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How To Start Your Own Railroad Antiques Collection

If you have an interest in collecting railroad antiques the best way to start is at the beginning. You can start your collection with paper ephemera, some of these include: tickets, dining menus and schedules.


Antique Handlan Wall Mount Kerosene Caboose or Bunk Car Lamp  - Railroad Light
Antique Handlan Wall Mount Kerosene Caboose or Bunk Car Lamp - Railroad Light
$50.00
Antique PRR Railroad Caboose Wall Lantern urbana plus Handlan. 2 lanterns
Antique PRR Railroad Caboose Wall Lantern urbana plus Handlan. 2 lanterns
$125.00
Union Pacific Railroad Working Lock, Solid Brass Antique Finish, Trains Railway
Union Pacific Railroad Working Lock, Solid Brass Antique Finish, Trains Railway
$38.99
HAND THROW ~ RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH ~ LOCOMOTIVE TRACK ~ ANTIQUE UN RESTORED
HAND THROW ~ RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH ~ LOCOMOTIVE TRACK ~ ANTIQUE UN RESTORED
$398.00
ANTIQUE TOLEDO HIGHWAY RAILROAD USE FLARE - OLD BARN FIND SMUDGE POT MAKE OFFER
ANTIQUE TOLEDO HIGHWAY RAILROAD USE FLARE - OLD BARN FIND SMUDGE POT MAKE OFFER
$69.99
Antique Brick Vintage reclaimed PENN BRANCH Pennsylvania Railroad (PB3)
Antique Brick Vintage reclaimed PENN BRANCH Pennsylvania Railroad (PB3)
$19.98
Antique ACHISON TOPEKA & SANTA FE railroad brass padlock
Antique ACHISON TOPEKA & SANTA FE railroad brass padlock
$26.00
Antique Railroad Dispatcher's Candlestick Scissor Phone
Antique Railroad Dispatcher's Candlestick Scissor Phone
$125.00
Antique Oak Wood Glass Train Railroad Station Desk Cabinet Display Counter Case
Antique Oak Wood Glass Train Railroad Station Desk Cabinet Display Counter Case
$199.00
Solid Cast Iron Railroad Crossing Finial Big and Heavy, 1800s Antique
Solid Cast Iron Railroad Crossing Finial Big and Heavy, 1800s Antique
$150.00
 Antique Saint Louis San Francisco
Antique Saint Louis San Francisco "Frisco" Railroad Iron Lock
$34.99
Antique Railroad Edison Cell Battery 1 Jar 9B J1 corning round w Porcelain Lid
Antique Railroad Edison Cell Battery 1 Jar 9B J1 corning round w Porcelain Lid
$149.99
Antique Railroad Tool Check Brass Tag: UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD; OMAHA
Antique Railroad Tool Check Brass Tag: UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD; OMAHA
$15.99
Antique Manning Bowman Railroad Alcohol Stove PRR Lantern Dining Car Americana
Antique Manning Bowman Railroad Alcohol Stove PRR Lantern Dining Car Americana
$75.00
Antique Denver&Rio Grande R.R. Railroad Inspector Torch Lamp
Antique Denver&Rio Grande R.R. Railroad Inspector Torch Lamp
$78.00
OLD ANTIQUE RAILROAD CAR HITCH LINK LOOP  C B & Q
OLD ANTIQUE RAILROAD CAR HITCH LINK LOOP C B & Q
$59.99
Antique Brass Pennsylvania Railroad Stand / Holder / Base
Antique Brass Pennsylvania Railroad Stand / Holder / Base
$69.00
HAND THROW ~ RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH ~ LOCOMOTIVE TRACK ~ ANTIQUE UN RESTORED
HAND THROW ~ RAILROAD TRAIN SWITCH ~ LOCOMOTIVE TRACK ~ ANTIQUE UN RESTORED
$398.00
Antique  Railroad Kerosene Flare P. WALL PITTSBURGH OIL LANTERN TORCH
Antique Railroad Kerosene Flare P. WALL PITTSBURGH OIL LANTERN TORCH
$25.00
Antique Saint Louis San Francisco Railroad Lock Rare Decomissioned
Antique Saint Louis San Francisco Railroad Lock Rare Decomissioned
$174.99
ANTIQUE DIETZ VESTA NYCS RED GLOBE RAILROAD LANTERN
ANTIQUE DIETZ VESTA NYCS RED GLOBE RAILROAD LANTERN
$69.95
ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN LAMP LIGHT WALL MOUNT BRACKET PART
ANTIQUE RAILROAD LANTERN LAMP LIGHT WALL MOUNT BRACKET PART
$30.00
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can With Cap Oiler Urbana OH
Antique Vintage Railroad Oil Can With Cap Oiler Urbana OH
$40.00
Antique Vintage Brass NSWR Railroad Pullman Like Rack / Wire Shelf NSWR - 30
Antique Vintage Brass NSWR Railroad Pullman Like Rack / Wire Shelf NSWR - 30"
