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TTCS is (or was) a small toy train club primarily based out of New York. I have been a member for over twenty years although I live in Massachusetts because I wanted to support the club. I renewed my membership last year but have not heard much from them lately.  Their website contains a cryptic statement:

"Special Notice. The Toy Train Collectors Society Board of Directors met on Sunday 09/26/2021 and
voted to begin scheduling the remaining shows for our Club. "

The implication seems to be that the club has disbanded. I have reached out to board members but have heard nothing back. Does anyone have an update? I would feel bad if they disbanded.  They were a small club with 500 members at their peak. Think of them as a New York based TTOS but independent.

https://ttcsltd.org/

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Well, I finely heard back from the TTCS member director. The good news is the TTCS is still around, although perhaps a bit smaller. I also found out I am the only member in Massachusetts.  Although they are small, the TTCS has historically been very active with shows in upstate New York from Utica to Buffalo.  If you do live in western New York you may want to consider joining. Membership is only $18 a year.

I’m in Massachusetts and looking to find something a little closer is there any others? I’m southeast MA.

Are you looking to join? The nearest shows are the Utica shows in January. Where I think the potential could be of the TTCS is perhaps is if we as a club could plan uncatalogued locomotives and cars. @JR Junction Train & Hobby based in Syracuse, would be a natural partner.

TTCS was one of those clubs where many joined just so they could get tables at some really excellent train shows across central and western New York State.

Back when I was actively buying and selling trains, I always did the TTCS shows in Utica at the old train station every January, Oneonta in late August, and others in the Syracuse area.

Utica always amazed me as we might get 6 to 10 inches of snow during the show, but people would still be pouring in the door all day long. Hardy folk!!!

The Rochester and Buffalo area shows were a little far away for me, but were also excellent shows.

Good times.

Jim

Last edited by Jim Policastro

TTCS was one of those clubs where many joined just so they could get tables at some really excellent train shows across central and western New York State.

Back when I was actively buying and selling trains, I always did the TTCS shows in Utica at the old train station every January, Oneonta in late August, and others in the Syracuse area.

Utica always amazed me as we might get 6 to 10 inches of snow during the show, but people would still be pouring in the door all day long. Hardy folk!!!

The Rochester and Buffalo area shows were a little far away for me, but were also excellent shows.

Good times.

Jim

The Utica show is a great show. I haven't been to it since I left New York back in 2014 to return to Massachusetts. K&K Train and Hobby in Utica NY was wonderful train shop in its day. At one time, the Utica area had three train shops: K&K Train, another one in New Hartford and one in nearby Vernon NY. Now there are none with the closet one @JR Junction Train & Hobby .

Does anyone remember the late Charlie Brown who ran a train shop in North Syracuse twenty years or so ago? Very nice man Rest In Peace.

The TTCS was around in the early 1980s, perhaps earlier.  The Rochester show was quite large and held in sizable venues, but has shrunk considerably over the years.  I suspect the club was affected by the internet sales of the 1990s and later, and perhaps the aging out of the original founders.  They have largely been replaced in Rochester by a large Rochester Institute of Technology two day show in December, and occasional shows by the relatively new TCA Upstate division largely operating out of Buffalo.  I think the growth of the Syracuse show in November has also taken over some of the audience.   There was once a vibrant TTOS division in Rochester as well that went dark when no one stepped forward to take over running it from long-time leaders.  The TTOS division in Buffalo remains very active with layout tours and shows.

@Landsteiner posted:

The TTCS was around in the early 1980s, perhaps earlier.  The Rochester show was quite large and held in sizable venues, but has shrunk considerably over the years.  I suspect the club was affected by the internet sales of the 1990s and later, and perhaps the aging out of the original founders.  They have largely been replaced in Rochester by a large Rochester Institute of Technology two day show in December, and occasional shows by the relatively new TCA Upstate division largely operating out of Buffalo.  I think the growth of the Syracuse show in November has also taken over some of the audience.   There was once a vibrant TTOS division in Rochester as well that went dark when no one stepped forward to take over running it from long-time leaders.  The TTOS division in Buffalo remains very active with layout tours and shows.

I assume you were a member at one time?  The Syracuse show is a large show as well. Interesting comment on the TTOS... I think it has gone dark in other places besides Rochester.  However, they seem to have a website again!

https://www.ttos.org/

But not much information... no shows listed, no club specific cars and locomotives for sale... You can't join the TTOS from the website either... The short train video shows a train running on 2-rail, not 3-rail track...BUT... you can sign up for their newsletter, which I did.

Last edited by Madockawando

The TTCS shows were always good and the Utica show is definitely the best TTCS show in New York State (today).  It is second only to the Syracuse (Great NYS Model Train Fair) www.modeltrainfair.com which is not only by far the largest but the oldest model train show in the state and second largest public show of its type in the northeast.

