model train set on track

TCA Teens Club: Advance Your Toy Train Hobby Skills & Meet New Friends

Are you a former TCA Kids Club member who recently turned 13? Or are you between the ages of 13-18 and looking to grow in your toy train collecting hobby with others just like you? We invite you to join our free TCA Teens Club!

No matter how you look at it, the toy train hobby provides opportunities to learn about how things work, pick up technical skills, and have fun with others—and TCA Teens makes it easy to get involved.

What Do You Get When You Join TCA Teens?

When you join, you will receive a membership certificate, member card, and more—all for no cost. Provide your email address, and you’ll be added to our mailing list to receive our exclusive “Keeping Track” newsletter, which is full of collector stories and train news.

But that’s not all. Every TCA Teens Club member receives free admission whenever they visit the National Toy Train Museum in Strasburg, PA! Make a plan to come out and see our massive collection of trains—and run them, too!

Getting Started with Toy Trains

Are you new to the toy train hobby? Many teens grew up collecting from a very young age, but we realize that a love of toy trains can strike at any time! These are a few tips to help you get started—or check out our Teens Club members’ main page to learn more.

Join TCA Teens Now

Please fill out our secure web form to apply to join TCA Teens. Upon receipt of your application, you will be sent a new Teens Club member packet in the mail!

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Discover a local train store 

One of the best ways to get started with the toy train hobby at any age is to visit a local toy train shop. There you’ll find lots of toy trains and equipment. More importantly, you’ll find people who love toy trains and are happy to share their ideas and knowledge. If you don’t have a toy train store nearby, you can check out our Museum Shop online. 

Ask around your community 

The Train Collectors Associations has Divisions & Chapters covering nearly every square mile of the USA, and we can help you locate seasoned train collectors in your area. You will find that right in your community, there are lots of people with toy train layouts in their houses—but you may not find them unless you ask around. 

Subscribe to train magazines and online resources

Wondering what some of the best train magazines and other resources are for collectors? These are a few of our favorites: 

  • World’s Greatest Hobby is a great place to find lots of information about toy trains and the leading manufacturers. It also has links to many major toy train manufacturers and other railroad hobby organizations that sponsor the site, plus lists of model train clubs, hobby shops, frequently asked questions, and more. 
  • CLASSIC TOY TRAINS is the magazine of Lionel, MTH, K-Line, American Flyer, and other toy trains manufactured from today back to 1900. In the pages of CLASSIC TOY TRAINS, you’ll find information about building, operating and enhancing toy train layouts, track plans, repair and maintenance tips, profiles of collectible postwar and prewar trains, and more.  
  • Model Railroader features step-by-step products, fascinating photo tours of layouts, insightful reviews, tips from the experts, and much more.  
  • Railroad Model Craftsmen provides monthly tips on model railroading, lists books you can order, and offers great information about the hobby. Carsten Publications also put out other material on real trains. 
  • Greenberg’s Books, published by Kalmbach Publishing, cover a wide array of toy train information, with a special focus on toy train history, Lionel trains, operation and repair, and price guides. 

We also invite you to get in touch with our professional staff at the National Toy Train Library to learn more about the resources we have in-house! 

Need More Information Before You Join? Reach Out to Our Club Coordinators

The Train Collectors Association is divided into local Divisions for different regions of the United States and beyond. Within those Divisions, dedicated Kids and Teens Club Coordinators are responsible for programming and are happy to provide information about membership benefits and more. You can find a contact listing on the landing page linked below.