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Discussion Starter #1
One subject I noticed I have not seen much of is club membership and activities. I am aware of an organization referred to as MRHA. I may have my initials wrong. I was a member for one year of the Lionel Collectors Club. It was OK, but I did not renew.

I am a member of 2 Railroad Historical Societies. My background for hobby groups is the old car hobby. I was active for 35 years and belonged to several make specific clubs and once the Antique Automobile Club of America. They all say "you get out of it what you put into it". I think that happens at the local level more than a national one.

So - I am pretty sure there are a few regional model train clubs around me and I believe I will see about joining one. I feel a bit secluded. We all have these great layouts, or will have, and yet there is no cohesion. Just like not knowing where the old cars are at in town - as they are typically in garages - I don't know where the model train layouts are in Iowa, or my county. Probably there, but who knows.

What are the national model train clubs to join? Do they have local chapters? Any of you forum members can provide specific experiences? Do most of you just belong to local or regional clubs not affiliated with a nationally chartered organization?
 

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The Train Collectors Assoc ( TCA ) is a national club with numerous local chapters scattered all over the USA.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would like a National with a strong local chapter with EVENTS not just PDF newsletters. I feel isolated.
 

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Auto clubs have the built in advantage that you can show up at meets with your car! You can't lug your layout around every Friday/Saturday.

TCA has divisions and chapters. They would be the place to start. The front page of their website has a US map you can click on for more info.

I'm down on train clubs. It might be different if you live in the northeast. For most of the country, you need to be comfortable being a lone wolf or get your camaraderie from forums and the odd train show. The clubs I've been exposed to never stop beating the drum about new members. I think it's mostly lip service. IMO they really want two things from you:

1) to pay your dues and 2) hit the bricks so they can BS with their pals.

Your mileage may vary!
 
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