the time to take an active role in more than one group, so I probably won't change horses at this point.

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