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Welcome to the Pacific Northwest Division of the
Train Collectors Association

Train Collectors Association Mission Statement

"To develop an appreciation of and to preserve an important segment of history - Tinplate Toy Trains - through research, education, community outreach, fellowship, establishment of collecting standards, and to promote the growth and enjoyment of collecting and operating toy, model and scale trains."


The Train Collectors Association was established in October 1954 and with the continuing growth of the Association, TCA Divisions of the Association were established throughout the United States.  Today there are 20 TCA divisions of which the Pacific Northwest Division TCA is one of them and was established in June of 1958. 

The boundary of the PNWD TCA includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and British Columbia, Canada.  We have 3 Chapters within our Division, Seattle, WA; Portland, OR and the new Treasure Valley Chapter in Boise, ID.  Our membership within our boundary is now over 340 and continues to grow each year.

Meetings are held by our Division and Chapters at frequent intervals.  The National Convention of the Association is held annually the last full weekend in June, at a location selected each year by the Association.


April 1958 Pacific Northwest Division Organizing Meeting
Front Row:
Two of Clint Smith's sons, Russ Hafdahl, Ted Ahleberg's son, Dutch Ottenbacher, Dr. Champaign, Bill Loew Sr.

Second Row:
Elmer Gustafson, Bill Loew, Mrs. Russell, two guests of Russell's, Ralph Russell, Bill Bouma, J. Michel, Stan O'breen

Back Row:
H.H. Brinkdopke, George Houle, Clinton Smith, John Resch, Jack French, Ted Ahlberg, Paul Korsmoe, Chas. Sipe, Otto Tanner

The organizing meeting for this division was held in the train room at the home of Russ Hafdahl, Sunday afternoon and evening, March 9, 1958. Active TCA members that attended were Jack French, Elmer Gustafson, Bill Loew. Stan O'Breen, John Resch and Russ Hafdahl. Those who indicated they would join TCA at once were Bill Boum. Dr. D.A. Champaign, Martin Ottenbacher, George Houle, Charles Sipe, Ted Ahlberg, Clinton Smith, Paul Korsmoe, H.T.G. Brinklopke, Ralph and Mrs. Russel, Otto Tanner.

Other prospective members in attendance were John Beaufort, J. Michel and Bill Loew Sr., Guests brought total present to 27. Members and Guests came from Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Olympia, Tacoma, Kent, and Tenton.  Active TCA members who approved formation of the division, by mail or phone were Steve Stanley, Levis Sutton, Mel Firestone. Others approving were Dr. Gaw, John Comer, Mr. Flegel and son, and Sonny Sipe.

A brief history was given of the TCA, with many questions and answers.  A letter was read from Lou Redman about name, etc. for our new division. A motion was made and seconded and unanimously carried that we form the P.N.W. Division of TCA. This decision on the name is due to "Northwest" alone being associated with Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc.

A Motion was made and carried that local dues would be $2.00 per year. A motion was made and carried that election of officers would be held at the next meeting, April 20, at Elmer Gustafson's and local dues to be payable at that time.  All the above of course if approved by National.
Much time was spent discussing collecting in general, and in viewing Hafdahl's collection. A very lively auction was held, with Dutch Ottenbacher as auctioneer.

Lunch was served by Mrs. Hafdahl and sons, including a cake made special for the occasion. Complete set of pictures were taken by the able Dutch Ottenbacher to be made available for National, and interested members. 

Enthusiasm demonstrated at this meeting was tremendous. Train races were held, Stan O'Breen winning the prize. John Resch was especially introduced as a manufacturer of std. parts.  Elmer Gustafson showed his fine AF replacement headlight hoods. John Beaufort drove his beautiful 1909 Model T Ford. The last two members left at 10:30, with one, Ted Ahlberg, facing a two hundred mile drive. It was a long day but all agreed that it was one of the best days they ever spent.

