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Hi Group

After hearing about this world known show I have decided to attend this year show on April 16, 2016. Since this is my first time any tips, suggestion and or comments are welcome.  I know that you have to be TCA member to get into the show.   The is what I trying to do at the York Show:

1) Get the York Train show experience.

2) I am looking for expand my PRR collection and since this is PA any suggestion on which vendor might have what I looking for.

4) If I can meet some some of your folks that would be nice as well.

5) Will there be any O Gauge layouts from the any of the clubs to see?

6) Since this show is huge and my time is only one day any suggestion on where to concentrate my time in any specific hall or halls?

7) Did Eastern Division TCA make a list of vendors and table map or is it to earlier to get a copy of that information?




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Hi Kris    York is the best and you can find information on the Eastern Division of the TCA website. Read through Clem's Primer. I see you are going on Saturday the 16th. Get there early as the vendors are looking to leave around noon. If possible you should try to go on Friday the 15th as it is a full day and you will have a chance to visit most if not all of the buildindgs. If your interests are mostly modern the Orange hall has the most, the blue and silver have mostly post & pre war. I go on the chartered buses from Long Island and NYC so I'm there only Friday. You are allowed to go to York once as a guest of a member. The eastern division website will post vendor locations when we get near the date. Many vendors will have Pennsy stuff. If you have any other questions my email is in my profile.      Lenny

My $0.02:

1)  If you can only go Saturday, get there early so you can go right in when the doors open.  The halls will not be crowded, but the meet ends at 2 p.m. and people do start packing (to various degrees) around noon.  Plus, they have free coffee and a doughnut before the meet opens on Saturday in the entry area for Orange Hall.

2)  Finding PRR stuff will be no problem.  You will run out of money long before you run out of PRR stuff to buy.

4)  Keep an eye on the York section of the forum - sometimes a thread gets started to list locations of table-holders (I'm usually in Blue Hall).  You will run into some people at the OGR booth in Orange Hall, but the best place to meet fellow forumites is the OGR gathering at Quaker Steak & Lube on Thursday night (if you were going Thursday).

5)  There are usually 1-3 club layouts, and they can be in Orange, Black, and White halls, depending on a number of factors.  Announcements on how many clubs and where they will be set up are made closer to the meet.  Also, MTH, Lionel and Atlas have small demonstration layouts in Orange Hall.

6)  If you are looking for modern production, I would start with Orange, Brown and Purple Halls (the dealer halls).  Used modern stuff can also be found in the member halls (Red, White, Blue, Silver) at sometimes very good prices.  If you are looking for postwar, the member halls are the place to be.

7)  There are dealer hall charts available on the Eastern Division's web site.  They do not change much from meet to meet (all the big vendors are in the same locations), so you can look at the ones from the Fall meet until the updated charts are available.

There is a lot of useful information on the web site above (7), so I suggest spending some time there so you can formulate a good plan of attack.   And I highly recommend bringing a copy of the fairgrounds map with you.  I forgot it on my second trip to York and I almost forgot to hit the White Hall (and a great bargain I found there).


This wasn't asked, but I would add that with such a small time to spend there, if you see something on your list, and it is at a fair price, you should buy it when you see it, rather than a)trying to remember where it was later, b)knowing for sure the place you saw it won't be packed up later and c) no one else bought it while you were thinking about it.

It is imperative that you are familiar with the items on your list, what is a fair realized price, and how often you see the item come up for sale.


If your collection is just growing a bit and you are looking for anything PRR (not specific pieces), you will probably find a good deal on something.



Thank you one and all.

No I am not really a collector. I just run the trains on my carpet layout at home a few times a year. I just want to upgrade my freight car PRR collection from MPC era to modern era.

Item # 3 was a PRR GG-1 MTH 30-5116, 30-2540-1 or 30-5118.

Thank you for the advice about going on Friday instead of Saturday boy would I have been mad.  Let me talk to the wife and see if she is o.k. with me take off from work for the show and then inform my employer that I would like to take off and see if they grant it.

I see a few items come every now and then at some of the show up here in the NYC area. I purchased four PRR freight cars  from Grzyboski's at the Amherst show on Sunday.

