October 13 , 2018, at the Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette
The 2019
Cal-Stewart Meet will be on Sunday, March 3, 2019, at the San Ramon Hyatt. There is a discounted rate of $109.00 per night for our group.  Reservations can be made here.

What is TCA? What is Nor-Cal?
The Train Collectors Association (TCA) was founded in 1954 in Yardley, Pennsylvania. The mission of the TCA is "to preserve an important segment of history- tinplate trains- through research, establishment of collecting standards, education, community outreach, fellowship, and to promote the growth and enjoyment of the hobby." The TCA embraces all aspects of the toy and model train collecting and operating hobby. The TCA "Kids Club" program encourages the development of new generations of collectors. The TCA Headquarters Office and Museum are located in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, in the Pennsylvania Dutch countryside, adjacent to the Strasburg Railroad and the Red Caboose Motel. TCA membership as of October 2014, was 25,057.

There are nineteen regional Divisions within the TCA. The Northern California Division (Nor-Cal) was formed in 1957 in order to provide a local venue for meetings. Nor-Cal holds meetings once a month, normally on the second Saturday of the month, at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Lafayette. Trains are bought and sold at meetings, between members only, but guests are welcome to attend (see details below, under "How to Join..."). Nor-Cal also holds the big Spring Cal-Stewart Meet in Santa Clara in March. There are currently (as of April 8, 2014) 353 dues-paying members in Nor-Cal.

Why join Nor-Cal?
Although collecting and operating our trains is certainly a joy in itself, the full measure of enjoyment is in meeting with people of similar interests. In Nor-Cal you will find people who "speak your language" and share in the pleasure of collecting and operating toy and model trains. You can find lifelong "train buddies" in Nor-Cal.
The monthly Nor-Cal train meets offer the enjoyment of meeting with fellow Nor-Cal members, and also offer the opportunity to browse the many train items offered for sale. Of course the meets also provide the opportunity to sell some of your excess trains.

What advantages do our meets offer over buying on EBay?
(1) Buyers can closely inspect trains- no unpleasant surprises!
(2) Sellers can answer questions on history and provenance
(3) There are no shipping charges!
(4) Sellers and buyers can develop a personal relationship

All Nor-Cal members receive the "Nor-Cal Express," an 8-page illustrated newsletter, with seven pages of Nor-Cal news, photos of trains at meets, and other toy train material, four times a year. Members have the free use of tables for selling trains at local meets. (TCA members who are not also Nor-Cal members will be charged a fee of $10 for table use at a Nor-Cal meet). The December meet includes the annual FREE luncheon for members and their families! As concurrent members of the national TCA, Nor-Cal members receive the "TCA Quarterly" full-color magazine (forty pages!) four times a year and the "National Headquarters News" (which includes the "Interchange Point" buy/sell pages) six times a year. Members are eligible to attend the regional meets such as the Cal-Stewart Meets in February/March in San Ramon and October/November in Pomona, CA, the York (Pennsylvania) Meets in April and October, other regional meets, and the TCA National Convention that occurs every June (Albuquerque, NM June 22-30, 2019).. Special souveneir train cars and accessories, and sometimes locomotives, are available to the members at these events. Members may visit the splendid TCA National Museum in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, free of charge. Additionally, members may avail themselves of the various services offered through the National Office, including use of the Toy Train Research Library and special insurance for their trains. Finally, the national TCA offers many on-line services to members, including buy/sell/wanted ads, and the online "E-Train" magazine.

Nor-Cal Survey of Interests
A June 2008 online survey indicated that Nor-Cal members collect and/or operate toy and model trains in the following proportions [votes for each gauge divided by the total votes]:
Standard Gauge (and Wide Gauge): 10%
O-Gauge 3-Rail: 41%
O-Gauge 2-Rail: 4%
S-Gauge (American Flyer and other manufacturers): 14%
G-Scale (the Garder Railway sized trains): 3%
HO-Gauge: 12%
N-Gauge: 4%
Z-Gauge: 5%
Erector and Meccano Sets: 6%

Of course, many members collect and operate more than one gauge.

How to join TCA:You must first join the National TCA, then you can join the Nor-Cal Division. Click here to be connected to the TCA National new members application page. After joining TCA National you may come to a regular (monthly) Nor-Cal meeting and join there. Note that guests are welcome to come to a Nor-Cal meeting to check it out. However guests cannot buy or sell, and multiple repeat visits by guests are not approved.

2018 Nor-Cal Meeting Dates and Locations:
Nov. 10, Dec. 8 - each at the Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette

Nor-Cal Meeting times: Hall open for setup at 9 AM. Business meeting at 9:30. Trading 10-11:30.

Read the quarterly "Nor-Cal Express" newsletter (in full color)- Click "Newsletter" above.

Website maintenance by Richard & Aase White

This website updated on September 25, 2018