$225.00
Antique Southern RY Adlake Adams Eastlake Railroad Lantern 4-42
Antique Southern RY Adlake Adams Eastlake Railroad Lantern 4-42
$70.00
Vintage Antique 1918 10K gold ORT order of railroad Telegraph 25 year award
Vintage Antique 1918 10K gold ORT order of railroad Telegraph 25 year award
$67.50
Vintage Antique DIETZ TORCH Railroad RR Road Flare Kerosene Auto Smudge Pot
Vintage Antique DIETZ TORCH Railroad RR Road Flare Kerosene Auto Smudge Pot
$37.79
Antique Railroad Baggage Cart Wagon Metal Wheel w/ Oil Fittings yard decor
Antique Railroad Baggage Cart Wagon Metal Wheel w/ Oil Fittings yard decor
$356.25
Antique Oxweld Railroad Lamp Model A Union Carbide Lantern
Antique Oxweld Railroad Lamp Model A Union Carbide Lantern
$64.95
Antique 1863 Brass Railroad Williams and Page Wall Bracket for a Lantern
Antique 1863 Brass Railroad Williams and Page Wall Bracket for a Lantern
$30.00
ANTIQUE WESTINGHOUSE RAILROAD ASHCROFT BRAKE PRESSURE GAUGE STEAM PUNK VINTAGE
ANTIQUE WESTINGHOUSE RAILROAD ASHCROFT BRAKE PRESSURE GAUGE STEAM PUNK VINTAGE
$161.95
Antique Dietz Vesta Railroad Lantern Lamp New York Original Clear Glass Globe
Antique Dietz Vesta Railroad Lantern Lamp New York Original Clear Glass Globe
$56.69
4
4" Brass oil lamp Holder for RailRoad Dining Car - vintage wall mount / antique
$45.00
Antique Oil Can C & E I Railroad Crerar Adams & co.
Antique Oil Can C & E I Railroad Crerar Adams & co.
$79.00
Antique Old Railroad Bethlehem Cast iron Switch Keeper Des. 465 Train Track
Antique Old Railroad Bethlehem Cast iron Switch Keeper Des. 465 Train Track
$45.00
4 Antique Elec PYLE NATIONAL Sm Caboose Marker Lamp Part Railroad Safety Lantern
4 Antique Elec PYLE NATIONAL Sm Caboose Marker Lamp Part Railroad Safety Lantern
$140.00
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Lantern Keystone P.R.R. PRR
Antique Pennsylvania Railroad Lantern Keystone P.R.R. PRR
$219.99
1903 antique PENNSYLVANIA LEHIGH VALLEY RAILROAD TICKET coupon firemen's conv
1903 antique PENNSYLVANIA LEHIGH VALLEY RAILROAD TICKET coupon firemen's conv
$67.95
ANTIQUE C.R.R OF N.J  RAILROAD  LANTERN VINTAGE LAMP ELGIN
ANTIQUE C.R.R OF N.J RAILROAD LANTERN VINTAGE LAMP ELGIN
$50.00
Rare Antique 1880 Fire Proof Railroad Strong Lock Box Safe with Key Signed
Rare Antique 1880 Fire Proof Railroad Strong Lock Box Safe with Key Signed
$159.99
ANTIQUE SUPER TALL 31
ANTIQUE SUPER TALL 31" H RAILROAD OILER OILING CAN / TIN
$55.00
Rare Phila & Reading Railroad Wrench P.& R.R.R. Co Antique tool
Rare Phila & Reading Railroad Wrench P.& R.R.R. Co Antique tool
$35.00
Antique Roll Front Railroad Ticket Display Cabinet Pine Chestnut BLADES PATENT
Antique Roll Front Railroad Ticket Display Cabinet Pine Chestnut BLADES PATENT
$550.00
PAIR of antique vintage C&O RAILROAD oil kerosene wick lamp lantern
PAIR of antique vintage C&O RAILROAD oil kerosene wick lamp lantern
$59.00
(2) Vintage Antique Red Railroad Lantern Glass Globe No. 10 E
(2) Vintage Antique Red Railroad Lantern Glass Globe No. 10 E
$19.99
ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE RAILROAD LAMP ADLAKE-KERO LANTERN 3 41 CANADA 1921-1923
ANTIQUE ADAMS & WESTLAKE RAILROAD LAMP ADLAKE-KERO LANTERN 3 41 CANADA 1921-1923
$75.00
 7  Railroad/Railway Steel Spikes Vintage Antique Locomotive TrainTrack Historic
7 Railroad/Railway Steel Spikes Vintage Antique Locomotive TrainTrack Historic
$4.99
ANTIQUE CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN RAILROAD TRACK INCLINOMETER GRADE LEVEL PA  62 IN
ANTIQUE CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN RAILROAD TRACK INCLINOMETER GRADE LEVEL PA 62 IN
$199.00
Vintage Antique Train Station Railroad Step Stool Wood & Steel Rubber Primitive
Vintage Antique Train Station Railroad Step Stool Wood & Steel Rubber Primitive
$154.89
Antique Old Brass Cap Glass Globe Bell Bottom Railroad Oil Lantern Lamp Parts
Antique Old Brass Cap Glass Globe Bell Bottom Railroad Oil Lantern Lamp Parts
$83.99


