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About the TGA


In 1989, a small but fanatical group of train gamers in Denver, CO, decided to create a competition to discover the best train gamer in their group. They also wanted to develop a set of tournament rules that would promote all types of train gaming and that would encourage good sportsmanship and close, competitive play. What they came up with was the first edition of the PBT rules. They then presented their rules to the Denver Gamers Association and asked the DGA to host a PBT at the local gaming convention. The DGA was delighted to do so and the Puffing Billy® Tournament was born.

That same year, Dean Washburn took the PBT to Origins in L.A. where it drew the attention of Darwin Bromley of Mayfair Games, Inc. who was an avid train gamer, himself. He had already formed the intention of starting a club for train gamers and immediately saw the potential for the PBT to serve as the cornerstone of this new club. This club became the nonprofit organization known as the Train Gamers Association.

Subsequently, the DGA and the original Puffing Billy Committee gave all rights to the PBT to the newly-formed TGA.

The PBT continues to grow and has spawned many offshoots. Now when you attend a PBT anywhere in North America you might also participate in an 18xx Championship, an Empire Builder International Competition, or an Iron Man Competition. You might also play in the PBT by forming a team. And the PBTs continue to spawn and grow larger. In 1996, attendance at some of our larger PBTs topped 200.

In 1997, Mayfair Games, Inc. was sold and the new owners informed us that the level of support we had received in past years would no longer be possible. We took the year to reformulate our goals and have come into 1998 stronger and more focused than ever before. We have opened lines of communications with train gamers and manufacturers in Europe and we have created a new network of Puffing Billy conductors who continue to help run PBTs all over North America.


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