Charlie Brown (owner of North Syracuse Train & Hobby) ran the TTCS Syracuse “Empire State Meet” for many years at the (then) Sheraton Hotel on Electronics Parkway in Liverpool.  I’m not sure when it was started because I was a young child attending the shows back in the early ‘80s.  When he retired from running the show, Gerrit Vanderwerff took over and moved the show to the Knights of Columbus hall on State Fair Blvd. where I believe it only lasted no more than one or two years.

The best part of the TTCS Utica show in the 1980’s as a child was getting on an Amtrak Rohr Turbo Train in Syracuse and going to the beautiful Utica Union Station where it was SO crowded, it was almost impossible to make it through the narrow aisles.

At the fairgrounds, besides a few failed attempted train shows put on by a outside traveling show promoter, ALL model train shows on the State Fairgrounds was sponsored and run by the Central New York Chapter National Railway Historical Society Inc..  This year will be the 47th year.

As for Utica hobby stores, K&K Train & Hobby was a great store and sorely missed today.  If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have worked for them and later purchased their Syracuse (Liverpool) satellite store and remain in business for nearly 23 years.

Madockawando, thanks for the kind mention.

@trnluvr posted:

Did you work for them when they started out on Sunset ave.?

Doug

The K and K Train store started out on Sunset Avenue in Utica when the Koury brothers bought an already old Lionel train store at that location.  Regardless, the the roots of the of K and K store go deep into Utica history.  All gone now, @JR Junction Train & Hobby is all that is left of their legacy. And I am happy to say that @JR Junction Train & Hobby does a wonderful job of keeping up the tradition of the best of K and K.

@trnluvr posted:

After seeing this thread I just learned a big part of the TTCS and Utica train show has passed. You could always spot him at the show wearing his conductors uniform. I believe he brought one of the layouts and his kids would operate it while he ran his spot selling trains.

Doug



https://www.legacy.com/us/obit...obituary?id=34961363

I remember Richard Wielgosz. Rest in Peace and thank you for your contributions to our hobby!

Very cool Lou! Do you have any insight on how TTCS formed?

No real insight.  I do remember the newsletters ad show flyers always came from Lou Bohn.  I joined in the 80's because at the time Buffalo and Rochester didn't seem so far away from Cleveland.  And in the early 80's information about collecting was beginning to grow.  So I took the chance and got a life membership.

Lou N

@Lou N posted:

No real insight.  I do remember the newsletters ad show flyers always came from Lou Bohn.  I joined in the 80's because at the time Buffalo and Rochester didn't seem so far away from Cleveland.  And in the early 80's information about collecting was beginning to grow.  So I took the chance and got a life membership.

Lou N

I don't think lifetime membership is available right now... correct?

@trnluvr posted:

Did you work for them when they started out on Sunset ave.?

Doug

No, but I was a customer there shortly after Ziggy sold the business to George and Bill.  I worked some Saturdays and most Mondays (Danny’s day off) at the French Road location.  George mostly had me “merchandising” the shelves because he liked how did it.

Last edited by JR Junction Train & Hobby

No, but I was a customer there shortly after Ziggy sold the business to George and Bill.  I worked some Saturdays and most Mondays (Danny’s day off) at the French Road location.  George mostly had me “merchandising” the shelves because he liked how did it.

Ziggy!!! I remember that name although I never met him, he was before my time. What was the name of Ziggy's shop? How long was it there?

Last edited by Madockawando

In Texas, 250 miles is considered a very short trip.  I drive farther than that for pie.

Yessir! 250 miles is a piece of cake...uh...er...I mean pie.

My daily record so far in the Land Yacht is 648 miles in 12 hours, from Boston, MA to Hubbard, Ohio, with a short detour in central PA to an RV Park where we didn't fit. We decided to keep heading west on I-80 and stayed the night at the Truck World truck stop in Hubbard.

Sorry to hear about Richard W. Always remember him hanging up his extensive display of tee shirts before every Utica show as well as setting up his layout.

Others members that I remember were Joe Borio - great guy - always had some really nice postwar, and Wendell French and his wife. They were encyclopedias of postwar knowledge. If you had a question whether something was original, they were the ones to ask.

Jim

Last edited by Jim Policastro

Since I live about 45 minutes east of Utica and it was part of my sales territory, I frequented K&K Trains regularly. I still have things I purchased there that I now come across with the K&K on the price tag. I remember Bill as one of the owners, but Dan was my go to guy. He was knowledgeable and was always helpful when I needed crazy stuff. I am now retired, but when in Syracuse, I try to get to JR Junction. I have some things on my layout from that store.  Bill

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