Respectfully submitted,
Russ Hafdahl
Acting Sec'y

It wasn't until 1974 that the Pacific Northwest Division had its first opportunity to host a TCA National Convention.  Under the guidance of Mike Kolosseus, who was the PNWD President at the time, the Division hosted its first TCA National Convention.  The TCA 20th National Convention was held at the Olympic Hotel in Seattle.  By that time, the membership in TCA had risen to 5,330 and of those, 341 members attended the TCA National Convention that was held in Seattle, WA.  As a commemorative for the TCA 20th National Convention, the Division offered a boxcar that was manufactured by Lionel.  The number 9865 boxcar is white with a blue roof and has the Space Needle and the Monorail prominently displayed on its side
In 1985 the Pacific Northwest Division had the opportunity to host another national convention, the 31st TCA National Convention.  This time John Morris was at the throttle as the President of the Pacific Northwest Division.  The convention was held at the Red Lion Inn in Bellevue, WA and had 605 TCA members taking advantage of our famous Northwest hospitality.  And as Registrar, Mike and Nancy Kolosseus checked them all in with Floyd Nichols as the Convention's Treasurer.  As commemoratives for the TCA 31st National Convention, the Division offered a standard gauge McCoy coach, an O gauge Lionel REA express baggage car for the TCA 20th Anniversary passenger set and the beautiful TCA 6484 steam engine, which is the motive power for the TCA 20th Anniversary passenger set.

In 1995, the Division again had the opportunity to host a TCA National Convention.  This time Dan Martin was the President of the PNWD.  Among his Chairs on the Convention Committee were some very experienced members.   Jim & Madelaine Hicks, Convention Co Chairs & Convention Car Co Chairs; Mike & Nancy Kolosseus, 1985 and 1995 Registration Co Chairs; Floyd Nichols, 1985 and 1995 Treasurer, Merle Parise, Tours Chair; Stan Zajdel and Floyd Nichols, Commemoratives Co Chairs; Dick Walters, Door Prizes and Promotions; Barilyn Suskin, Comestibles Chair; Bill Hollingsworth and Leo Gundram, Trading Pit Co Chairs; Ted & Barbara Carrier, Standard Gauge Engine Race Co Chairs, Chet Vetter & Rick Miller, Security Co Chairs; Tom Carney, NW Railroadiana Display Chair; Ted Ahlberg, Historian and Russ Wilcoxson, Layout Chair.

The Convention Commemoratives that were offered by the Pacific Northwest Division were the O gauge Lionel Skytop TCA "City of Seattle"; O gauge K-Line TTAX - BN, 5 unit; O gauge Marx Photographic car - Union Pacific, S gauge Lionel box car - Northern Pacific, S gauge Lionel flat / trlrs, Burlington Northern, G gauge Aristocraft boxcar, Great Northern and the Standard gauge McCoy boxcar - Farmers Market.

Our most sincere thanks go to all of these members and to the army of volunteers that worked at the conventions that have been hosted by the PNWD.  It takes a lot of time and effort on behalf of a lot of members to host events such as these conventions successfully.  This convention also was responsible for providing special Banquet Cars for TCA's Collectors.  The highly sought after McCoy Diner which was the first new standard gauge accessory offered since the golden age of standard gauge; the first ever Aristocraft G gauge TCA Banquet car, the red GN boxcar; the exclusive K-Line PNWD truck with trailer, the Lionel GN Hi-Cube boxcar 9695 and the first collaboration between Montana RailLink and TCA was commemorated with special mugs with artwork encompassing both organizations.

Along with hosting the TCA National Conventions, the Division has contributed many items to add to member's collections.

The Pacific Northwest Division also has the distinction of being the home of the 43rd National President of the Train Collectors Association.  Mr. Dannie Martin was elected in 1997 and will assume the office of President of the Train Collectors Association on the 1st of November, 1998.


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This site was last updated 12/15/19