This is our main member category. Any person who collects or operates tinplate trains (definition), who collects any items relating to tinplate trains, or professes a serious interest therein may apply for membership. Applicants for membership must file a formal membership application.
How the Application Process Works:
Dues are currently $50 a year. The customary additional application fee of $25 is being temporarily waived. The annual dues includes a $4.50 subscription fee for the National Headquarters News, the five times a year members’ only publication.
This applicant's information will be published for review by the entire membership in the National Headquarters News.
In the event that three members file written complaints against the probationary member, full membership is withheld until the National Membership Committee has considered the matter.
TCA Member Cards and Numbers
Membership cards are sent by US mail following processing of applications. Member numbers are assigned by the National Business Office, and consist of a preface indicating the join year and a sequence number.
NOTICE. Each applicant must agree to observe the following TCA rules, which represent an integral part of every member's commitment to its established standards of conduct. In submitting an application, you will be required to agree as follows:
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.
You may also file your application and payment by US Mail, but this is not recommended and will delay processing. See paper application form here.
"Tinplate" is a term applied to toy trains originally built of thin stamped metal, but more broadly it includes plastic trains as well, their over-riding characteristic being that they were built for mass-market enjoyment rather than the precise scale that some of today's model railroad craftsmen build and enjoy.
Heritage Member Category
This is a new category with full regular membership privileges, available only to certain long-time members who meet set criteria and make a specified donation to TCA's Heritage Fund.
For information, please go here.