Kris , You are receiving some great advice here . Andy Hummell's is spot on . I would add to be mindful that the member's halls close earlier than the dealers halls . The member's @ 4.30 pm and the dealers @6.30 pm. Since you are looking for more modern rolling stock , you should do very well in the dealer halls. I didn't catch if you are already a member of the TCA or not. If you are , then you should register on line before you go . Sometimes the line to register at the meet can be long and you really do not want to waste any time doing this . If you need to join the TCA , do it now , do not wait until you get there . You will be like a kid in a candy shop on Christmas morning when you see this meet . Jim

Jim berger, I have been going to York  on Sunday or Monday for 39 years +. We do a ton of things to keep busy till Thursday noon. (It used to start at the fairground's on Friday till about 10 years ago) We do the outlets in Lancaster, Christmas tree stores on the way to Gettysburg. Eat lots of good food, All the bandit shows, Go to a baseball game in Baltimore, Go to Wegmans get some great pastry, visit Strasburg. Think that's enough?

Last edited by eddie g

Thank you one all for the wonderful tips.

Thank you for correcting my verbal as this a meet not a show. I am not a member of TCA,  I will reg as a member before the show to avoid the lines and I will also  purchase my ticket in advance for meet in advance as well to avoid the lines. Got it bring cash not CC. O.K so this is the place to do  "Let make a deal". Wonderful this what I have been looking for. I am now planning on going Friday instead of Saturday as per your suggestions. I got the o.k. from the wife now I just need the time off from my employer. I am driving from White Plains, NY and I plan on leaving around 6:00 am and should be at the fair grounds around 10 am.  What time does the fair grounds parking lot open?  I have some prewar engines and freight cars that I might want to part with. Do the vendors also purchase at this show or is this a sell only time of meet?




nvocc5 posted:
What time does the fair grounds parking lot open?  I have some prewar engines and freight cars that I might want to part with. Do the vendors also purchase at this show or is this a sell only time of meet?

The meet opens at 9 a.m. on Friday.  The lots really never close, as people camp on the fairgrounds (there is a fee).  People do get there really early to get prime parking spots, but there is plenty of parking available, and there are shuttle buses that run between buildings for those with difficulty walking.

Some dealers and members will buy, but you would have to carry around the items or photos of the items and ask individually, or you can try contacting dealers ahead of time and make arrangements with them in advance.  You can also place an ad over on the "For Sale" section of the forum stating what you have (with photos) and that you can bring the items to York.  Many people meet up in the parking lots to sell/buy/exchange items.

My first several Yorks were Friday 4+ hour drives from the Pittsburgh area and back the same day, and it was definitely worth it (if a little tiring).

Another tip - bring a small cooler with a day's worth of your favorite non-alcoholic beverages.  Food and drinks are available on the fairgrounds, but I found it cheaper to bring my own drinks.  The food on the fairgrounds is OK for food truck type of stuff, and there are restaurants close by if food tuck type food is not your thing.


Since your time is limited, IMO you'll have better luck selling/trading your used items on this forum or another online venue.  You'll need every minute starting at 9am Friday to see everything at the meet.

Lots of good tips above regarding which halls are likely to be the best for what you're looking for.  When planning your time, remember that the member halls close earlier than the dealer halls, and many members cover their tables early in order to leave for dinner.

Be sure to thank the layout exhibitors - they add a lot to the experience, and transporting, setting up, operating, and tearing down a layout is a LOT of work.

Bring a pocketful of change for tipping the restroom attendants.  Not mandatory, but they do a good job, and it's hard to imagine what the restrooms would be like if they didn't provide constant attention.

Thanks for the replies.


Thanks for the cooler tip and parking.

I will the try and sell the items before I go to the York meet. Drag thought item through hall and try to buy at the same time is not great idea.

I always comment how nice the layouts are and ask question.  Rest room attend I did not even think of that thanks.

Where can I find a promo code for the TCA membership?

Last edited by nvocc5
nvocc5 posted:

Where can I find a promo code for the TCA membership?

I'm not sure what you mean by "promo code?"

You can join TCA through the National TCA page.  Once you get your membership number, you can register for York at the Eastern Division's page.  Advance registration for York has to be done before March 1.  After March 1, registration goes from $14 to $22.

You can even join TCA at the meet itself (at the registration desk in Silver Hall), if you don't mind paying the $22 meet entry fee (on top of the TCA membership fee).  They even have a nice badge holder for around $2 to hold the meet ID badge you have to wear to gain entry into the selling areas of the halls.  If you do register in advance, they will mail you the meet badge - just don't forget to bring it, as there is a small fee if they have to print you a new one.


