Lancaster County PA Realty Check: Pennsylvania: Strasburg

Eastern Division Toy Train Meet

TCA Toy Train MeetIf you are a collector, operator or admirer of toy trains, the biggest network of like-minded enthusiasts is the Train Collectors of America, or TCA.  And for myself and thousands of other toy train fans, the biggest event is the twice-annual TCA Eastern Division Train Meet, held at the York, PA Fairgrounds.

The Eastern Division York Train Meet is considered the Mecca of all train meets.  It's the largest and finest toy train show in the world.

Lionel Trains

The meet runs Thursday through Sunday every October and April.  It's been running every year since 1954, and every year gets a little larger.  This year over 14,000 TCA members were in attendance, including me!  Unfortunately, the meet is open to members only.  You must be sponsored by a TCA member to become a member, but the TCA is open to families and kids.  I have been a member since 1982.  13,000 members pre-registered, and 1,000 registered at the door this year.  There were over 2,700 dealers in attendance. 

York Fairgrounds

The TCA is headquartered in Strasburg, PA, where they also operate an excellent Toy Train Museum, which is open to the public.

The York Fair was America's first fair in 1765.  York Fairgrounds has been the location of the York Fair and other special events since 1856 in its present location.

I have taken photos only of the exterior of the  fairgrounds and the show, because no cameras or cell phones are allowed inside the buildings - for the trains, antique toys, and dealers' security.

The buildings are a mix of nineteenth century barn style and modern edifices, such as the new Toyota Arena.  The train show usually takes up seven or eight separate buildings; it is that big. 

There is also a separate supervised kids area, with Thomas the Tank Car type rides to keep them busy while their parents see the show.  American Flyer, Lionel, Bing, Ives, and other famous brands are for sale,

Lionel Trains

                   Toy Train Show

                                   Toy Trains

York Fairgrounds York Fairgrounds

This year the Eastern Division Train Meet was so successful that some dealers were totally sold out by Friday! 

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Comment balloon 6 commentsBrian Schulman • October 25 2007 09:03AM
Eastern Division Toy Train Meet
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If you are a collector, operator or admirer of toy trains, the biggest network of like-minded enthusiasts is the Train Collectors of America or TCA. And for myself and thousands of other toy train fans, the biggest event is the twice-annual TCA… more
The Toy Train Museum, Strasburg, PA
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The Toy Train Museum, Strasburg, PA As a member of The Train Collectors Association since 1982, I feel privileged to live nearby the focal point of the TCA, the Toy Train Museum The museum is located at 300 Paradise Lane, in Paradise… more