The Train Collectors Association (TCA) was founded in Yardley, Pennsylvania in 1954. The first meeting was held in the barn of noted rail historian Ed Alexander. In the same year, collectors on the West Coast met and organized the Western Division. The result of these two meetings was the formation of the Train Collectors Association.
In 1957, the Train Collectors Association was incorporated as a non-profit corporation under the statutes of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. An authorized 501 (c)(3) entity, TCA may accept tax deductible contributions.
The National Headquarters and Museum Building in Strasburg, Pennsylvania was built in 1977, housing the national business office and The National Toy Train Museum. The Museum has one of the finest collections of toy trains on display along with major operating layouts in Standard, 0, G, S and HO gauge. Members are admitted into the Museum free of charge and are encouraged to lend their special trains to the Museum for display. The building has been expanded twice since, and is debt free.
Membership in the Association, from a humble beginning of sixty-eight meeting in a barn in Pennsylvania, has grown to a worldwide organization approaching 30,000 members, with many local divisions and chapters.