If you join the TCA now you may have to call them in about a week or so to get your number so you can register for the show. as stated now is the time to buy as the fees to go jump come 1 March this is going to be my first time. I joined the TCA the 2nd of Jan and haven't gotten my welcome pack yet but did get my # by calling and was able to purchase my tickets on line and received them yesterday.  This will be my first show also even thou I grew up in the area I really didn't know about it until I left the area. I'm now in S.C. so this will probably be a one time thing for me.

encase you don't have it here is the link to join the TCA 

and here is the link to get your tickets for the meet

Hope you make it and have a great time 

nvocc5 posted:

Thanks for the reply. On the TCA reg web page there is an area to place a prom code for a reduced annual fee and I was wondering if any one had a code. Thanks for the info, look forward in try to meet most if not all of you folk at the York meet.

Never saw any promotional codes published or even mentioned anywhere before.  I can only assume it is something they put in place for future use.


Congratulations Kris , Welcome to the TCA . When you go to York , and you happen to be by the Silver Hall  at the 9 AM opening .Take a look at the line for registration, that would have been you ,if you had waited until you got there .  Please keep us posted on how your York experience was for you .   I had forgotten to register myself , so you helped me out , as I just did . Jim 

Hi all

The count down clock has started for the York Meet. I am looking forward to meeting you folks and try and snap up wonderful trains. Here are some question that came to me  when I went over the map and York Meet website. 

1) Are there Maps of the other halls and a list of vendors in those halls? Besides Orange and Purple?

2) I did not see Electric Rail road in the Purple or Orange Hall are they coming to the meet?

3) Where is the O Gauge Forum table? I understand they would like us to meet at the table for a meet and greet.


Last edited by nvocc5

Hi Kris ,

  I can answer some of your questions :

no.1 -- There is a large foyer between the Silver And Blue halls . There you will find the venders layout for all of the halls , usually along the back walls closer to the Silver hall side .

No. 2-- I can't help you , maybe you should try to contact them direct and see if they are attending . 

 no.3-- The OGR table is in the Orange hall. There is a get together for OGR forum members at the Quaker state restaurant on

Thursday evening or there is a gathering @ 2 pm on Friday afternoon in the Gold hall or grandstands .Don't think  there is a planed photo op ,like they do at Allentown.

I hope you drained the piggy bank and have a pair of really comfortable shoes ready to go. Jim

Jim Berger posted:

I agree Friday is the 1 day to go, but the blue, silver halls have plenty of modern era trains, often at discount prices compared to the dealer orange hall... also , member halls are sales tax free, where as retail dealers normally charge tax.... that's why its called a meet ,not show....jim

Not looking to start an argument, but my experience has been that most of the folks in blue/silver have an inflated idea of what their common items are worth.  Although I've run into a few pleasant exceptions, many of those folks don't seem to mind hauling everything back home and bringing it again next time.  I've done much better on modern era stuff in orange.  Bring cash; in the dealer halls, if you pay with cash, most of the dealers will give you a discount that's equivalent to the sales tax.  

Dear Gentlemen

I contacted Electric Rail Road and Ken replied back to me. They (Electric Rail Road) do not go to York do to the distance from CA to York. But there will be Cary from All Aboard Trains and he/she will demonstrate the ERR products.

In regards to bring the piggy bank. I have been right sizing my collection since Oct 2015 and still am fine tuning it. I still find stuff and say to myself what was I thinking?

Quick question so who is located in the following halls:




From what I have been hearing the Brown Hall is not rented out this year.




I often have to go to York on Saturday, and my big advice is to keep moving. You don't have time to sit and smell the roses. While the meet is 5 hours, people are packing up in large amounts by 12. That being said, if you move like I do, scanning each table quickly, you can make it through in 3 hours (that's me being 25 and working in a profession where I have to scan the crowd/documents quickly and pick out details).

That being said, Saturday is a great day for deals!

Last edited by CarGuyZM10

Considering I do every hall and every aisle, twice, in one day, it is doable. I move fast and don't screw around. Wear good shoes. 

No brown hall this year. Black hall has two layouts this year I think. I think it is S Gauge and an O Gauge group. FYI for those looking forward to October, the National Capital Trackers are planning a massive layout, approx. 120' long, several levels, 10 trains at once. 

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