Tickets and schedules are still fairly accessible depending on how far back you would like to go with your collection.

1. Schedules and Tickets

You can start your search for these ephemera at some flea markets, book dealers or ephemera dealers.

Schedules and train tickets are the most cost effective way to start on your collection. You will find that schedules came out in multiple editions and were mass produced.

Train tickets are additionally easy to find especially used ones and you will be able to pick these up from about $5. The more rare ones may be difficult to find but they are out there.

2. Dining menus

Depending on the train and the country you can find the most fascinating food menus from these old trains.

These type of menus range between 50 to 60 dollars a piece. You can even start a collection on the menu’s they had for children.

3. Calendars and Posters

This collection is a lot more expensive than the tickets and the menus. Railroads owned a printing press that they would use to advertise on certain posters and calendars.

A highly collectible calendar dates back to the 20th Century. This era introduced streamlined trains and the rail road companies started advertising on posters through out the 1920’s to the 1930’s.

The most valuable calendars that are still in good condition can easily fetch a very high price. They are usually sold at auctions, if you would like to invest in one of these it is recommended you set aside a lot of money.

The companies in these times used the posters to advertise and display their services at well known travel agencies.

When you start this type of collection try and put your focus into a certain train line or area. It is very easy to get side tracked and you will want your collection to represent a certain theme.

You could even focus your search on your own home town it may make your collection more meaningful to you.

How ever you decide to start your collection have fun with it and try sticking to a certain theme. Allocate a certain amount of money you have available and try not to overspend.