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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.


Union Pacific Overland Railroad Lock, Heavy Solid Brass With Antique Finish
Union Pacific Overland Railroad Lock, Heavy Solid Brass With Antique Finish
$37.89
Antique Dietz 1907
Antique Dietz 1907 "KING" Fire Dept Nickle Plated Brass Railroad Lamp Lantern
$399.99
Vintage Adlake Western Pacific W.P.Railroad Lantern  antique kerosene
Vintage Adlake Western Pacific W.P.Railroad Lantern antique kerosene
$249.00
Antique Northern Pacific Railroads, Yellowstone Park Lines- Cosmo Ticket Dater.
Antique Northern Pacific Railroads, Yellowstone Park Lines- Cosmo Ticket Dater.
$200.00
ANTIQUE Railroad Locomotive Train Engine Brass Heat Control Handle Lever
ANTIQUE Railroad Locomotive Train Engine Brass Heat Control Handle Lever
$85.00
ANTIQUE BRASS RAILROAD TRAIN CAR OVERHEAD LUGGAGE RACK SHELF
ANTIQUE BRASS RAILROAD TRAIN CAR OVERHEAD LUGGAGE RACK SHELF
$159.00
Union Pacific Railroad Working Lock, Solid Brass Antique Finish, Trains Railway
Union Pacific Railroad Working Lock, Solid Brass Antique Finish, Trains Railway
$34.99
Antique  Railroad Baggage Tag Long Island RR Circa 1880 w Strap Remnant Star
Antique Railroad Baggage Tag Long Island RR Circa 1880 w Strap Remnant Star
$39.50
Rare Antique Pullman Rail Car Skeleton Key OCRR Old Colony Railroad 1845-1893
Rare Antique Pullman Rail Car Skeleton Key OCRR Old Colony Railroad 1845-1893
$99.99
antique railroad insulators
antique railroad insulators
$5.95
Vintage/Antique Long Spout Railroad Oil Can, Unmarked
Vintage/Antique Long Spout Railroad Oil Can, Unmarked
$24.99
Antique BURLINGTON Northern RAILROAD ADLAKE Lock Brass Key Train Vintage Old
Antique BURLINGTON Northern RAILROAD ADLAKE Lock Brass Key Train Vintage Old
$30.00
10
10" Steel Railroad Rail Train Track Anvil Beam Antique 22 LB Forging Track Anvil
$19.49
ANTIQUE RAILROAD  W & C PAD LOCK WITH KEY AND CHAIN WITH B 2587 BADGE
ANTIQUE RAILROAD W & C PAD LOCK WITH KEY AND CHAIN WITH B 2587 BADGE
$49.99
Vintage Antique Brass ADLAKE Railroad Barrel Key
Vintage Antique Brass ADLAKE Railroad Barrel Key
$40.00
Antique Van Noys Railroad RR Glass Paperweight Featuring Minerals / Brass
Antique Van Noys Railroad RR Glass Paperweight Featuring Minerals / Brass
$200.00
railroad sign, rail yard, 1900's, warehouse, freight, freight only, antique
railroad sign, rail yard, 1900's, warehouse, freight, freight only, antique
$25.00
Vintage Antique Padlock Adlake Delaware Hudson Railroad Train Car Lock
Vintage Antique Padlock Adlake Delaware Hudson Railroad Train Car Lock
$12.50
Antique Railroad Key Fob Tag Catawissa PA Asst Train Dispatcher Bulldog   Ornate
Antique Railroad Key Fob Tag Catawissa PA Asst Train Dispatcher Bulldog Ornate
$49.99
ANTIQUE MINE MINING HAULAGE Railroad Locomotive Catalog
ANTIQUE MINE MINING HAULAGE Railroad Locomotive Catalog
$17.95
ANTIQUE BRASS
ANTIQUE BRASS "UN CO" UTAH NORTHERN RAILROAD TRAIN FOLDING EXTENDING CUP
$25.00
Antique Brass Railroad Passenger Train Pullman Car Overhead Luggage Rack Shelf
Antique Brass Railroad Passenger Train Pullman Car Overhead Luggage Rack Shelf
$195.00
ELECTRAFIED ANTIQUE ARMSPEAR 4 WAY RAILROAD LAMP
ELECTRAFIED ANTIQUE ARMSPEAR 4 WAY RAILROAD LAMP
$145.00
Antique Handlan Railroad Switch Train Lantern New York Central Line lamp Shade
Antique Handlan Railroad Switch Train Lantern New York Central Line lamp Shade
$224.99
Vintage and Antique ~  Aluminum
Vintage and Antique ~ Aluminum "W" Railroad Whistle Sign ~ Ships Free
$39.99
Antique Burlington Northern Railroad Crossing Sign - Not a Cheap Reproduction!!!
