model train set on track

Join TCA

Are you ready to make new friends who enjoy the toy train collecting hobby as much as you do? Camaraderie and fun are just a few benefits of membership, and TCA Members also have access to a collection of world-class resources at the National Toy Train Museum and National Toy Train Library. Get involved today!

How to Apply for Membership

Applying to become a TCA member is easy and open to any person collecting or operating toy, model, and scale trains or collecting items relating to trains or professing a serious interest therein. Just follow these essential steps:

  1. Choose the membership level that suits your needs and submit your application with the appropriate dues payment. For most, this will be regular membership. Youth can join as Junior members with parental permission and specific restrictions. Trial memberships are available for those prospective members who perhaps aren’t quite ready to make a full membership investment. See below for more information about each membership category.
  2. Agree to observe the following TCA rules, which represent an integral part of every member’s commitment to its established standards of conduct:
    I hereby subscribe to the purposes, policies, and duties of its members as described in the bylaws of the Train Collectors Association™ (TCA). I also understand and agree to the admission procedures. I agree to comply with all of the rules and regulations of the TCA and its Divisions and Chapters in effect from time to time, specifically including all the rules and regulations of all TCA committees and any actions and rulings of all TCA Committees. I also agree that all items sold by me to any TCA Member or at any TCA-sponsored meet shall be sold on the basis that I represent that all such items are authentic and in the manufacturer’s original condition unless I have caused any such item to be appropriately marked as a restoration or reproduction.

Regular Memberships

Dues are currently $50 for one year of TCA membership. Follow the link to apply as a Regular member.

Trial Memberships

A one-time, six-month trial membership for $20 includes all TCA publications, the right to attend a TCA Convention, Division, or Chapter Meets and functions. Trial memberships shall not have the right to hold TCA office, vote, have tables, or engage in the selling of toy trains or related items during TCA National, Division, or Chapter Meets, or in the National Headquarters News publication. In applying, you must agree to observe the standard TCA rules for Regular members as described above.

After completing the trial membership period, that person is eligible to apply for Regular membership per qualifications established from time to time by the Board of Directors. Trial memberships may not be renewed nor repeated.

Junior Memberships

(Kids Under Age 18)

Dues are currently $25 for one year. Follow the link to apply as a Junior member.

The following additional rules apply to Junior members:

  • Junior members may participate in TCA events and receive publications, but may not vote, hold office, or participate in TCA-sponsored sales or purchasing programs such as sales tables or listing items for sale in the Interchange or the Buysell site.
  • Before your application can be activated, you must submit your parent or guardian’s written approval to join. You may do this by returning this form to the Membership Coordinator at TCA. Simply complete and email it back (or print and send it via USPS) to: Membership, Train Collectors Association, PO Box 248, Strasburg, PA 17579. You may not hear from us until this form is received!
  • Junior members must become Regular members at age 18 or forfeit membership. Junior TCA members who become Regular members will pay annual dues of 50% of the Regular member rate until the year the member attains his/her 24th birthday.

Would You Rather Apply by Mail?

Prospective new TCA members may also file applications and make initial dues payments by US Mail, but this is not recommended and will delay processing. See paper application form.

I’ve Been Accepted for TCA Membership. Now What?

Once you have paid your annual membership dues and your application has been accepted, two things will happen next:

  1. You will receive your membership card with your assigned TCA member number in the postal mail.
  2. Your name, address, and TCA member number will be published to the entire membership in the first National Headquarters News published after your application has been accepted.

(In the event that three members file written complaints against the first-year member, full membership is withheld until the National Membership Committee has considered the matter.)

About TCA Member Cards & Numbers

Membership cards are sent by US mail following the processing of applications. Member numbers are assigned by the National Business Office and consist of a preface indicating the membership join year and a sequence number. Have questions? Call TCA headquarters at (717) 687-8623 ext. 101.

Heritage Membership Upgrade Program

Long-time TCA members who have reached age 60 may apply for this dues-free level of membership. With a special one-time contribution to the Heritage Fund, you will continue to enjoy full regular membership privileges without the annual dues.

Attention Kids Under 18: Check Out Our Free Clubs!

Kids and Teens up to age 18 can join our TCA Kids and TCA Teens clubs for free to get acquainted with the toy train collecting hobby! When you join, you will receive a membership certificate, member card, and more.

TCA Kids

The TCA Kids Club is a great way to learn about toy trains and how the hobby works for kids under age 13. Meet new friends while you enjoy looking at and operating toy trains—and even assembling train layouts with complicated wiring and design and computer controls!

TCA Teens

For youth over age 13, our TCA Teens Club is the “next level” way to learn about toy trains and how the hobby works. Membership in the Club is not a regular TCA membership but rather an introductory status, which is free for those ages 13-18.

Find out more and sign up (with your parent or guardian’s permission) now!