model train set on track

Have Train Stories to Share? Write for e*Train!

Since March 2002, TCA e*Train has established itself as THE premier online magazine available to train collectors, hobbyists, and the public here on our website. And we need your stories, book and product reviews, how-to articles—nearly any type of model and toy train-related content—to make e*Train continue to shine. 

If you’re a train collector or railfan who enjoys storytelling and sharing your knowledge, we would love to publish your work! Get in touch with us to get started as a valued e*Train contributor! 

Get to Know Editor Carol McGinnis 

Carol McGinnis is e* Train’s current Editor. She continues a tradition of excellence at our digital publication while also embracing a spirit of collaboration that keeps the magazine vibrant. Carol welcomes questions and feedback and invites submissions from collectors and fans wishing to tell their stories. 

How to Submit Your Work 

A typical article is sent to us in Word file format, with a series of well-composed photos attached. We’ll polish off the wording, find the right place for the pictures, and you can join the ranks of TCAers who have shared their accomplishments with others. Get in touch with Editor Carol to get started! 

You Could Be an Author  

By Bob Mintz, Former e*Train Editor 

For this electronic magazine to succeed, we need the vitality of our members to be reflected in it! With members doing so much fine work collecting, operating, planning, and restoring their trains, as well as traveling to train locations, there are lots of great stories to be told. 

We’re looking for material that will help fellow hobbyists and collectors. Some examples include: 

  • Reviews of books, catalogs, products. 
  • How-to explanations that demonstrate skills that will assist other members. 
  • Special topics, such as a particular manufacturer or a gauge. 
  • Places you have visited, with a toy train flavor. 
  • Historical information about TCA or toy train developments. 

You don’t have to be a trained writer (no pun intended) to participate! We can edit your story, so let us know if you have thoughts for a story.  

What Long-Time Contributor Mike Stella Has to Say… 

I know there are lots of stories waiting to be shared. This is mine. 

Over the four-plus decades that I have been a “born again” Lionel collector and operator of “Lionel Lines” (The Largest Lionel Railroad on my block), I have penned many a tale for magazines and seven different club publications.  

I write because I like to write. I like to share what forty years of collecting has taught me. I like to talk about the friends I’ve made a few of the real characters (nicest thing I can say in print) I’ve met. I do not hide the silly mistakes I’ve made and like to share a laugh or two, especially when it is on me. 

I’ve tried to get a few members to write about their interests and even have had a few do it. Nobody knows everything (except me), and I like to read about new things and learn things I never knew before. 

Way too many toy train collectors and operators think they have nothing of interest to tell. How wrong they are! 

Back in 1974, while attending my first “big” train meet in the San Francisco area, I met a young man who told me he only collected Lionel that had the NYC road name. He then asked if I knew that there were 162 different NYC gondolas? I’m still looking! I only recently added a #3461 operating log car with RUBBER STAMPING to my collection, and there are a few only things I keep an eye out for. 

“My Favorite Character” always makes interesting reading. Vacations to ride real steam presented with lots of pictures are great. Did you know that I once rented a GE Steeplecab in Yakima, Washington, and then took it over the entire line? You probably have similar stories! 

I look forward to the upcoming issues of e*Train being filled with new writers and terrific stories. I may even send in one or 100. 

How Contributors Have Helped e*Train 

Writing for e*Train is fulfilling for our contributors—and they keep our magazine lively! Get to know just a few of our authors. You could join them! 

  • Joel Fugazzotto, seen here on one of his travels, is a typical contributor, having written articles about Lionel VAT cars, Ore cars, and station smokestacks. 
  • Angelo Lautazi jumped in to fill the void as webmaster in the critical early days of e*Train, a role which he most capably filled for many years. In addition to being a very active TCAer, he has contributed his own material on topics such as a Switchmaster Railcar Mover and Christmas pictures. 
  • Clem Clement has been a mainstay of both TCA and e*Train for a number of years. Some know him as the former President of the Eastern Division and of TCA. Many know him for his lengthy “Clem’s Primer,” which appears in e*Train before each York Meet, providing a wealth of detailed information about this major event. He has also written other articles on topics such as cleaning trains. 
  • Leon Sweet is the author who specializes in American Flyer—with a keen eye for detail and an eagerness in researching. 

Ready to Tell Your Story in e*Train? Share It! 
Don’t be shy—our TCA members and loyal readers across the web are waiting to hear your train stories and learn from your knowledge. Submit your articles, and we will help you get published! 
Contact Our Editor