Established, 1970

 Boundaries: The States of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia* ( *South of the Richmond / Stanton line but not including those cities.)
Membership: There are 1,084 members in the Southeastern Division

 Division: Chapters  Palmetto, S.C. & Tidewater, Eastern VA.

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On February 28th, 1970 the Southeastern Division of the TCA was organized in Brevard, N.C., with, Cantey Johnson being elected President & Miles Beech, as Secretary, for the years 1970 & 1971.

For the first year it was decided that all the meets were to be held in Greensboro and the first meet was held at the Glenwood recreation center.

In 1972, O.A Ritch was elected President and,

Al Ruocchio, Vice-President. Swifty Quick was the Secretary / Treasurer. The Division had grown to 22 members. In 1972The meet locations for 1972 were Raleigh, Greenville Greensboro, and Ashville.

The Division publication, “THE COUPLER” started publication in 1972

In 1972, the Division Constitution was generated and with only one revision is still the instrument that the Division operates by today.

The same slate of officers were reelected February 1974 to serve a two year term. In 1973, Fred Tucker, Charter Member CM#6-134 made up a display area and it continued for about two years.

Due to the gas crunch in 1974, It was determined to reduce travel time for the majority of the member - ship by only holding meets in two locations. So two meets each were scheduled for, Spartanburg, S.C. and, Raleigh, N.C.

In the years 1975 through 1980, Al Ruocchio was President, Fred Tucker was Vice President and Swifty Quick remained as Secretary / Treasurer., During the following years, Swifty Quick became President in 1979, Al Ruocchio in 1981, Harold Powell in 1985, Joe Mitchell in 1990, & Bill Van Pelt in 1995.

Two Southeastern Division Presidents, Al Ruocchio and Joe Mitchell continued their services to the TCA by becoming TCA National Presidents.

Al in 1987 & Joe in 1998.

The Division has increased its numbers of members and is financially strong thanks to all the members who volunteer their time and skills.


The Southeastern Division Kid’s Club, as of April, has 237 members. Of the 237 members, the Division is proud to have 46 Charter Members.

Bill Flemming (on-Left) Kid’s Club Chairman

Santa in Disguise


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KID’S CLUB Continued

In 1990, The Division took a very profound approach to stem the decline in membership & enhance the quality of our meets. The Division opened its doors to the public to make them aware of the TCA and the benefits of being a TCA member.  With the public attending the meets; we increased the number of tables being setup at the meets. The meets lasted longer and more members participated.

In 1990, we had two hour meets with about 24 tables & 40 members. Today we have six hour meets, with 200 public & 200 members attending. We set up about 130 tables at our Raleigh meets. We also have Silent auction, 3 operational layouts including a “Kid’s Club” layout. We have also been able to increase our membership rolls.

 First Southeastern Division President
Cantey Johnson (Center

Kid’s Club  “DRAG RACES”,

David Corbin,-- Cantey,--Freeman Orr

Fred Tucker Charter Member.#6-134



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Steve Found a “Treasure

Ionia & Jimmy

Jerry Knott

New Layout

Charlie Schmitt (Parts Man)

Rudy King’s New Kid’s Club Member


Nick Ladd

Kid’s Club Drag Race Winner



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The Southeastern Division has been very innovative in their attempts to attract new members to the TCA.  But one of the most inventive was to have a “FREE” member’s only CHRISTMAS PARTY. This event usually followed a brief train meet & is scheduled the weekend before Christmas.  Even though the meet itself is open to the public, the Christmas luncheon is for members only.

When other train enthusiasts (Non-members) see what fun we have, some want to join the TCA on the spot . This helps explain why our Kid’s club has 237 members.



Great Food


Overseeing the Food Line

 President, Bill Van Pelt
(Green Shirt)


Play Time


1987 2001

The 33rd TCA National Convention hosted by the Southeastern Division was a Super TCA Convention. Division President Harold Powell,Co-Chairs, Mike & Lisa Hager, & their Committees.

As tradition goes, the hosting Divisions like to share their local traditions. In, Raleigh the Division hosted a traditional, North Carolina style “Pig Picking” at Pullen Park. The members were also treated to rides on the park train and a full size, restored carousel.

Raleigh is fortunate to have their own “Little German Band”. The band provided hours of singing and dancing entertainment until the party ended at 11:00 PM. A special Thanks was given by the National Board of Directors to our National President, Al Ruocchio and his wife, Eleanor for the Raleigh Hospitality, that was extended to the Convention attendees


The 47th TCA National Convention was a history-making event. Despite what the “nay-sayer's” thought; three Divisions combined their memberships, financial resources and put together one of the greatest TCA Conventions.

The Divisions, Cottonbelt, Southeastern, & Dixie became a joint unit known as “CSD”and put together a Convention with less than two years of preparation time. The Convention was held in Chattanooga, Tenn., where only 5 TCA members reside. With this nucleus of 5, plus many members that worked remotely, CSD had Rail rides, Paddle & Duck Boat rides, and tours to “Lookout” mountain all week. The 3 Division Co-Chairs were, Pres.Elect, Tom Jaworowski, (Cottonbelt); Div. Presidents, Bill Van Pelt (Southeastern); Bob Keller (Dixie), & Past-National President, Joe Mitchell (Coordinator)



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SE Div 1987 Logo

TCA Goes to “Carolina

In the Morning