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Club History

September 1990 Four National Capital Division T.T.O.S. members Joe Pennell, Pat Pennell, Tom Davis,  and Pete Vollmer were setting up modules with end u-turns at local T.T.O.S. meets in Annapolis Maryland. They attracted the attention of Bill Buschmeier who promised to construct four corners and join them at the December 1990 T.T.O.S. show.

December 1990 The above five members show up and construct their first two line rectangular layout for public view.

Spring 1991 Jim Jamison starts a weekly train club in the Manassas, Virginia area. The club includes the T.T.O.S. members who exhibited in December, 1990. The club agrees to construct portable modules based on the Tinplate Tracker standards and call themselves the National Capital Tinplate Trackers.

December 1991 The club makes its first public appearance outside of T.T.O.S. train shows at the annual Fairfax Station Railroad Museum train show.

June 1992 The club publishes the first edition of its newsletter, the forerunner of the current Beltline.

November 1992 The club’s public appearances continue to expand with their first appearance at the Rockville Lions Club annual train show.

March 1993 The club makes a major advance in its public exhibits by purchasing skirts for their modules. The club enters into a sponsorship agreement with the local Lionel distributor (Downtown Lock) and their local retail stores, the Train Depot.

October 1993 The club makes an appearance at the Manassas Car Show and creates such an impression that the city starts a railroad festival the following year.

November 1993 The club makes its first appearance at a Greenberg Train Show.

December 1993 The club modifies its modules to accommodate a three week appearance at the Smithsonian Institution’s  Museum of American History.

June 1994 The club makes its first appearance at the Fairfax County Fair which draws over 100,000 visitors in three days.

June 1994 O Gauge Railroading magazine. features an article about the National Capital Tinplate Trackers and their Smithsonian exhibit in their June 1994 issue (Run 135). See page 38.

December 1994 The club participates in the first Large Scale exhibit around the National Christmas Tree in cooperation with Aristo-Craft Trains and the Pageant of Peace. Over 500,000 visitors attend the exhibit over a three week period. The National Christmas Tree and the trains are started by the President of the United States in a ceremony televised nationwide.

December 1994 The National Christmas Tree Railroad appears with Willard Scott on the Today show the morning following the tree lighting ceremony.

January 1995 The club drops the designation “Tinplate” from its name and now is officially known as the National Capital Trackers.

October 1996 A Tracker club member, Frank Hale, debuts his “live fish” car which is an immediate crowd pleaser. He also exhibited his live critter car containing crickets.

October 1997 The Trackers appear at the first Great American Train Show (GATS) show held in the Washington D.C. area

January 1999 The Trackers forgo their sponsorship arrangement and go independent.

April 1999 The Trackers exhibit for the first time at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore and immediately create a sensation.

November 1999 The Trackers launch their website.

December 2000 The Trackers celebrate their tenth anniversary.

August 2007 The Trackers are incorporated.

August 2007 The Trackers exhibit for the first time at the National Museum of the Marine Corp. in Quantico, Virginia.

October 2007 The Trackers are the first club invited to exhibit at the TCA Eastern Division’s York train meet.

June 2009 The Trackers appear at the Delmarva Chicken Festival.

August 2009 The Trackers appear at the Peach Festival.

January 2010 The Trackers exhibit their largest layout ever constructed at the Worlds Greatest Hobby show at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

December 2010 The Trackers celebrate their twentieth anniversary.

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