Antique Burlington Northern Railroad Crossing Sign - Not a Cheap Reproduction!!!
$60.00
Antique Railroad Switch Light Signal Lens Reflector Lantern Lamp (2)
Antique Railroad Switch Light Signal Lens Reflector Lantern Lamp (2)
$20.00
ANTIQUE RAILROAD SIGN  CAT EYE REFLECTORS  GAS, OIL, ROAD SIGN GOOD CONDITION
ANTIQUE RAILROAD SIGN CAT EYE REFLECTORS GAS, OIL, ROAD SIGN GOOD CONDITION
$350.00
Duff Norton Railroad Antique-Vintage Ratchet Jack 15 ton No.111-C 5
Duff Norton Railroad Antique-Vintage Ratchet Jack 15 ton No.111-C 5" rise
$199.99
Antique New Old Stock Dietz Night Watch Fresnel Red Railroad Lantern Globe Vtg
Antique New Old Stock Dietz Night Watch Fresnel Red Railroad Lantern Globe Vtg
$15.95
Antique L&N ( Louisville& Nashville) Rail Road Door Knobs
Antique L&N ( Louisville& Nashville) Rail Road Door Knobs
$105.00
Antique Railroad Switch Light Signal Lens Reflector Lantern Lamp (1)
Antique Railroad Switch Light Signal Lens Reflector Lantern Lamp (1)
$20.00
Date Nails Antique Railroad Train Spikes Set Lot Group
Date Nails Antique Railroad Train Spikes Set Lot Group
$23.00
Antique Railroad Spikes, Vintage Train Track Plate Nails, Blacksmith Knife
Antique Railroad Spikes, Vintage Train Track Plate Nails, Blacksmith Knife
$0.99
Vintage Old Railroad Spike Puller Pry Bar Collectible RR Antique Tool
Vintage Old Railroad Spike Puller Pry Bar Collectible RR Antique Tool
$90.00
Antique N&W RY Railroad Railway Wrench, Large
Antique N&W RY Railroad Railway Wrench, Large
$19.99
75 Antique Railroad Spikes, Vintage Train Track Plate Nails
75 Antique Railroad Spikes, Vintage Train Track Plate Nails
$54.99
ANTIQUE RAILROAD FOLDING FLIP DOWN STOOL CHICAGO HARDWARE FOUNDRY 1900
ANTIQUE RAILROAD FOLDING FLIP DOWN STOOL CHICAGO HARDWARE FOUNDRY 1900
$249.95
Antique Wabash Railroad Train Conductor Platform Step Stool
Antique Wabash Railroad Train Conductor Platform Step Stool
$500.00
ANTIQUE RAILROAD TELEGRAPH UNKNOWN BRAND -FREE SHIPPING
ANTIQUE RAILROAD TELEGRAPH UNKNOWN BRAND -FREE SHIPPING
$95.00
Antique railroad glass lantern globe U.S.A. clear  4 1/2
Antique railroad glass lantern globe U.S.A. clear 4 1/2" tall
$10.00
1890s ANTIQUE BRASS RAILROAD Passenger Car Sconce Lantern Kerosene Oil Lamp
1890s ANTIQUE BRASS RAILROAD Passenger Car Sconce Lantern Kerosene Oil Lamp
$189.99
Lg Vintage/Antique Railroad Train Pullman Chandelier Brass Lamp Light Fixture
Lg Vintage/Antique Railroad Train Pullman Chandelier Brass Lamp Light Fixture
$499.99
Southern Pacific Lines Railroad Lock, Solid Brass With Antique Finish, Trains
Southern Pacific Lines Railroad Lock, Solid Brass With Antique Finish, Trains
$28.99
Antique Tool Check Brass Tag: P&R RAILROAD (Philadelphia & Reading)
Antique Tool Check Brass Tag: P&R RAILROAD (Philadelphia & Reading)
$7.99
Antique Railroad Tool Check Brass Tag:
Antique Railroad Tool Check Brass Tag: "ERIE RAILROAD"; CLEVELAND OHIO
$21.99
Vintage Style Railroad Crossing Round Metal Sign Home Wall Decoration Antique
Vintage Style Railroad Crossing Round Metal Sign Home Wall Decoration Antique
$16.49
vintage antique Burlington Route Zephyr line railroad sleeper rr train shoe bag
vintage antique Burlington Route Zephyr line railroad sleeper rr train shoe bag
$13.00
Rare Antique Railroad / Carriage Key / Floor Board Wrench Brass / Bronze
Rare Antique Railroad / Carriage Key / Floor Board Wrench Brass / Bronze
$35.00
Antique Tool Check Brass Tag: MCRR (Michigan Central Railroad)
Antique Tool Check Brass Tag: MCRR (Michigan Central Railroad)
$10.99


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.