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I am out in Seattle and here about TCA and York, I would like to hear more about the experience of the meet, the benefits you have enjoyed from attending as well as being a member of TCA.    I believe I can find a few local members for sponsorship, but wished to hear more prior.    I would possibly combine a NYC work trip into a York visit.


THank you in advance!

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Benefits of York (in no particular order):


1. 8 buildings of the York Fairgrounds filled with trains (3 dealer halls, 4 member halls, and a hall dedicated to a modular layout).  You can find anything and everything from high-end scale brass down to the simplest toy trains, as well as scenery, other types models, detail parts, electronics, tools, books, clothing, videos, real train memorabilia, all sorts of cottage industries, and a lot more.  Plus, UPS sets up a temporary shipping center on site to make it easy for out of town people to ship their goodies home.


2. Access to all of the major manufacturers.  You can talk directly with company officials and see their newest products and production samples before they hit the LHS shelves.


3. Informative seminars on just about every subject, including the excellent layout building meeting that was started and is run by a group of fellow forumites and sponsors, and the Friday afternoon OGR Grandstand Meet where the major manufacturers give short presentations and speeches on what they are up to (news mixed with a lot of good-natured fun).


4. Social interaction with thousands of other train enthusiasts, including the OGR Thursdays at Friday's (TGI Friday's on Kenneth Road) gathering on the Thursday night of York.  Always a fun time, and you get to meet lots of fellow forumites in person.


5. Pumpkin funnel cakes.


6. If you have a few days to spend, you are just a short drive (less than an hour) from Strasburg, PA.  Strasburg is the home of the Strasburg Railroad (tourist steam), the PA Railroad Museum (tons of great and historical locomotives and rolling stock), the Choo Choo Barn (a great layout that shouldn't be missed, and it is situated next to a nice train store), and the TCA Toy Train Museum (free admission for TCA members).  There are also a number of outlet complexes nearby for non-train shopping, although there is a train-themed store in one of the outlets.  And in the other direction from York, Gettysburg is not far for the Civil War buff (and the Gettysburg visitor info center is in a restored RR station ).


As for other TCA membership benefits, there is the quarterly magazine (not much interest for scale modelers, but I find it interesting from a historical perspective), the ability to purchase exclusive, members-only merchandise (mostly non-scale stuff, but occasionally something pops up of use to a scale modeller), and members-only buying and selling both in an on-line exchange and in print (another quarterly mailing).


As always, you will be the sole judge of whether or not membership has something to offer.  Also, keep in mind that you can go to York one time as the guest of a member (and many here on the forum would be happy to sign you in).



You will find train related merchandise at York that is only available there. Many cottage industry guys show at York exclusively as they get all the business they want there. I will give you two examples:


1. Jack Pearce with his lighted vehicles and passenger car lighting system.

2. Stan the tank man has oil industry storage tank systems.


Believe me, it is well worth the trip. Once you go, you will know the difference between York and all other train shows. I have never been disappointed by a York trip.

Some of you didn't read his post very well. He has business in NY, why would he fly into Baltimore or Washington?


He might be coming east early to attend the show. Then it might make sense to fly into BWI, drive to the show, and then drive to NYC.
On the other hand, he might be hitting the show at the end of his trip. Then he might drive to the show, and fly our of BWI. However, the last time I rented a car, I paid a premium to drop it off in a different location. For me, it was well worth the cost.


All of your advice has been helpful; I can hit NYC either end of the trip---the question is which end makes more sense and where to fly into.    Either way, I am driving... If I fly out to Newark on a Tuesday, I have two days in NYC [Wed/Thurs], drive to York on Thursday night and drive back Sunday am flying home at 5pm from Newark.


Not the most efficient, but its a direct from the left coast on a comfy airline and Dad has a million miles to use up....  Flts to NYC from Sea are late afternoon arrivals so I loose a whole day getting out east; the flt back is best: leaves about 5pm and reaches Seattle 9pm our time!

Brad, your schedule sounds perfect for a visit to York.  Friday is the longest day of the meet and will allow you to see quite a bit.  You can go back Saturday, or you can take Saturday and visit Strasburg in Lancaster County to see the stuff there.  If you plan on doing this (Strasburg), you may want to stay in Lancaster for two nights and drive to York on Friday (about a 45 minute drive, depending on traffic and road construction) - hotels are much cheaper in Lancaster during York week.




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